I can’t stress how important it is to find the right doctor.
At some point I may expand this page to get into how to find the right doctor. But for now it’s just going to be links to pages that will help you find a doctor. While the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t offer a doctor locator, they do offer a page of advice on choosing a psychiatrist. The American Academy of Neurology offers a page that explains what neurologists do. That’s the best I can for you for now.
Maybe you’re seeing someone now and need a second opinion. Maybe your current doctor just sucks. Maybe you aren’t seeing anyone at all. But if you’re reading this site either you or a loved one is probably in serious need of professional help.
Mental illness is not for amateurs.
A dilettante like me can offer plenty of explanation, advice and opinion, but it’s always going to come down to your working with the right professional to get anything done and done right.
You can’t just poke around websites and expect to fix yourself. It doesn’t work like that.
First you’ll need some tips on how to keep good medical records.
Along with tips on how to talk to your current or new doctor about your history and current symptoms and side effects from meds.
So here are the websites of various clinics and doctor locators that I trust. Try them yourself. This is all I can do for you in the way of referrals.
The Amen Clinic – This is where Mouse and I are treated. Our doctor, what more can you ask for? The best $3,000 we each spent was to get a fancy brain scan to tell us exactly what the hell is wrong with us. Clinics in Newport Beach and Fairfield California, Tacoma Washington and Reston Virginia. Dr. Amen has written a lot of books that you can take a look at as well.
NAMI – Call the NAMI helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm, Eastern time for a referral. You’ll probably first be referred to a local NAMI office, so you might just start there.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance’s Guide to Finding a Mental Health Professional – Primarily for mood disorders. Support groups, a brochure on how to pick the right doctor, doctors by insurance carrier and, best of all, patient-to-patient recommendations.
Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists – Not necessarily queer doctors, just “gay and lesbian affirmative.” It figures that not all US states and territories are covered. But they have Canadian and international listings.
The Neurology Channel’s Neurologist Locator – If you need a neurologist, this is where to start. If you’re epileptic you should already be working with one. But if you’re just working with a GP, you really should see a neurologist. If you’re bipolar and taking anticonvulsants (a.k.a. “mood stabilizers”) and your psychiatrist seems clueless about certain aspects of the meds, ask a neurologist! They usually have far more experience with all the wackiness of anticonvulsants.
American Academy of Neurology’s Doctor Locator – As above, but a different vector.
US Department of Health & Human Services Mental Health Services Locator – State-by-state guide to services and facilities, public, private and NGO. Covering mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention. This page won’t find you a doctor, but it will tell you about the hospitals and clinics, or people who will help you find a doctor.
AMA Doctor Finder – Need to find a doctor near where you live? Let the AMA help! You can search by location and specialty. This extremely handy tool will show you the doctor’s primary and any secondary specialty, where they went to school and had their residency. Includes psychiatrists, neurologists and doctors who do online consultations.
Naturopathic Yellow Pages – all over this site and over on Crazy Talk we discuss vitamins, minerals, amino acids and even herbs. These things can do a lot of good in supplementing your regimen of medications. In milder cases of some disorders (e.g. depression, dysthymia, ADD, panic/anxiety) these sorts of things may be the only magic beans you need to take along with your therapy and getting regular exercise. You are not qualified to make that decision. I’m not qualified to make that decision. No on one on this site is qualified to tell you what amino acids are really going to mix well with which meds for you. You need a pro. If your doctor is clueless, consult a Naturopathic doctor. If you can’t find one on your own, try this site. Also look into Uncle Sam’s sites on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Dietary Supplements.
Medline’s Big List of Referral Services – Just in case you need some other specialty.
Tips on finding the right pharmacist – because they’re just as important as your doctor is.
If you need help paying for your meds, Needy Meds has all the information on free and subsidized programs from the pharmaceutical companies. We’re just the crazy people, they’re the saints.
And, as always, ask the people in your support group about doctors.