I do not claim to take the place of a psychiatrist, (whose job is assessing a patient and providing medication.) I cannot diagnose, treat or provide services rendered by a certified social worker. I have worked in various nursing homes and hospital settings as a social worker and saw what it can do to a family unit. My opinions and advice come from my heart, life experiences, course studies, and interactions with professional colleagues.
It is very important to go to someone who is professional, has experience and knowledge in the field, and who you can feel comfortable with. Getting the correct diagnosis is key. After that, if medication is needed, a psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, or pharmacologist can provide you with medication.
I need to stress the fact that the family, and the person experiencing the pain are NOT alone. There are support groups to help the family cope and avoid the feeling of isolation There is one organization called the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) that can give a family resources and tools to deal with the numerous problems that occur. It can be easily found on the computer or getting the telephone number from directory assistance.
I think that there is a feeling of shame when someone is diagnosed. The person and their family are embarrassed, afraid, and angry; all at the same time. This is why support from others is so important. When someone is diagnosed with heart disease and needs medication, people view it differently. We all need to change the way we look at these illnesses, and the only way to do this, is to talk about it openly.
I hope that I have cleared up some of the misconceptions and wish you health and well being. I will write more about shame in my next blog. I believe that anyone can get through this process with professional support, understanding, and guidance.
With love & support