One of the most important things any patient can o for themselves is be a good self-advocate. In psychiatry - perhaps more so than any other medical specialty - we rely on the patient self-report to impact treatment. As any good psychiatrist on the main line or elsewhere will surely tell you, we value the input of the patient. I tell all of my psychiatric patients in Wayne, Bryn Mawr, and Exton to be their own best advocate. Nobody is going to advocate for the patient more than they will and nobody can see what is going on inside a patient's head. If you are feeling a certain way, thinking a certain way or just generally have something on your mind: advocate for yourself! You'll be happy you did.
-Michael Silverberg, MD
One of the most interesting - and often variable - experiences I have as a clinician involves the other members of the patient's family. Whether a patient is suffering from Major Depression, anxiety disorder, Bipolar Disorder, substance abuse/substance dependence, or a psychotic disorder chances are excellent that there is a person (or persons) who are suffering right along with them and their illness. Here on the main line, my psychiatric practice has been colored not just by the patients I treat, but by the family members who love them into treatment. No that is not a typo. Family members must frequently love the patient into treatment. It takes love because the stigma surrounding mental illness often requires that the parent, spouse, or sibling of the patient often must overcome societal pressures to say "enough is enough" and bring that loved one into care. There is nothing more difficult than for a parent to make an honest assessment of their child and determine that yes, this child requires psychiatric care. When looking for a psychiatrist on the main line, whether you live in bryn mawr, wayne, paoli, or any of the other stops along the old R5 corridor, I hope you find a provider who is willing to treat the family as much as the patient, because it is often the family's love that determines whether the patient comes to treatment. Michael Silverberg, MD