Psychiatric Services

Psychiatric disorders that are often seen by the psychiatrist at the Student Counseling Service (SCS) include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders. The psychiatrist endorses the biopsychosocial model for treatment of psychiatric disorders. The biopsychosocial model proposes that all psychiatric disorders have biological, psychological and social causes. A psychiatric evaluation will involve trying to understand how these different factors contribute to a student's symptoms. Students must be referred to the psychiatrist by a counselor at SCS or a therapist in the community. Alternatively, a student must be referred by a physician at the Student Health Service or a physician from their hometown.

It is often recommended that the student be in counseling when he or she is being prescribed medication. In addition to counseling, certain environmental changes may be recommended by the psychiatrist.

Substance abuse issues will be addressed at each session. Some students may not be prescribed medication unless they control their substance use.

Poor sleeping and eating habits are also addressed. A student may be given information on how to improve his or her sleeping habits. Some students may not be prescribed medication if they are severely underweight.

Family issues are often explored. A student may be asked to fill out a release of information to speak with his or her parents. The psychiatrist may not talk with a family member unless a student signs a release of information.

ADHD

ADHD is treated using the biopsychosocial model. Treatments can involve behavioral modification, environmental changes, and medication. Problems with inattention and distractibility can be caused by many factors such as substance abuse, anxiety, poor sleeping and eating habits, and poor study skills.

When first diagnosed with ADHD, a student may work with a therapist on improving organizational skills, study habits, or sleep hygiene. A visit to the Rinella Learning Center is often recommended. If stimulants are indicated, then students will be required to follow specific procedures, which include a medical evaluation and monthly appointments. Lost prescriptions will not be replaced.

Medications used for ADHD are not approved for the enhancement of studying in people that do not meet the criteria for ADHD. Therefore, medication will not be prescribed for people who do not have ADHD.