Psychiatry are medical doctors who are experts in mental health. They specialise in diagnosing and treating people with mental illness.

Psychiatry have a deep understanding of physical and mental health – and how they affect each other.

They help people with mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and addiction.

Psychiatrists assess all of your mental and physical symptoms.

They make a diagnosis and work with you to develop a management plan for your treatment and recovery.

Psychiatrists provide psychological treatment, prescribe medications and do procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy.

As part of their work, a psychiatrist can:

  • provide urgent care for a sudden mental illness
  • help you to manage a long-term mental health condition
  • provide advice about lifestyle changes
  • work with you individually, or with you and your partner, family or carers
  • provide second opinions and advice to other doctors and health professionals
  • refer you to other health professionals
  • admit you to hospital if required.

What can a psychiatrist help with?

A psychiatrist can be of particular help if your mental health condition:

  • is complex or difficult to diagnose
  • involves suicidal ideas or plans
  • is severe or happens suddenly
  • needs medication that only a psychiatrist can prescribe
  • isn’t responding to standard treatment through your GP (family doctor).

They will also offer practical advice about diet, sleep and other ways you can help yourself get better. They will provide you with information about your condition, which can help you to understand your symptoms and treatments.

Your psychiatrist will only suggest treatments that are proven to be safe and effective.

 

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