Average Cost of Seeing a Psychiatrist
While the importance of physical health is not often overlooked, mental health is another issue. Although there has been an increase in awareness of mental health issues, we still have much work to do. Many times, the questions and uncertainties surrounding a visit to the psychiatrist prevent individuals from receiving the mental care they deserve.
So, how much does it cost to see a psychiatrist? The cost of seeing a psychiatrist will depend on factors such as where you live, your health insurance coverage, and your treatment plan. On average, your initial consultation with a psychiatrist will cost up to $500. After your first appointment, a visit to the psychiatrist will cost anywhere between $100 and $300.
Most psychiatrists charge on an hourly basis for patients that require recurring treatment. In addition to payment plans offered by many practices, your health insurance may help cover the cost of seeing a psychiatrist.
While the cost of seeing a psychiatrist may seem high, your mental health is of utmost importance. If you believe you need to see a psychiatrist, there are resources available to help cover the cost if mental health services are not included in your health insurance coverage.
What Does a Psychiatrist Do?
So, how does a psychiatrist differ from a therapist? A psychiatrist is a licensed doctor specializing in both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems. While a therapist can help you work through mental health issues, a psychiatrist can diagnose these issues on a much deeper basis.
Psychiatrists focus on mood disorders or abnormal thought patterns including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and more. Psychiatrists often use medical tools such as CT scans, PET scans, and blood work to diagnose their patients. If a mental health disorder is identified, a psychiatrist will use a variety of treatment methods including psychotherapy, prescription medications,
Signs You May Need to See a Psychiatrist
When it comes to mental health, there are a wide variety of ways to receive treatment. It is important to take your mental health and wellness seriously as it can gravely impact every area of your life. Some of the most common reasons individuals seek the help of a psychiatrist include the following:
- Panic Attacks
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Feelings of Sadness or Hopelessness
- Constant Anxiety
- Hearing Voices
Symptoms like these, and others not included on this list, can cause life to feel distorted and leave the individual feeling as if they have no control over their situation. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you must reach out to a mental health professional.
Cost of Seeing a Psychiatrist
Oftentimes the cost of seeing a psychiatrist is the primary barrier for many individuals who need mental health services. However, many psychiatrists understand the importance of their work and provide payment plans. This ensures that an individual can get the important mental health services they deserve.
How much does it cost to see a psychiatrist without insurance? The cost of seeing a psychiatrist without insurance will depend on several factors including your geographical location, treatment plan, and more. It is safe to assume that a consultation with a psychiatrist will cost around $500.
Following your first appointment, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 per visit, often charged on an hourly basis. In addition to the cost of your psychiatrist visits, you may have other expenses. Your psychiatrist may recommend additional testing such as bloodwork, CT scans, or PET scans to rule out neurological disorders or diseases.
The potentially high cost of seeing a psychiatrist often prevents individuals from receiving the help they deserve! If you are unable to afford psychiatric services, it is important to ask the psychiatrist’s office if they offer payment plans or discounts for individuals without health insurance coverage.
Does Health Insurance Cover a Psychiatrist Visit?
Fortunately, many individuals have some level of mental health coverage included in their insurance policy! All health insurance policies that are part of the Affordable Care Act are required to include mental health benefits. It has been estimated that up to 90% of employers also include mental health benefits to their employees.
However, this mental health coverage may have restrictions. Like any other medical care, you must find a psychiatrist that accepts your coverage plan. Additionally, copays and deductibles still apply to mental health services. You can learn more about if your health insurance covers mental health treatment here.
Alternatives to Seeing a Psychiatrist
Psychiatrists are not the only professionals who can help you work through a mental health issue. Fortunately, other alternatives may be more affordable or effective depending on your unique situation.
Consider Telebehavioral Health Services
One of the greatest resources of modern technology is the introduction of telebehavioral health services. Many times, an individual facing a mental health crisis is unable or unwilling to visit a physical location. Through telebehavioral health, these individuals can receive the professional help they deserve in the comfort of their own home!
Telebehavioral health services are beneficial for individuals suffering from substance abuse, depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns.
Contact Your Pastor for Counseling
Although some mental health disorders require medication or professional treatment, others can improve through Biblical counseling. Many outreach ministries can provide you with resources on how to find a licensed counselor in your area.
If you currently attend a church, it can be hard to admit your need for mental health services. However, reaching out for help is a sign of strength! Contact your pastor for counseling on matters such as depression, anxiety, or addiction.
Work to Improve Your Brain Health
Whether you are facing a mental health crisis or not, there is nothing more important than maintaining your brain’s health. Maintaining your brain’s health through a healthy diet, exercise, and supplements will help in your fight for mental health!
Look Into Group Therapy
If working with a psychiatrist is simply not in your budget, a group therapy session may provide the same benefit at a fraction of the cost! Additionally, the community a group therapy session offers is incredibly valuable as you fight for optimal mental health. Group therapy sessions are often offered through psychiatrists, counselors, or outreach groups.
Differences Between a Psychiatrist and Neurologist
Are psychiatrists and neurologists similar? While both these professions address matters of the brain, they are much different in the scope of their practices. Although psychiatrists and neurologists follow similar training at the beginning of their careers, their specialties are determined during residency.
Neurologists focus on brain disorders that create cognitive and behavioral abnormalities. Neurologists deal with brain diseases and disorders such as strokes, Parkinson’s, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis, to name a few.
Psychiatrists, on the other hand, focus on mental health disorders that affect the mood or thought patterns. Most times, the mental health issues that a psychiatrist treats do not manifest themselves in physical symptoms. Some of the most common mental health concerns that psychiatrists treat include schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, and more.
One interesting fact about psychiatrists and neurologists is that they both have to earn professional certification through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. This exam ensures that the doctors have a full understanding of both psychiatry and neurology. While these mental health professionals will specialize in one area of brain health, they must understand the overlap between the two practices.
You can read more about the cost of visiting a neurologist here. If you are unsure whether you should visit a psychiatrist or neurologist, your primary care physician can provide you with a referral to the correct practice.
Get the Help You Need by Visiting a Psychiatrist
If you believe you are suffering from a mental health issue, you must reach out to a professional such as a psychiatrist. As a licensed doctor, psychiatrists can diagnose, address, and treat a wide variety of mental health concerns.
Many individuals are hesitant to reach out for mental health care services. It is important to destigmatize the importance of mental health. In fact, mental health should be just as important as physical health!
The cost of seeing a psychiatrist can seem like an insurmountable barrier. However, there is a good chance that your health insurance will cover at least a portion of your mental health care expenses. If you are unsure of your mental health coverage, contact your health insurance provider or employee benefits administration team.
In addition to providing you with insight into your mental health coverage, your insurance company will also be able to point you to psychiatrists who accept your policy. If you need mental health services from a psychiatrist, you must get the help you deserve!
How much does it cost to see a neurologist? The cost of seeing a neurologist varies depending on your location, the clinic, and your insurance coverage. However, you can expect a visit to the neurologist to cost anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the type of care you require.