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Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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My question is in regard to seeking mental health. I havent

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My question is in regard to seeking mental health. I haven't been happy for a long time and I've been having a lot of anxiety and always had issues handling stress. How do you know if you should see a psychiatrist or other types of therapists? Do you need a referral if you have PPO insurance? How do you know what specialist to pick? I had a baby in February as well and don't know it that is affecting my mood.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
Welcome to Just Answers. You've given great information so that you can get a good answer!

Let me see if I can go through your questions:
If you have a PPO, yes: you will need to go through the number on the back of your card or go to the website. Lots of insurance companies will give you a good referral based on an intake phone interview for someone in your system. AND...they can often cut your benefits if you don't call them first. PPO means Preferred Provider - they have contracts with proveders where the price that both you and the insurance company have already agreed upon.

Having a baby in February is certainly a factor, although I hear that you've had trouble before. Many OB/GYNEs are comfortable prescribing antidepressant medication. If you have a good relationship with him/her, you may want to talk to them about it and since you're established as a patient, you can probably get in sooner.

Your primary care doctor can also do a medication evaluation and decide if you need anxiety or antidepressant medication.

Who you see will depend on who your insurance covers. A psychiatrist can give you medicine- they're a medical doctor, and some also do counseling. A psychologist or clinical social worker can do counseling and are usually connected with a prescribing doctor.

So....long story made longer:
Check with your insurance first and see if you require an intake interview on the phone. (this is short and sweet)

Based on what they offer, you might have counseling benefits...pick one in your area that has openings and try them.

Because you may need medication and/or counseling, you can go to your primary or OB for that first and see if that alone helps you out. (It often does).

If it were me: I'd call and get an authorization from the PPO, go to my OB first, primary second, and psychiatrist as a third choice. If the meds didn't kick it all by themselves, I'd go to counseling with the medication.

Congrats on your new baby!

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