Psychiatry is a branch of medicine and psychiatrists are primarily concerned with the treatment and prevention of what are commonly referred to as mental disorders. Unlike psychologists, psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors, psychiatrists have a background in medicine and as such will have a general training in medicine before go on to specialise in psychiatry.
In the United Kingdom, psychiatrists have prescription rights to offer certain medications (“psychopharmaceuticals” or “psychotropic medications”) that are commonly prescribed for psychological difficulties. Your GP may also prescribe the more commonly used medications for psychological difficulties, such as antidepressants or anxiolytics (medications prescribed for anxiety) however individuals that are experiencing difficulties that require a more specialised knowledge (such as marked fluctuations in your mood, extreme “highs and lows” or “ups and downs”, or seeing or hearing things that others aren’t) are often referred to a psychiatrist.
Not all people find the terminology of ‘severe and enduring mental health problems helpful’ – experiences such as psychosis or the set of experiences that may receive a diagnosis of bipolar – and indeed these types of difficulties do not necessarily require an appointment with a psychiatrist or psychotropic medication. Our psychiatrists will always consider the most suitable treatment for your particular needs which may or may not be medication. Throughout treatment we will always discuss a referral from a psychiatrist to a psychologist or from a psychologist to a psychiatrist should we think this is necessary – this will be done in a transparent and open way with yourself.
During your initial appointment with one of our psychiatrists, you will be asked about the particular difficulties that you are experiencing, about your life circumstances – including your relationships, life history and current work or education – and this information will be used to formulate an opinion with regards to your difficulties. After this assessment, our psychiatrists may prescribe a medication or they may recommend one of the other treatment options available at Psychology Sussex. You may also be encouraged to attend a review appointment since if you are prescribed a medication it is important to closely monitor your progress and make sure that the medication is having the desired effect and that you are comfortable with this process.
Our psychiatrists will work collaboratively with you to formulate a treatment plan that is most suited to your needs. We are also happy to work alongside other organisations such as your GP or community mental health team.
At present, we are not currently able to offer appointments with child psychiatrists from Psychology Sussex however it is still worth making contact with our service to discuss getting the best service for your child. We also work alongside child psychiatrists in the area and so can refer you to a child psychiatrist should this be deemed necessary.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of appointments with one of the psychiatrists at Psychology Sussex, either for yourself or someone that you know, then do not hesitate to make contact with the team at Psychology Sussex now.