What treatment will I receive?
Many people know of psychiatry from the books they have read, the movies they have seen and from stories they have heard. Most will have seen reports of asylums from the past and of scandals in Australia and overseas in recent times.
Treatment always involves talking to people. This is also called counselling and involves listening to problems, clarifying causes of stress, and allowing emotional upset to be relieved. It may be necessary to talk to family members, wives, husbands and children to assist in understanding the problems and providing the best treatment.
Medication may be of use for certain problems however drugs will only be prescribed if absolutely necessary. Many people can become dependent on medication and this is then an extra problem for them. All drugs have side effects and the decision to use them means that the advantages of their effects outweigh any unwanted side effects. My aim is to assist patients to understand, manage and overcome their problems as effectively as possible.
Psychiatrists are obliged to respect their patients right to information being confidential and to safeguard the privacy of all information discussed in their assessment and treatment. The psychiatrist must always try to balance what is best for a patient giving full consideration to the interests of family, the community and the requirements of the law. I will not discuss information with anyone else without my patient’s permission. When concerned relatives wish to talk to me about a person I request that they ask my patient’s consent beforehand. In emergencies relatives may contact me about their concerns at any time. Particular issues arise when assessing and treating teenagers, which means that parents and/or carers will be needed to provide what is called “collateral information” (with the teenager’s consent).
If I require information about a person from other sources I will obtain their consent to request this. I will not complete any reports or reply to requests for information without my patient’s written consent.
Prescriptions should be requested at time of consultation. However, should you run out of medication please contact your local general practitioner or make an appointment with my receptionist.