What is a psychiatrist?

  • A psychiatrist is a medical doctor focused on mental health.
  • Psychiatrists can help find out what is causing distress, can diagnose, and treat mental health issues. Treatments can include both therapy (supportive therapy, CBT, etc.) and medication (medications for anxiety, depression, sleep problems or other mental health conditions).
  • A psychiatrist who works in ‘psychosocial oncology’ has special training in the examining and treatment of mental health issues among patients living with cancer.

Why use a psychiatrist?

  • You may be sent to a psychiatrist if your family doctor, surgeon, or oncologist feels it would be helpful to have a better  look at your mental health issues (such as anxiety, depression or sleep problems). You might also see a psychiatrist if you are feeling so stressed that it is hard to cope with illness and its treatment.
  • Patients are often sent to psychiatrists when mental health issues are long lasting, complicated, or if medication and therapy might help.