About Psychiatry

Addiction is very often complicated by a co-existing disorder such as major depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or an eating disorder.  Most of these conditions will have their own symptom clusters that worsen the addiction, often triggering the individual to relapse repeatedly.  All of these conditions require appropriate assessment, diagnosis and treatment if there is to be any hope of a successful recovery.  This type of assessment is best done by a psychiatrist who can then also provide the necessary psychopharmacological treatment.  It is very common to receive antidepressant or anti-anxiety treatment starting very early in recovery and continuing indefinitely.  Once an individual has been started on medications, it is important to continue these until such time that a psychiatrist has discontinued them.  If you were prescribed medications while in inpatient rehab, it is very important to continue these after you transition to your outpatient treatment setting.  To abruptly stop your medications would predictably lead to a major destabilization that would easily result in a relapse.  It is better to at least see a primary care doctor to refill your medications rather than run out.  A primary care doctor is not a viable substitute for a psychiatrist though.  A psychiatrist that only spends 5 minutes with you is not a viable substitute for a psychiatrist that spends the necessary amount of time to get the full story and make a well thought out treatment plan.