What does a psychiatrist do?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in mental health. Alongside their medical training, a psychiatrist has also had specialist training to help people who are struggling with psychological issues. This means that – unlike psychologists – they’re able to prescribe medication which some people may need as part of their treatment package.
Why see a psychiatrist?
If you’re currently on medication, have been on medication in the past or we believe you could benefit from it, we may recommend that you have an initial consultation with one of the psychiatrists at the clinic.
There are a range of medications that can be prescribed to help people with mental health difficulties. The types of issues which can sometimes be helped by medication include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, psychotic disorders including schizophrenia, ADHD and personality disorders.
Just like physical health problems, medication for mental health difficulties needs to be prescribed by a doctor. Following your initial assessment, your psychiatrist will be able to provide these prescriptions or, if you prefer, we can arrange for you to receive them via your GP.
First psychiatrist appointment - what to expect
In your initial consultation, your psychiatrist will aim to get an understanding of the difficulties you’re facing, when they came about and how they’re impacting you today. They will also ask you about any physical health issues you have experienced in the past.
From here, your psychiatrist will draw up a tailor made treatment plan for you which is likely to include a combination of medication (delivered by your psychiatrist) and therapy (delivered by your psychologist). With your approval, they’ll also be in touch with your GP to ensure that both your physical and mental health treatment are aligned.
Follow up psychiatrist sessions
When you start on psychiatric medication, it’s important to have a follow-up appointment so your psychiatrist can check-in with how you’re feeling and see if you’re experiencing any side-effects.
Very often there will be a period of monitoring and dose adjustment as many of these medications take a while to reach their full effect.
We’re all unique which means we all have different responses to different medications. If you find that a particular medication doesn’t suit you, there are usually a number of alternatives which we will help you consider so that you find the one which works for you.
Frequently asked questions
Psychiatrist vs psychologist - how do I know which one is right for me?
How do I know if psychiatric treatment has worked?
Successful treatment will mean that you don’t suffer the symptoms anymore and that you no longer need to take the medication. This is always our goal with everybody that we assess and treat.
I have already seen a psychiatrist and they have given me a diagnosis - can I get a second opinion?
I’m already seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist outside of the clinic - can I still see one of your psychiatrists?
Yes, absolutely. There are many instances where we might work with a clinician outside of the clinic. Our team of psychiatrists will work alongside your existing psychiatrist or psychologists to ensure that your treatment plan is aligned and cohesive.