Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Difficulty seeking help

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We have been trying to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist for my father for a while - he started behaving very abnormally only recently, never had any issues before. But the closest appointment we could get is two months away, and a wait list for another doctor. They also tell us we need to talk to a case worker first, and then visits with a therapist, before we'll be admitted to see the psychiatrist (this is calling multiple psychiatrists, same answer). My dad's condition is getting pretty serious and severely impacting his life and the family's as well. The hospital tried to help us schedule a psychiatric appointment but they couldn't do much either. I was just wondering, is it normally this difficult to schedule psychiatric appointments? A lot could happen in two months and all we're hoping for is to be able to somehow manage in the meantime.

Answer
Yes, it is difficult.  We psychiatrists are now as rare as hens teeth, I am afraid.  You might try a neurologist or a geriatrician.  If he does anything dangerous, take him to an emergency room of a hospital and just simply refuse to take him home -- sometimes you have to force these issues -- the hospital might try to frighten you with "abandoning" an elderly person, but there is not such law -- there are only laws about putting a disabled person in danger, and bringing him to an emergency room and refusing to take him home until you get an answer is not placing him in danger.  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.

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Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

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