FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO I KNOW IF I WOULD BENEFIT FROM A VISIT TO A PSYCHIATRIST?
The decision to see a psychiatrist is not a simple one. If you have concerning mood symptoms that are related to one or more significant stressors in your life, then this may be a normal reaction that will likely be resolved on its own. The key to seeking psychiatric treatment is the presence of long-term mood symptoms refractory to lifestyle changes and therapy and independent of stressors. In addition, certain purely organic brain conditions such as schizophrenia, various dementia, or bipolar disorder can lead to psychiatric symptoms that will require pharmacologic treatment. Here are a list of situations and symptoms that will benefit from psychiatric treatment:
experiencing long-term refractory depression
Severe depression causing significant dysfunction or accompanied by suicidal thoughts
Obsessions and compulsions
General anxiety that has been long-term and has been refractory to long term therapy/counseling
Psychotic symptoms including auditory/visual hallucinations, paranoid thoughts, or bizarre ideation
Severe anger issues refractory to intervention
Substance Use disorders with comorbid mood issues
Suspicion of or previous diagnosis of ADHD/ADD
Past experience of trauma with current exacerbation of nightmares and anxiety
Suspicion of developmental disorder or autism in children/adolescents
Presence of Mania (periods of elevated mood with decreased need for sleep and alteration of behavior and thinking)
Dementia and Cognitive difficulties
Keep in mind that though some of these conditions may improve to a degree with counseling or therapy, the key to seeking psychiatry is often determined by severity, degree of dysfunction and length of the illness. Other conditions that are purely organic brain abnormalities require medications.
WHAT IF I AM NOT SURE AND HAVE RESERVATIONS ABOUT SEEING A PSYCHIATRIST BUT FEEL THAT IT MAY BENEFIT ME?
If you feel that you may benefit from a psychiatric visit, you may always book an initial appointment for consultation to discuss your history. If long term followup is not necessitated, we can make recommendations and advice on further care.
WHEN IS THE PAYMENT DUE?
As outlined in our payment page, payments are due at the time of service and prior or immediately subsequent to your visit with your provider.
I HAVE AN INSURANCE PLAN. HOW CAN I KNOW IF I CAN USE THIS. WHAT CAN I DO?
For our patients with insurance plans, we will be able to provide proof of payment receipt by the end of the week of your visitation. This can be directly submitted to your insurance company by you and depending on your insurance company, you will be able to get a refund or partial payment equivalent to other clinics that accept insurance plans.
WHAT IF I AM IN A CRISIS AND NEED AN APPOINTMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WHAT CAN I DO?
We do our best to accommodate our patients in crisis. In such event, despite possibility of wait list, we will attempt to squeeze you in as a patient to be seen as soon as possible. Please inform us regarding the details of your condition. Please keep in mind that if your safety or safety of others are in jeopardy, you need to present to emergency facility immediately.
WHAT IF I HAVE A CHILD/ADOLESCENT THAT NEEDS HELP BUT DOESN'T WANT TO COME?
In cases of minors, the decision for psychiatric care and the consent for treatment is legally put on the parents/legal guardians. If you feel that your child is presenting with concerning symptoms, you can seek treatment despite their unwillingness. Our clinic aims to establish rapport and alliance with our patients which may include reluctant individuals. Our ultimate goal is to treat based on what is beneficial to the patient.
IF I BRING MY CHILD, DO I SIT IN THE APPOINTMENT THE WHOLE TIME OR DO THEY TALK TO THE PSYCHIATRIST ON THEIR OWN?
In cases of minors, it is pertinent that part of our psychiatric evaluation be done with the minor alone. If the minor is uncooperative or reluctant, the decision may be made to defer on interviewing patient alone. We usually try to honor the wishes of the patient with as much regard to the wishes of the family.
WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING A LOT BUT AM VERY HESITANT ABOUT PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATIONS?
The most important aspect of treatment as a patient is to be willing to present and get help. We highly honor our patient's individual wishes and reservations with regard to medications. Please keep in mind that in certain circumstances, medications may not be entirely necessary or may be deferred as first-line treatment. If you need psychiatric treatment, we recommend to book an initial appointment at which time, our psychiatrist can address all concerns regarding medications and may further educate you and ease your fears. If you consent to medications, we can initiate pharmacologic treatment but if that continues to be outside of the scope of what you desire, we fully honor that and will work with you in finding the best treatment.
WHAT IF I HAD AN EMERGENCY ON THE DAY OF MY APPOINTMENT, WHAT CAN I DO?
In the event of emergency please call us as soon as possible. We understand emergent circumstances and will attempt to reschedule you as soon as possible.
WHAT IF I CAME TO MY APPOINTMENT LATE?
Our clinic has policies regarding late appointments which are outlined in Policies and Procedures. If the patient informs us via phone contact and has made legitimate attempt to present timely and otherwise, does not have a pattern of repeated late presentation, we will try to accommodate, though patient must keep in mind that the appointment time may be reduced.
WHAT IF I MISSED MORE THAN TWO APPOINTMENTS AND FORGOT TO INFORM THE CLINIC?
Unless you have been in dire situation, depending on your individual case, such circumstance may jeopardize your further treatment at our clinic. Please refer to our Policies and Procedures under section "Late Cancellations or Missed Appointments" and "Right to Terminate Treatment".
I AM VERY SCARED ABOUT SHARING VERY PERSONAL INFORMATION. WILL THIS BE TOLD TO ANYONE OR SHARED WITH ANY OF MY FAMILY?
We highly honor our legal and ethical obligation in keeping your information entirely confidential and private. We realize the sensitive subjects that may be discussed in a psychiatric visit. By law, we are obliged to keep all your information confidential. We are only allowed to talk to individuals and entities that you give us written permission for. Under no circumstance will we discuss any private information with anyone. However, there are certain circumstances that will legally enforce us to break your confidentiality and privacy. For a complete list of these circumstances refer to Policies and Procedures under the section " Special Circumstances in Release of Private Information"
CAN YOU AUTOMATICALLY GET ALL MY HISTORY FROM OTHER PROVIDERS OR HOSPITALS?
We are unable to get any information from any individual, provider, or entity without your permission. We can only talk to a provider with you written permission and signature. All medical outpatient and inpatient facilities require written permission for release of information directly from patients. In cases of safety concerns or abuse of medications, HIPPA laws protect communications that occur in the care of patients amongst healthcare providers.
WOULD THERE BE SITUATIONS WHERE YOU WOULD INFORM OTHER INDIVIDUALS ABOUT MY PRIVATE PSYCHIATRIC HISTORY?
There are several circumstances that will legally necessitate us to inform certain individuals of your history. Refer to Question 12 or obtain a detailed list of these conditions in Policies and Procedures.
I HAVE BEEN GIVEN MEDICATIONS AND AFTER I TOOK THEM I STARTED HAVING SOME SIDE EFFECTS AND AM NOT SURE WHAT TO DO?
During your visitation, Dr. Rezaee will likely discuss expected side effects with you. However, if there is any concerns, please give us a call as soon as possible. In such case, our Medical Coordinator will discuss your concerns with our psychiatrist which will be able to relay directly or via staff to you what to expect and whether there is any further concerns.
HOW OFTEN WOULD I NEED TO VISIT THE DOCTOR?
The decision for frequency of follow-up visits is an individual one; however, the general rule is as you establish as a new patient with us, you may have more frequent visit based on the severity of your symptoms and the type of medications you are prescribed. Treatment with certain medications such as controlled substances require more frequent visits than non-controlled psychotropics. Overall, however, when you are stable and doing well, you can expect to be able to space your follow-ups every 3 months.
WHAT IF I WANT PSYCHOTHERAY AND COUNSELING?
Our clinic incorporates psychotherapy and counseling and see it as a pertinent part of your treatment. In such case, we will internally refer to our psychotherapist and if patients have financial issues, we can refer to our intern clinic or can refer to outside community care clinics.
WHAT IF I WAS TREATED WITH ANTI-ANXIETY MEDICINE (XANAX, ATIVAN, VALIUM) BEFORE AND WANT TO GET BACK ON IT?
Due to the addictive potential of these substances along with increasing misuse in community, we have established guidelines for prescription and usage of controlled substances. If you were prescribed these medications before, we would need records and collaboration from your previous providers. Collaboration may not only include past records but also phone conversations with your past providers. In cases where you are new to the class of medications but feel that it may benefit you, certain questions and criteria must be considered before prescription of such medications. As a treatment team, we regard the therapeutic and potentially beneficial usage of these medications and thus, given the individual cases presented to us we would be happy to prescribe these medications if they are deemed appropriate and potentially beneficial.
WHAT IF I WAS ON A CONTROLLED SUSBTANCE (E.G. XANAX, AMBIEN, ADDERALL) AND I LOST THE SCRIPT. WHAT CAN I DO?
It is the policy of clinic that under NO CIRCUMSTANCE can we fill lost, stolen, or misplaced scripts for controlled substances. Early refills are also not allowed and will not be filled. Scripts are only filled in appointment and cannot be requested via phone/email or any time outside of appointment with your provider.
WHAT IF I LOST A SCRIPT FOR A NON-CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE LIKE AN ANTIDEPRESSANT?
In cases of non-addictive, non-controlled medication, we will allow enough refill to last you till your next appointment. We will be unable to give repeat refills without you honoring and keeping up your appointment.
I WAS UNABLE TO MAKE MY APPOINTMENT AND HAD TO CANCEL. CAN I GET A REFILL OF MY MEDICATIONS?
If you cancel your appointment, you will be asked to schedule your appointment. In the meantime, we will be able to give you one additional refill lasting no more than a month of non-scheduled/non-controlled scripts till you can see us during a follow-up appointment. However, keep in mind that there are more stringent rules for controlled medications and under no circumstance can refills be allowed.
HOW LONG WOULD I NEED TO BE TAKING MEDICATIONS?
Duration of pharmacologic treatment is made on individual basis. However, in the case of a first time mood disorder such as depression which has not been recurrent, treatment can be last for 6 months after which discussions for possible reduction and discontinuation of medication can start. However, if you have had a recurrent, chronic psychiatric condition, this decision is much more complicated and your path to recovery may accompany relapse and risk of worsening of symptoms. Overall, we honor the desire of our patients to be off the psychotropic medications and will do our best to work with you in confines of what we consider therapeutic for you. In conditions such as Schizophrenia or severe chronic depression, life-long or long-term treatment is advised.
WHAT IF I HAVE AN EMERGENCY AND NEED TO CALL THE OFFICE BUT ITS AFTER HOURS?
If you emergency is life-threatening or your safety is a concern, then you need to call 911 or present to an emergency center as soon as possible. Otherwise, please call us or email us as soon as possible and leave a message or discuss your concerns with our staff.
IF I NEED TO TALK TO THE DOCTOR ON THE PHONE, IS THERE ANYTHING I NEED TO BE AWARE OF?
We see it as our obligation to address any of your medical concerns; There are times that these issues may be handled by our staff but other times, you may be directed to talk to Dr. Rezaee directly. Due to schedule and time constraints, as much as she would desire to have time with each patient, we are unable to accommodate long conversations. It is our goal to resolve any concerns or issues within 10 minutes. If your concerns are not addressed within 10-15 minutes, we will advise you to book a followup appointment. Any further discussion with the doctor following the 10-15 minute allotted time is subject to charge of $50/15 minutes. There are certain circumstances that will be individually discussed where such followup may be necessary but those will be noted during your appointment.
WHAT IF I WAS HOSPITALIZED AND MY MEDICATIONS WERE CHANGED?
After any acute hospitalization, you need to let us know as soon as possible and we will do our best to see within the 2 weeks after your discharge.
WHAT IF I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY BEEN ABLE TO COME OFF MEDICATIONS. WOULD I STILL NEED TO SEE A PSYCHIATRIST?
In cases where you were transiently or successfully treated for you condition and are doing well without any medications, we advise to conclude your visitation with us with the knowledge that our door is always open in the event that you have any difficulty. It is our ultimate goal to see all our patients achieve this result.
WHAT IF I WAS VERY UNSATISFIED ABOUT SOME ASPECT OF MY APPOINTMENT?
We treat our patients' concerns with utmost regard. If some aspect of your treatment or appointment left you dissatisfied, please feel free to discuss your concerns thoroughly with us before you make any conclusions. In most cases, misunderstanding or miss-communication can lead to unnecessary heartache that can be easily resolved. Our office staff is committed to not only delivering quality medical care but also attending to the needs of our patients. We will do our best to accommodate and address you concerns and hope to leave you satisfied and appeased in the end. For any such concerns please immediately call us or contact our management.
WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN A PATIENT FOR A WHILE BUT WILL BE VACATION FOR A WHILE OR MOVING PERMANENTLY TO ANOTHER CITY/STATE OR PROVIDER. WHAT CAN I DO DURING MY TRANSITION?
In such cases, our mission is to ensure that there is no gap in your medical treatment as such gap can precipitate withdrawal and worsening of symptoms. As a result, in such condition we will attempt to give as much refills to allow you a smooth transition. Please be aware that our maximum allotted refill will be three month supply. In the event that you are absolutely unable to find a practitioner, we will make an exception and extend this by an additional refill. We are not able to give any further refills after 4 months.
If you do not see your questions or concerns on this page, and feel that others can benefit from knowing regarding your particular question please email us and let us know your question. We will be happy to post your question with applicable answers on this page.