Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

seeing a psychiatrist?

Hi everyone 


a few years ago when I was struggling a lot with anxiety, I was prescribed a medication by my GP. I find taking a medication very confusing because it’s hard to tell if it’s working, if I need to change the dose, if it’s the right medication for me, etc. sometimes I think it’s not working but then I worry I’m expecting too much of the medication. sometimes I have a bothersome symptom and I don’t know if it’s a medication side effect or something else or maybe I’m just imagining it. 


recently I decided to (carefully, with GP advice/monitoring) stop the medication altogether and see how I feel, to maybe get some clarity for all those confusing questions. to be honest, the negative ‘side effects’ haven’t really gone away, and I feel very fragile, heavy and cry all the time now. it’s disheartening because I worked very hard with a psychologist this year so I thought I would feel better than this...


anyway, maybe that means I should go on a medication again. the question I want to ask is, would it help if I saw a psychiatrist, and how do I go about seeing one? does it cost money? I have never seen a psychiatrist; it has always been my GP helping with my medication. I’m wondering if maybe a psychiatrist would have more expertise and may have some better guidance on what to do next. I am not really sure what they do since I have never seen one.

Re: seeing a psychiatrist?

Hey @lemurien,

It might help if you saw a psychiatrist, they can be helpful for some. I think they just have more expertise in diagnosis and medication? You could ask for a referral from your GP I think. I think it depends who you see for whether it costs. Honestly, the healthcare system confuses me. I think if you're seeing a community mental health team you can see a psychiatrist for free? But if you go private it costs? I'm really not sure, it might be worth asking your GP about the process.

Personally, I've found some psychiatrists helpful- it really depends on who you get. Some are really understanding and talk through your history and will suggest medication that you might like to try next and discuss what the process would be. Some aren't as good, as with all professionals, I think it's about finding the right fit, if that is an option (you don't get much choice with the public system, but there are good ones there too)

When you see a private psychiatrist- I'm not sure if it's even private, what even is our healthcare system. Like when you get referred to someone by your GP and it's not through some community mental health treatment thing, medicare will cover some of the cost for you. So it is subsidised

And you can find psychiatrists in youth mental health centres that cost less, or are free under the mental health plan. There are a lot of options, it might be worth talking to your GP about this

Re: seeing a psychiatrist?

Hello @lemurien, sorry to hear about how you have been feeling fragile and crying a lot recently. It sounds like things have been tough for you lately. It's great that you have been seeing a psychologist for support throughout the year, have you had the chance to talk to them about how you are feeling and what has been going on for you lately? It sounds like it might be helpful for you to get some support/advice from a psychiatrist around your medication and any side-effects. As LSE5 said, I would also recommend having a discussion with your GP around seeing a psychiatrist for further support as they should be able to discuss some referral options and local services that are available to you. You might be able to arrange to see a psychiatrist that works within the public mental health system which might mean that fees, waiting lists, and services available to you are different depending on who you see. Also, depending on where you live some Headspace services offer support from psychiatrists to those under 25. It might be worth getting in touch with a local Headspace service and asking what options are available to you too. I hope you find this to be helpful Heart

Re: seeing a psychiatrist?

hello guys, thank you for your replies <3 it has been a while since I’ve been on here, I hope you’ve been well space explorer!


it sounds like the process of getting in touch with a psychiatrist is almost as confusing as the medication itself Smiley Tongue But that’s kind of what I expected. @Sophia-RO I like the idea of contacting headspace because they’re usually quite kind and make the process seem less scary. I think I’ll get in touch with them after xmas. 


Unfortunately the psychologist I was seeing left a few weeks ago, so I can’t speak to her anymore (I was seeing her at a low cost through the uni clinic bc she was working toward her PhD, and her placement ended). I’m not sure whether to seek out another psychologist or not; I did want to see if I could manage by myself. 


hmmm, I’ll continue to ponder this psychiatrist business. my GP is great but I get the impression a psychiatrist would be able to chat more in depth with me about this stuff? 

Re: seeing a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist will definitely be able to help talk you through this sort of stuff @lemurien Smiley Happy Because they have more experience with psychiatric medication, they'll also have a bit more expertise in what might work best, be able to pick up on when your medication might not be working, as well as prescribing/managing you medication in such a way to reduce side effects etc. 


Headspace is a pretty good port of call for all this sort of stuff though! From memory they have GPs at a lot of their offices, who might be able to get you in contact with a psychiatrist who suits you, just because they would have contact with so many 

Re: seeing a psychiatrist?

thank you @Andrea-RO , your reply felt really reassuring. since all this medication stuff confuses and stresses me it would be amazing if a psychiatrist really could help. I feel like my GP and I have been sort of stumbling around in the dark and every time I have an issue he says to try increasing or decreasing the dose, and then I do so and I’m not even sure I can tell the difference. then once I asked a psychologist I was seeing about something med-related and she gave conflicting information to what he gave?? so I just really want some clarity!! 

Re: seeing a psychiatrist?

Glad to hear that you have been feeling reassured @lemurien. I can understand how all of this can be confusing and stressful, especially when you have heard different things from different professionals. A psychiatrist should certainly be able to help you out with managing the right medication dosage for you. I hope that you get a chance to see one soon (if that is what you are thinking of doing) and that they can give you some clarity Smiley Happy

Re: seeing a psychiatrist?

Hey @lemurien 


I hope you had a good Christmas and Boxing Day Heart

How are you today? 


I think the advice everyone else gave on here so far is really good Smiley Very Happy

From having a sister who has gone through all of these similar experiences, at least from what I've seen, a psychiatrist has helped her a lot. She's been on certain medications and lowering or increasing the dosage, and there's always a little bit of an adjustment period where you have to watch her closely, but all in all, I can say she has felt much better since getting advice and support from her psychiatrist. I think she was also lucky to have found a really good one too.


Let us know how things go if you choose to ask your GP for a referral Heart We're all here for you and to give you comfort and advice Smiley Very Happy

Re: seeing a psychiatrist?

Hi @lemurien, I'm sorry that you are experiencing these negative feelings and might need to go back on your medication. I can understand your feelings about taking medication since I'm currently taking antidepressants and sometimes have similar thoughts about whether it works and whether I should stop it. Anyways, I think seeing a psychiatrist can definitely help because I think they have more expertise and knowledge around which medication fits most in the case of mental disorder. When you are seeing a psychiatrist, you can ask him about the side effects of the medication and then next time you won't be confused about that.

Re: seeing a psychiatrist?

hi guys, thank you for sharing your experiences Smiley Happy


I ended up ringing headspace and they said they wouldn’t get back to me for 1-2 weeks. So while waiting for them I talked to my GP too. he says that most mental health stuff can be done through the GP and a psychiatrist isn’t really necessary unless your case is complex, but I can still see one if I want. when headspace get back to me I will still ask them about it anyway because I am still curious about it since you guys have mentioned some positive experiences. 


It is tough at the moment because a lot of services are closed for the holidays. after talking to my GP i really felt like I needed someone to talk to more in-depth about everything, but my uni health clinic is closed so I cannot see a counsellor through them. it is really difficult at the moment but I’ll just have to wait it out for a bit I guess!