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Adult Psychiatry FAQ

What is a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are licensed physicians with special training in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. They have earned a medical degree and undergone four or more years of residency training in psychiatry and neurology.

How are psychologists and psychiatrists different?

Psychologists have doctoral degrees in human behavior. Psychotherapy and psychological testing are emphasized in their training. Psychiatrists have medical training.

What are the most common mental illnesses? How are they treated?

Depression, bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression), schizophrenia, panic disorder, eating disorders and anxiety are the most common mental illnesses. In most cases, a combination of medication and therapy is used to treat them.

What are some signs of depression?

Feeling sad from time to time is normal. If the feelings last for a long period of time or begin to affect your life negatively, it may be time to seek help. Signs include:

  • Decreased energy, fatigue
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of sadness or anxiety that won’t go away
  • Suicidal thoughts

If you believe you or a loved one may be suffering from depression, call 714-456-3029 for assistance.

Are there warning signs of suicide?

A loved one who voices suicidal thoughts must be taken very seriously.

If you believe that the safety of the person or the safety of others is at risk, call 911.

If you are concerned about a loved one, but there is no immediate danger, call your local suicide hotline for assistance at 1-800-SUICIDE.

Warning signs include:

  • Expressing suicidal thoughts
  • Extreme loss of interest in life
  • Difficulty sleeping, restlessness
  • An abrupt change from being very depressed to calm
  • Putting affairs in order, changing a will

If someone you love is displaying any of these signs, call your local suicide hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE.

I believe someone I love may be mentally ill. What signs I should look for?

The symptoms of mental illness vary greatly, depending on the illness, its severity and other factors. However, there are some symptoms that may suggest a mental illness in adults:

  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Withdrawal
  • Sadness or irritability that persists
  • Angry feelings
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Inability to cope

If you believe a loved one may be suffering from mental illness, it is treatable. Call 714-456-3029 to get help.

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