The word psychiatry means the medical treatment of the soul. Dr. Ryder says this speaks to the breadth of care that can be provided in psychiatry – caring for the mind, body and soul.
Why he enjoys the mental health field.
You can use a wide variety of education and understanding and apply it to helping patients. Dr. Ryder’s goal is to master the doctor/patient relationship, stay up to date on psychiatric science and research and continuously advance the care I provide so my patients can live with a higher quality of life.
On how he helps patients.
“If someone is still living in a tornado of struggles, difficult to describe a tornado while you’re still in it.”
Dr. Ryder helps patients identify their needs – sometimes they need education and support, and sometimes what’s affecting them is biological, psychosocial or social. Every aspect of their life can impact their mental health. If symptoms are impairing the person’s ability to go about everyday life, then there could be an underlying condition or issue that needs treatment.
“A mental health diagnosis requires there to be an issue – emotional regulation or motor impairment, for example – and that condition must cause impairment. It could be a degree of internal suffering, social conflicts, or trouble balancing work and personal life. For example, many people who live with depression can only experience feelings of extreme sadness. It’s like a musician that only listens to F sharp… people need to be able to hear all the notes in order to live fully.”
On How People Can Learn to Regulate.
My goal is to always eliminate any impairment in function, and in order to do that, looking at the person’s emotional state is the first step.
Dr. Ryder says that people can inadvertently learn to strengthen their anxious feelings and responses by ignoring them.
“Often times we review a simple model where we look at every situation in a triangle. Each area of the triangle individually represents the patient’s feelings, behavior and thoughts. From there, we look at what we can control, and what we can’t. If it’s an environment that is unhealthy for the patient, we explore how we can improve the environment or leave it altogether. It can sometimes be a series of questions until you find the answer… if you can’t sleep, could the solution be diet and exercise before medication?”
Dr. Ryder also shares mindfulness techniques with patients, teaching them how to notice their physiological reactions and skills to cope and calm themselves down.
“Each emotion and thought are tied to an impact on the body. For example, stress response could be your heart beating too fast. I share tools with patients so they can notice their thoughts, not change them, and then change their reaction to each individual thought.”
Why He’s Passionate About Mental Health
While Dr. Ryder has always maintained an interest in the neuroscience of psychiatry – he’s particularly drawn to the prevalence of mental health issues and how he can help people.
“It’s incredibly common for people to wrestle with periods of mental illness. 1 in 2 Americans within their lifetime could be diagnosed with a mental health condition. And, within just a 12-month period, 1 in 4 people can be diagnosed with a mental health condition. The impact far reaches just themselves: it impacts their family, children, communities, and the world.”
Technology: the Bad – But the Good, Too.
If you ask Dr. Ryder about how technology impacts our mental health – his answer will be mixed.
“Social media may not always be helpful… but in moderation, it can help people stay connected to family and friends. We saw this during Covid-19 lockdowns – where social media is many people’s lifeline, helping to keep them out of isolation and in communication, giving people a sense of normalcy in an odd time.”
Although, the negative side of social media is that people can be tempted to compare the reality of their daily life to someone else’s social media posts, which typically represent only the positive about their lives.
“Most likely, someone’s social media posts do not give you information about what they’re struggling with. You’ll see vacations, family photos, and the ‘good stuff’ which can further the image of perfection, and our general wellbeing.”
Patients and communities have greatly benefited from the popularization of telemedicine. So, in this aspect, added technology has increased access to mental health care. In addition to all our providers at Elite DNA Therapy Services, Dr. Ryder can see adults and children who live in Florida virtually in the comfort of their home.
“Teletherapy can further normalize seeking mental health care to patients. Many people like in-person or a combination of both in-person and virtual care, however, virtual appointments add a level of comfortability and privacy for our patients.”
When it comes to deciding to delete all your social media or switch to virtual-only appointments, Dr. Ryder encourages everyone to make the decision that will benefit themselves individually.
In Your Words, How is Psychiatry Different than Psychology?
Psychiatrists are physicians who went through the same medical training as other physicians and are specialized in psychiatric medicine. Psychiatrists also may have some training in individual and/or group psychotherapy, but typically psychiatrists do not deliver psychotherapy as they did in the past or in the same way as a licensed social worker or clinical mental health counselor.
In contrast, Psychotherapists have expertise in various modalities of treatment that cover thought, behavioral and emotional interventions.
Psychiatry and psychotherapy very much go hand in hand.
If you’re a new psychiatry patient, you can expect to be assessed by your physician and receive initial recommendations on discovering a diagnosis and/or treatment of symptoms from a mental health condition. A psychiatrist may prescribe psychotherapy, medication or lifestyle changes.
On Why He Likes Being a Part of Elite DNA Therapy Services
We operate with a team mentality. Dr. Ryder notes that he and his team care a lot about the patients, and as a result, receive a lot of positive feedback about the care received.
“The cross-team collaboration is excellent. Therapists are great at communicating with the psychiatry team for our patient’s care, so comprehensive, coordination of care is something we’re focused on providing.”
How Do You Create an Optimum Environment for Patient Care?
When it comes to sharing any details about Dr. Ryder’s life with patients, he treads carefully. Even if a patient is asking him about his own personal experiences.
“I may share a limited detail, really, once in a blue moon, if it could help the patient. But first I always ask myself for what purpose am I sharing something. Often times, it’s a question back to the patient, asking them ‘what prompted you to think of that?’ Being curious and taking time for your patients can have an amazing impact.”
Dr. Ryder also pointed out that he’s very detail oriented when it comes to his office environment. He tries to stay as neutral as possible, from the art on the walls to the clothing that he wears.
“I try not to wear clothes that are obviously branded. It’s a detail that I’ve personally learned over the years in being a psychiatrist, but you never have the hindsight into what someone has experienced prior to them walking in the door. Keeping a neutral space is something that can help the patient feel comfortable and safe expressing their concerns.”
And the art on the walls? The décor in his office? “It’s all been purposefully selected and placed.” It’s all based on nature, because Dr. Ryder says that our brains love nature. So even the items in Dr. Ryder’s office are a tool to ensure the patient has a great experience.
“Our society we have a lot of things that are not natural – but there are still blessings. The brain wants a nice warm breeze, sunlight, a relaxing walk, security and shelter when the elements are untoward. It’s important for us to have self-compassion and give ourselves those things – even in limited quantities.”
Speaking of, What’s Something We Can All Do to Improve Our Daily Life?
Remember that it’s about steady progress – it’s not a race, it’s a marathon.
“For some patients with severe anxiety, I’ll say ‘please go out your front door. You don’t have to do anything but stand or sit there for 5 minutes.’ In combination with other treatment, many people come back and say, ‘I feel so much better already.’ Then more progress happens. They take a few steps down the driveway. Then down the street. Then down the block. Sometimes one act of self-care can seem so small but have such a positive impact. It’s my job to encourage that, bit by bit.”
With anxiety, or any mental health condition, please know that you are not alone. Our team will meet you where you are at and develop a care plan that is right for you. Elite DNA Therapy Services is the leader in Florida for providing affordable, accessible, and quality behavioral and mental health care services. We have 20+ offices and offer state-wide virtual care services as well. We accept nearly every insurance plan, offer self-pay and sliding scale for established patients. For more information, click here to find your nearest location or contact us.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency or suicidal ideation after hours please immediately contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
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