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  • What are the signs that I or a loved one should seek mental health help?
    It's not always clear to individuals when their mental health problems have progressed to the point of needing psychiatric services, so we have created a list of signifiers to help. Generally speaking, if your mental health is greatly interfering with your overall function and ability to live life, it is probably time to reach out. Adults: Prolonged sadness or irritability Feeling extreme highs & lows Excessive worry or fear Dramatic diet or sleep changes Intense feelings of anger Experiencing delusions or hallucinations Substance abuse Suicidal thoughts Adolescents: Inability to cope with everyday issues Prolonged negative mood Significant social withdrawal Dramatic diet or sleep changes Frequent, unexplained anger outbursts Substance abuse Children: Dramatic changes in school performance Excessive worry Trouble sleeping Extreme hyperactivity Persistent aggression or disobedience Prolonged negative mood
  • What is the difference between Psychiatry and Therapy?
    Psychiatry is a medical specialty that helps diagnose, prevent, and treat mental disorders, often utilizing medication for treatment. Therapy, also called psychotherapy, is a general treatment type for psychological problems in which you talk through your problems with a therapist. There are many different types of psychotherapy techniques that can be used depending on a patient’s needs. Therapy sessions are typically longer and more frequent, involving communicating about current issues and skill building to better handle life’s challenges. Very often, therapy and medication are used in combination to achieve better outcomes.
  • How do I know what kind of treatment is right for me?
    Our diverse team of mental health experts ensures that you will be matched to the provider and treatment type that is best suited for your needs. We require all new patients to go through an assessment prior to treatment so that we can build a customized treatment plan just for you. We offer 2 types of assessments: Psychosocial and Medication. We recommend that patients do both assessments, as a combination of psychotherapy and medication has been proven to have higher success rates than either alone. It is your choice whether you are interested in just medication, just therapy, or both. If you choose to pursue psychotherapy, we have a diverse team of therapists and counselors for you to choose from. Our psychotherapy providers are trained in a multitude of therapy approaches that you can learn more about on our "Treatment Types" webpage.
  • Can I seek therapy if I don’t want to be on medication?
    The decision to try psychiatric medication is one that you and your provider would make together. Some mild psychiatric conditions can be treated without the need for medication. However, many psychiatric conditions are caused or worsened by imbalances in the patient’s brain chemistry. If this is the case, medication can help correct this chemical imbalance and give you a better chance to improve your quality of life with your illness. Your psychiatrist will help you determine the best treatment options for your individual problems.
  • What causes psychiatric illnesses?
    There are many causes of psychiatric illnesses. Some are caused by genetic information that is passed down from family members while others are brought about by environmental factors and major life events, like the death of a loved one. A patient with both genetic predisposition to psychiatric illnesses and exposure to stressful environmental factors may have more severe symptoms or show signs of illness earlier. For example, if you have a family history of bipolar disorder, abusing drugs or alcohol could lead to the presentation of bipolar symptoms earlier in your life and in a more severe form.
  • I believe my loved one needs psychiatric help. How do I talk about this subject with them?
    Approaching a close friend or family member about their mental health can be a very sensitive situation, but still very necessary. We live in a society where mental illness unfortunately still carries social stigma which can make it even more difficult for people to admit they have a problem and reach out for help. It's important that you approach the individual gently and without judgement, showing them that you are there for them and you care. Avoid stigmatizing language when talking about their mental health. It's also important to ensure you are in an environment where the individual feels safe and open. Make sure that you are alone and not in a public space with lots of distractions. It's also important that the individual is in a generally good mood and feeling relaxed. They may be less receptive after a hard day at work or with an impending project deadline looming. Its possible the individual may be resistant to hearing your perspective about their mental health or seeking therapy. Remind them that you are speaking to them from a place of care and love. You can even use the context of your own relationship as an example of the changes or indicators you have noticed and how it has effected you. It may be hard for the individual to accept their own negative or harmful behaviors being relayed to them. Avoid judgement and stick to the facts. Give tangible examples of their behavior. You can balance this by offering praise of their good qualities, reminding them they are a good person who simply needs some help. Finally, offer them tangible support in seeking mental health help, such as driving them to their appointments, helping them research local providers, or even just making them dinner on a particularly hard day.
  • Is it possible for adults to have attention problems?
    Yes. People develop ADD/ADHD and other attention problems as children, but many go undiagnosed until adulthood. Children with mild to moderate ADD/ADHD can go through school with very high grades and be regarded as intelligent, talented, and charming. However, as they grow older, the demands of adult life can highlight their struggles with attention, memory, motivation, and impulsivity. When the strategies they used to mask these struggles as children no longer work, ADD/ADHD becomes a problem requiring treatment for adults.
  • I know that I would never kill myself, but I still have thoughts of suicide sometimes. Does this qualify me as “suicidal?”
    Many people discount the risk of their own thoughts of suicide because they doubt that they could every carry through with it. Many people don’t seek help because they suspect that people who do kill themselves are dealing with much worse psychiatric problems and experience much more intense thoughts of suicide than they are. This is not the case and it is a very dangerous way to think. Down playing or ignoring the seriousness of these thoughts can result in tragedy for yourself and your loved ones. If you have any thoughts of suicide, please seek immediate help.
  • What is PPS's cancellation policy?
    If you need to cancel an appointment, please email cancel@ppsych.com 48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment or you will be charged a late cancellation fee. If you need to simply change your appointment date or time, please still email our cancellation email address to cancel your existing appointment, then give us a call to reschedule a new appointment.
  • If I start a psychiatric medication, how long will I be on it?
    If you choose to begin a psychiatric medication, you should expect to stay on that medication for at least 6 months after your condition has stabilized. Your doctor may also gradually wean you off a medication with progressively lower doses. If you experience many episodes of your illness, you may be advised to stay on your medication much longer in effort to minimize the risk of your symptoms recurring. Additionally, suspending medication and resuming the same medicine in the future will sometimes not help as it did before.
  • Can I become dependent on my psychiatric medication?
    Most people are dependent on someone or something to get us going and improve our health and well-being. When your pancreas does not secrete enough insulin, you are dependent on insulin. Without it, you would have serious physical health problems. Despite the stigma, it is the same with mental health. If your brain cells aren’t secreting enough serotonin, dopamine, or adrenaline, you are lacking the crucial chemicals for your sense of well-being, happiness, motivation and energy. Psychiatric medication can help your brain produce more of these chemicals or prolong their half-life. Depending on these drugs to improve your distress tolerance, mood regulation, motivation, energy, and sense of well-being is nothing to feel ashamed of or fear.
  • What if I forget to take my medication?
    Forgetting to take medication is a common problem for many reasons. Some medications are prescribed to be taken more than once a day, which increases the likelihood that it can be forgotten. Though sometimes more expensive, some medications have extended release forms which you only have to take once a day. Either way, it's very important to take your medication as advised by your physician, because forgetting for multiple days in a row could cause unwanted side effects. It's important to make taking your medication a part of your routine. This can look different for everybody, but many use pill-boxes and leave them in a place they will see every day. Some use reminders on their phone. There are many methods that can help you remember to take your medication daily. If you are struggling to remember to take your medication every day, please talk to your physician or pharmacist and they can help you find solutions that work for you.
  • Can I use medication to help me quit abusing substances?
    It can be hard for your loved ones to appreciate how challenging it is to quit drug or alcohol use by pure will alone. Those around you telling you to “toughen up” or “brush it off” might think they are being encouraging, but these statements hinder more than they help. Your emotional brain, loaded with memories of exciting, pleasurable, and thrilling moments associated with substance use, has hijacked your rational brain. There are medications available on the market that can help minimize the emotional aspects of your decision making and help you gradually think more rationally. The two main medications used to treat Opioid abuse are Naltrexone (Vivitrol) and Burpernorphine (Suboxone, Zubsolv). They work in very different ways and the right option for you is best to be discussed with your provider. Naltrexone is a monthly shot that shuts off your Opioid brain receptors to shut down the brain’s reward mechanism and gradually prevent you from experiencing cravings. Naltrexone may be hard to start due to the fact that it requires a trial of the oral form of the medicine to ensure you are not allergic to Naltrexone, a liver function test to ensure that the patient is safe to take Naltrexone, and patients need to be free of Opioids for 2 weeks to start. Bupernorphine is an Opioid replacement therapy. It provides your brain with the Opioid it needs so that you can avoid abuse of heroin and pain medication. Opioids like these street drugs are highly associated with criminal activities, drug overdose, homicidal behaviors, and serious medical conditions such as Hepatitis C and HIV. Massive harm is reduced just by being evaluated and treated in a medical setting.
  • I’ve tried medications in the past that haven’t worked for me. What are my other options?
    It's not uncommon to try a medication that doesn't work well for you. Luckily, there are many new medications being studied every day. Professional Psychiatric Service is partnered with Cincy Science, a research facility that allows participants to try medications that may not have reached the market yet. There are also countless forms of psychotherapy utilized by our many therapists that can help you get to the root of your psychosocial issues that medication cannot fix alone. We are also newly offering TMS therapy, (transcranial magnetic stimulation), an alternative form of therapy for medication-resistant patients. This therapy uses magnetic coils to noninvasively activate brain structures. Learn more about it on our "Treatment Types" webpage.
  • Is my child too young to have mental health problems?
    No child is too young to experience mental health problems. Most psychiatric problems have at least some genetic predisposition, which means that any family history of mental illness in first or second degree relatives can increase the risk of a child developing mental health problems at an early age. Environmental factors can also play a part in some disorders and result in symptoms appearing earlier or more intensely than they would otherwise. Additionally, some problems arise as a result of big or sudden changes in a child’s life, like a parent’s divorce or the death of a close family member. In these cases, while the stress and adjustments surrounding the change might go away eventually, the mental health problems that arise in the moment may still be severe enough to require treatment, even if it’s temporary.
  • Is psychiatric medication safe for children?
    When a mental health problem is caused or influenced by genetic factors, there can sometimes be an imbalance in a patient’s brain chemistry. They may not have the correct amounts of serotonin, dopamine, or other neurotransmitters in their brain, which worsens the way they are feeling. Medication can help correct these imbalances, which makes it much easier to handle the emotional and behavioral changes that are a result of the mental illness. While counseling is an essential part of the healing process when it comes to mental health, medication can often make it easier to apply the coping skills a patient in learning in counseling, which can all around improve treatment. Your provider will only recommend medications that have been rigorously tested and proved to be safe for children through medical trials.
  • Do we have to use medication to help with these problems or is counseling/therapy is enough?
    Counseling is an essential part of dealing with emotional, behavioral, and thought problems, as therapy can help your child learn the right coping skills to be able to minimize the intensity of their mental health problems and stressors and lead a better life. However, sometimes therapy alone is not enough, especially if there are genetic factors involved. In these cases, medication might be beneficial to your child to help regulate their emotions and correct any imbalances in their brain chemistry that might be worsening problems. There is no "one size fits all" solution when it comes to mental health, so whether or not your child needs medication will depend on their specific situation. However, PPS psychiatrists can help you and your family make the best decision about medication and other treatment options during therapy.
  • Can I be present for my child’s appointments?
    It's completely normal to want to sit in on your child's therapy session, whether it is to observe the therapist's style or offer supplemental information to the therapist that you worry your child may not accurately provide. Children ages 10 and above rarely need help from a parent in their therapy session. There are exceptions for younger children that may have trouble communicating or react poorly to being alone with strangers. Please discuss this with our clinical care coordinators when you are making your appointments and also with your provider.
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