Dr. Dresner describes the best ways for a woman with intense mood swings to advocate for herself.
A woman who is experiencing mood symptoms should pursue a line of intervention that’s most comfortable for her. If she has a close relationship with her obstetrician, that should be the person that she calls. If she has a close relationship with her internist, that should be the person that she calls.
If her best friend is a social worker, that should be the person that she calls. You know, as a point of entry, it should be a place and a sort of venue that is comfortable for her. Going through the Yellow Pages and looking for a psychiatrist might not be the most comfortable first point of entry into treatment.
So that, as a first line to really get an assessment and evaluation for somebody to say, “You know, this might be depression,” or, “You’re on these medications that might cause depression; you have this medical condition that might be related to depression.” A first line of entry should be somebody who you’re comfortable talking to, who can do a good assessment, and either intervene if they are qualified to intervene, or make a referral for you to somebody who is qualified to intervene.
A patient’s caregiver should know if these are mild symptoms, or if this is a disorder that needs to be treated by a mental health provider. So typically, the best treatment for depression is a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Getting medications alone from a primary care provider who may be seeing you only once a year to check your blood pressure or do a pap smear and renew your anti-depressant medications is really not adequate treatment for depressive disorder.
About Dr. Nehama Dresner, M.D.:
Dr. Nehama Dresner, M.D., is a licensed, Board-certified psychiatrist (in general psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine) with specialized training and nearly 20 years experience in Women's Mental Health and Medical Psychiatry. She is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Obstetrics/Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is actively involved in medical education. A fellow in the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and the America Psychiatric Association, she speaks locally and nationally on issues related to psychological aspects of women's health and medical psychiatry. Dr. Dresner's clinical specialty is psychosomatic obstetrics, and gynecology, women's emotional development, and psychiatric treatment of the medically ill.