Anxiety and Depression Support
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When would you need to see a psychiatrist?


I am asking this question because quite a few people seem to have contact with psychiatrists and Community Psychiatric Nurses etc.

I have been struggling with depression for many years and have had counselling, CBT and regularly take anti-depressants (I have had various ones over the years). I am really struggling at the moment and never seem to be getting anywhere. I stress about everything and now get anxious. I have spent the last week off work, curtains drawn, not wanting to see anyone or them see me and not answering the phone etc. I feel such a failure and cannot cope with life. I have felt sucidal a few times and this all seems to be getting worse every year. I now have physical problems ( fibro,IBS, arthritis) which make the situation worse and now on a stage 3 disciplinary at work and may lose my job!

I am known to the CMHT and have been seen by the CRISIS team but I have never seen a pychiatrist or a CSN. My GP is a good listener and says his job is to help me to get better but he just keeps upping my meds and offering counselling. I appreciate there is no magical wand but this does not seem to be working. I try meditation, yoga, mindfulness but its the physical problems that now impact on daily life and then I cannot function and let everyone down, then get stressed, anxious, depressed and worry because we cannot survive financially if I do not work so then end up feeling suicidal.

My hubby has read books to try and understand but he thinks I may have bi polar because I have periods when I am not depressed and I am positive, go out spending and feel that if I am well dressed, buy items to make house nice etc.. all will be good with life, I can be the old me and have a good life, but it never lasts and then I crash!

Any advise as to what else can I do?

4 Replies


You certainly are a brave and strong person in taking steps to find help; this is such a positive quality in your personality. You are right, there are no magical wands to wave and make all things better, but there are so many positive things, or things to be grateful for, that we can try to focus on more. I like positive psychology; it focuses on the positives in your life instead of the “problems.” Have you seen a positive psychologist? Also, finding the right psychologist for your specific needs could take some shopping. Not all psychologist will be a fit for you. Keep “shopping” for that perfect person who helps you.

When should you see a psychiatrist? Only you can answer that question. A psychiatrist is basically a psychologist who can prescribe medications. A psychiatrist may be better than a general doctor at prescribing the proper medication, and more advanced at finding ones that work better for you. I suspect if you are thinking about seeing a psychiatrist, perhaps you should look into it.

Are you saying it is your physical issues that may be causing your depression? If so, are doctors aggressively pursuing relief for your Fibro, IBS, and Arthritis? Controlling these physical issues may go a long way in helping with your depression.

You mentioned that you cannot live financially if you lose your job. Is this also a cause for your anxiety and depression? Have you considered looking into gaining disability if your conditions are preventing you from working? However, if you did that, I would recommend seeking a hobby that makes you happy and relieves stress, and may not be a bad idea even if you are working.

Do you have any pets? I have done some research into Emotional Support dogs, or another such animal, and there has been much success in this program. If you are interested, I could get you some more information.

I certainly mean no disrespect towards your husband, but a diagnosis of bi-polar must come from a doctor. With that said, I am sure your husband is trying to help, and that shows his love for you. You are a strong woman, you can get through this, and with a little help, all will be right as rain one day. Please know you are not alone, your symptoms are typical, and many share them with you.

Please, suicide is not the answer, if you are having a bad day, week, month, or year, please call 1-800-273-8255 to gain some relief as often as you need.

Take care,


1 like

Seeing a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner/counselor (they can prescribe drugs) would help you. My GP does listen but she can only do so much. I was admitted to the hospital in January and was very glad to have a psychiatrist help me - take me off one med that wasn't working and place me on one that seems to be better. Just FYI, most psychiatrists will only spend about 15 minutes with you, so you need to go in prepared with presenting your issues - think about your mood each day and any side effects of the medicine that are giving you problems. The more issues you have with a medication, the more likely you are to stop taking it.


I know I already answered, but I wanted to come back and see how you are doing. Another thing that you might consider is an outpatient program in which you can see a person who specializes in treating both bipolar and major depression. It may also be helpful to have your husband go in with you and point out any symptoms that you think are just "normal" but really are out of character for you. Hormonal issues can also seriously impact how you feel. I truly hope that you find someone who works with you and for you. Remember that you can change doctors without feeling guilty about hurting feelings - this is a professional relationship. You are allowed to want better "service." You are allowed to take care of you the way you would want someone to care for your mother or sister. Depression can make us feel like we are worthless - but the truth is that you are priceless.

1 like

Thanks for the replies.

My GP has increased my anti-depressants and I will try counselling again. Occupational Health are going to speak to me again but I will probably be eventually dismissed from my job as I am still in my probation period and have had so much time off work. I can apply for PIP but not very hopeful as people say its very hard to get.

I am out of bed, eating and drinking but need to keep my mind switched off as I cannot think about anything as I get stressed and go downhill quickly.


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