Who Can Prescribe Antidepressants?

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Who Can Prescribe Antidepressants

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Have you reached the point in your mental health journey where you want to take antidepressants but don’t know who to turn to? While antidepressant medication isn’t for everyone, it’s important to consult a mental health professional who is licensed to prescribe medications like antidepressants. That way, you can ensure you get the right care for your anxious or depressive symptoms.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can get a prescription and who’s qualified to prescribe antidepressants. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to start searching for the right healthcare provider.

At Klarity, we understand that navigating anxiety and depression can be overwhelming. You shouldn’t have to endure long waitlists or inconvenient commutes to get the care you need. That’s why we connect you with a licensed mental health provider online, right from the comfort of your own home. 

Take our brief self-evaluation, and we’ll match you with a provider within 48 hours!

Licensed providers on Klarity provide personalized treatment. Find a provider that matches your needs and preferences.

How to Get an Antidepressant Prescription

Antidepressants are a type of medication used to treat mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and some other mental health disorders. The only way to get a prescription for antidepressants is through a healthcare provider. Various healthcare professionals can prescribe them, but it is important to understand the different types of providers and their qualifications. 

See A Mental Health Professional

Not all mental health providers are the same. Each one has different specialties and licenses. Several types of mental health professionals can prescribe antidepressants, from primary care providers to psychiatrists. 

Primary Care Providers

Primary care providers (PCPs), such as family doctors and internists, can prescribe antidepressants and provide ongoing care. However, if your case is particularly complex or requires a specialist, you may need to see a psychiatrist to get the best mental health treatment. Your PCP can also refer you to a psychiatrist who can better address your symptoms. 

Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in mental health and are specifically trained to diagnose and treat mental illness. These healthcare providers typically work with more complex mental health conditions and can interpret your health history and current symptoms to select the right antidepressant medication.

Psychiatric Nurses

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are nurses who have had additional training in mental health or psychiatric nursing. These nurses have graduate-level degrees and can prescribe antidepressant medication just like a psychiatrist. 

Physician’s Assistants

Physician’s Assistants are state-licensed and nationally certified healthcare providers. They are medically trained and can develop care plans and prescribe antidepressant medication across the US. 

Use A Telehealth Service

Another option outside of seeing a provider in person is to use a telehealth service, where you can consult with a mental health professional online or over the phone. Telemedicine can be a convenient option for those who don’t want to wait a long time for their appointment or travel to a physical office to receive mental health treatment. 

Who Can’t Prescribe Antidepressants?

Not all mental health professionals can prescribe antidepressants. The following types of providers are not able to prescribe medications.

Psychologists

A psychologist typically has a master’s degree and can provide therapy services, conduct research, diagnose disorders, and supervise interns. However, they are not able to prescribe medications for mental health conditions. If you’re looking for different kinds of talk therapy, individually or in a group setting, they can provide counseling to help manage symptoms of mental illness.

Counselors

Counselors and therapists usually have bachelor’s degrees and cannot prescribe medication. Like psychologists, they can offer guidance, therapy, and coping strategies to help you navigate your symptoms and improve your mental health. 

Social Workers

While social workers cannot prescribe antidepressant medication, they can provide counseling, therapy, and other types of support. Often working with government agencies or non-profits, social workers can help manage mental health issues among individuals, communities, and families.

Can Therapists Prescribe Antidepressants?

Mental health counselors and therapists cannot prescribe antidepressants. However, the above mentioned professionals like psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, physicians assistants, and primary care physicians can. If your mental health counselor or therapist believes medication may be helpful, they can refer you to one of those professionals for further assistance. 

What Is The Difference Between Psychiatrists and Primary Care Providers?

While both psychiatrists and primary care providers can prescribe antidepressants, there are some key differences between the two. Psychiatrists are medical professionals who have completed specialized training in mental health and are specifically trained to diagnose and treat mental illness. They can provide medication management and ongoing care.

On the other hand, primary care providers are not specialists in mental health and may have a more general understanding of mental illness. They can prescribe antidepressants but may not be as well equipped to provide ongoing care or manage complex cases.

Remember that it’s also important to have a regular check-up with your primary care provider to ensure that the medication is not affecting other aspects of your health and to ensure you receive holistic care.

Meet With a Healthcare Provider Who Can Prescribe Antidepressants with Klarity

At Klarity, we work with providers who deliver exceptional care right from the comfort of your own home. You’ll be seen quickly, you won’t have to worry about any hidden costs or fees, and we’ll even ship any prescriptions directly to your door or preferred pharmacy. 

If you’re looking for depression or anxiety treatment that involves antidepressants, fill out our self-evaluation today. You deserve accessible care from an empathetic licensed mental health professional who will put your needs first.

Sources:

“Your Primary Care Provider Can Help Treat your Mental Health, Too” University Hospitals

https://www.uhhospitals.org/blog/articles/2021/03/your-primary-care-provider-can-help-treat-your-mental-health-too

“Psychiatrist” Cleveland Clinic

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22702-psychiatrist

Psychology.org Staff. “Counseling, Therapy, and Psychology: What’s the Difference?” Psychology.org

https://www.psychology.org/resources/counseling-therapy-psychology-differences/

“What is Social Work and What Do Social Workers Do?” University at Buffalo School of Social Work

https://socialwork.buffalo.edu/admissions/is-social-work-right-career-for-me/what-is-social-work.html

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Zoe Russell

Dr. Zoe Russell received a dual bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, pursued a master’s degree in public health from Michigan State University, and received her doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Michigan State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2021. Currently, Dr. Russell is completing her residency training in family medicine and hopes to specialize in female reproductive and mental health.

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