Frequently Asked Questions
What is a psychiatrist and what do they do?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has undergone training to qualify as a specialist in mental-health diseases. He⁄She is proficient in diagnosing psychiatric disorders and formulating an effective treatment plan including targeted medication therapies, psychotherapy and possibly the use of neurostimulation or novel treatment. The psychiatrist journeys with you throughout your challenges and stays as your responsible healthcare professional coordinating care with other mental health allies.
What’s the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a psychotherapist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises further in psychiatry to provide diagnosis, plan treatment using prescription medication and psychotherapy as well as neuromodulation to help patients achieve remission and wellness.
A psychologist is a professional trained in psychology and has attained at least a master or PhD in various domains of clinical psychology to provide assessments, diagnosis, treatment therapies and neuropsychological testing.
A psychotherapist is a title provided to any of the mental health professionals who give psychological therapies such as cognitive-behaviour therapy or psychodynamic therapy and journeys with their patients on their wellness.
What do I do if I need urgent support?
If you have met with crisis or are in mental health trouble, please head to the nearest A&E in Singapore which can provide mental health assessments or call the helplines like SOS. Otium offers walk-in for urgent psychiatric needs on evenings of Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Saturday mornings.
What should I do if I am worried about a relative or a friend’s mental health?
Read about mental health first aid and encourage them to get help. This is either through a referral from a GP or the polyclinic. Alternatively, speak to a counsellor.
Will people know I've been to a psychiatrist?
Your medical health records are private and confidential to you. You must provide written consent for your own records to be released in situations such as providing an insurance report or a specialist report. In Otium, privacy and safety are our utmost concern therefore your visits and medication records are kept confidential.
Should there be a need to collaborate with another psychologist, your consent is sought, and communication is kept to strictest privacy and a need-to-know basis only.
What are the treatments in psychiatry, and do they work?
Psychiatric disorders arise from the combination of biological changes in our brains and the stressful interactions we find ourselves with constantly. Symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, hallucination are related to chemical imbalance and thinking errors. Medication helps to correct the imbalance and talking therapy changes our faulty thoughts over time. It is important that you seek help early and your psychiatrist assesses your needs correctly to prescribe. Treatment takes time and does work.