Who Should People With Mental Health Problems Contact First?

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In our country medicine unauthorized due to psychiatric diseases diagnosis, and many members of the treating ability and capacity of the various non-professional group of people is access to diagnosis and treatment will lead to undesirable results, this situation threatens public health. Although there are legal regulations on the subject, inadequate supervision and the fact that some media organizations introduce these people and institutions to the public with programs that we think are incompatible with the understanding of responsible broadcasting further magnify the problem. Psychiatric Association of Turkey feels the responsibility to inform the public and the press on this issue.

In our country, the definition of occupational groups dealing with mental problems in many parts of the society is not known enough. For example, the terms psychologist or psychiatrist are often used in the same sense. With this use, two groups, which are very different in terms of the education they actually received, are mixed together.

According to the results of a study conducted on 2006 people in Gaziantep in 500, 56.6% of the participants evaluated psychologists as people who treat psychologists through speech and psychiatrists as people who treat with medication.

Mental and nervous diseases were found to be curable at a rate of 89.2%. M. Depression symptoms are described, followed by "what would you do in this situation?" 57% of the subjects answered the question as "they think it is a temporary situation, I do nothing". You are given the symptoms of schizophrenia and "What would you do to your relative in this situation?" When asked, 51.8% of the subjects replied “I'll take it to the psychiatrist”. Panic disorder symptoms are defined and "what would you do in this situation?" When asked, 57% of the subjects stated that they would go to an internal medicine doctor and the subjects who gave this answer were asked "What would you do if your internal medicine doctor referred you to a psychiatrist?" While 64.1% of the subjects answered this question as “I would go to the psychiatrist”, 16% of the subjects stated that they would go to another internal medicine doctor again.

People who have problems with mental health are also unsure about where to apply. Mental health service should be carried out in a team work. People working in the field of mental health can be listed as follows:

  • Psychiatrist
  • General Practitioner / Family Physician
  • Psychologist / Clinical Psychologist
  • Psychiatric nurse
  • Social worker
  • Psychological Counselors
  • Psychiatrist

He is a physician who is a graduate of medical faculty who works in the recognition, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of mental disorders and completed his psychiatry specialty training. Psychiatrist is a specialist physician who graduated from a 6-year medical school and then specialized in psychiatry for 4 years. He is a person who has knowledge about the general illnesses of a person and has the authority, knowledge and equipment to define the mental structure and treat when necessary. As the clinical decision maker, the psychiatrist ensures coordination within the mental health team. In order to provide quality psychiatric services, the stages of application, evaluation, treatment, referral to other units and termination of treatment and rehabilitation are defined. The planning of the treatment to be applied to the patient and the evaluation of the treatment carried out are entirely under the responsibility of the psychiatrist. Psychiatry specialists have the responsibility and authority to diagnose all kinds of mental problems, to plan the treatment, to apply the appropriate psychotherapy as well as medication and other treatment methods. No other professional group has the authority to do these applications independently. With the laws of the Republic of Turkey, this authority has been given only to psychiatrists.

Other than the occupational groups listed above, "life coach, NLP, etc." Those working in such fields are not included in the mental health team.

Psychiatry is a branch of medicine. Neurology, which is also a branch of medicine; It provides services in areas such as epilepsy (epilepsy), cerebrovascular accident (paralysis due to vascular events), parkinsonism and involuntary movements, headaches, multiple sclerosis, and muscle diseases. Psychiatry's areas of interest are generally:

Depression, Anxiety (Anxiety) disorder (Panic disorder, Pervasive anxiety disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Social Phobia, Post-traumatic stress disorder), Bipolar disorder (Manic depressive disorder, Bipolar disorder), Schizophrenia, Alcohol-substance addiction, Sexual dysfunctions , Personality disorders, Eating disorders, Hysteria-conversion, Hypochondriasis, Tics, Aging psychiatry-dementia, Prolonged grief, Impulse control disorders.

Your mental and physical health is a whole. Many mental symptoms may indicate a physical illness, and many physical symptoms may indicate a mental illness. The diagnosis of mental illnesses, such as physical illnesses, can only be made by physicians and their treatment can be performed by the physician or under the supervision of a physician. Psychiatrists have the basic knowledge, skills and equipment related to all kinds of psychiatric applications. He / she can differentiate situations that require advanced specialist examination, research or treatment-intervention, and take the necessary precautions and direct them. All kinds of mental problems and complaints should first be evaluated by physicians who have medical training, only your doctor can decide with you the treatment method to be applied. Most mental disorders can be successfully treated with biological therapies and / or psychotherapy methods such as drug therapy. Psychotherapy is also a medical intervention, but it can be done by your psychiatrist, or under his direction, by a clinical psychologist with training and competence in a particular therapy. Together with you, your psychiatrist will decide on the appropriate treatment for your mental state.

Exp. Dr. Mehmet YUMRU
Scientific Meetings Secretary of the Psychiatric Association of Turkey

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