Although mental health is increasingly debated, there is a lot of stigma surrounding the topic. For many, seeking psychological or psychiatric help is something “for crazy people” or “weak people”.
Dealing with stress, depression and anxiety were challenges even before the covid-19 pandemic. Now, after a long season in social isolation and the threat from the coronavirus, the search for this type of care has grown and, little by little, the stereotypes are undoing.
In the office, psychiatrist Rodrigo de Almeida Ramos observed an increase in the number of cases of anxiety, panic syndrome and OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: “Unquestionably cases of anxiety and its clinical consequences such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and phobic anxiety disorders”.
In the expert’s analysis, the pandemic has greatly altered people’s expectations regarding the future. “When it emerged, nothing was guaranteed for people. The job that was secure was no longer guaranteed, the health itself, as well as that of family members, was not guaranteed and life itself was no longer secure. This generated a generalized situation of stress . From stress to anxiety disorders, it’s a leap,” he points out.
THE psychiatry is the medical specialty that takes care of the brain part related to behavior. “It is true that we take care of major changes in behavior that generate peculiarities compatible with what is popularly called madness. Situations that break with reality or even conditions of severe agitation. But the psychiatrist also takes care of conditions such as depression, anxiety or situations of poorly prepared mourning. To think that a psychiatrist only attends a madman is equivalent to thinking that an ophthalmologist only assists those who have completely lost their vision or that a cardiologist only consults with a heart attack”, explains Rodrigo de Almeida Ramos.
Psychiatric and psychological care can take place simultaneously and one area complements the other. “Today there is a consensus in the specialized medical literature that associating psychotherapy with the use of medication has a much better effect than the two approaches alone. Therefore, situations in which the psychiatrist does not refer the patient to the psychologist and vice versa are rare” , emphasizes the mental health specialist.
How and when to seek help from a psychiatrist?
In some cases, those who are already undergoing psychotherapeutic treatment may need some specific medication to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, among other pathologies. Thus, many psychologists rely on the help of a doctor to prescribe, specifically, a psychiatrist.
But from what point do I need to seek help? “When you observe that you have changed. That life has lost its charm, that your concern for the future has become excessive, so that you have lost spontaneity, well-being and the ability to act as you always did”, analyzes Rodrigo de Almeida Ramos .
The psychiatrist lists some situations in which the patient may need help:
– When changes appear in the way the body should function, in such a way that the person starts to sleep badly;
– Change in the way of eating, being able to eat very little or present compulsion;
– Loss of libido;
– pains on body, tachycardia and shortness of breathe that are not explained by general medical conditions.
When getting help, the person regains the quality of life and the motivation to move forward.
The search for psychotherapy, with psychiatric treatment, will prevent poorly elaborated emotional issues from re-emerging in the medium and long term.
Free psychiatric care in São Paulo
Free medical care in Brazil is provided through the SUS – Unified Health System. For mental health, it is no different.
In São Paulo, those who need psychiatric care will be welcomed by CAPS – Psychosocial Care Centers.
However, the patient must first schedule an appointment at a UBS or health center in the region so that a general practitioner, pediatrician or geriatrician can make a referral for free care at one of the units.
The website of the city of São Paulo offers a list with the address and telephone number of all CAPS in the capital of São Paulo; .