Find a psychiatrist

Glossary

paediatrician
A medical doctor who is an expert in children’s health. Paediatricians can help children with mental health issues such as autism, sleep problems, ADHD, and other behavioural and developmental problems.
palliative care
A panic attack is where you suddenly feel extremely fearful, in situations where others would not be afraid. You might have a racing heart, find it hard to breathe, or feel sweaty, dizzy, shaky or like you might vomit.
panic disorder
A type of anxiety disorder. Someone with a panic disorder has repeated panic attacks, which seem to happen for no particular reason, and then worries a lot about having more panic attacks.
PBS
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Australian Government program that reduces the cost of most medications.
peer worker
A health professional with lived experience of mental illness. They provide hope that change is possible and can help you to understand and make sense of your experiences.
perinatal depression
A type of depression that affects new or expecting parents. Also called postnatal and prenatal depression.
personality disorder
When someone’s personality traits become extreme and cause distress to the person and to others.
phobia
A type of anxiety disorder. If someone is very fearful of one particular thing or situation, they might have a specific phobia. People can have phobias about things such as animals, heights or getting an injection.
power of attorney
A legal document that lets someone else make important decisions on your behalf.
private health insurance
Insurance to cover private hospital stays and some other medical costs.
private practice
When a specialist doctor works for themselves in their own rooms.
psychiatric hospital
A hospital that cares for people with mental illness.
psychiatric medication
Medications that act on the brain and nervous system.
psychiatrist
A medical doctor who is an expert in mental health. Psychiatrists are specialists in diagnosing and treating people with mental illness.
psychoanalysis
A type of psychological treatment. A specialised, more intensive form of psychodynamic psychotherapy, which usually involves several sessions per week.
psychodynamic psychotherapy
A type of psychological treatment. Psychodynamic psychotherapy can help you to see your behaviour patterns, defences, and inner struggles. The idea is that once your inner struggles are brought to light, your behaviour and feelings will improve.
psychoeducation
Education about your own illness or condition that will help you to manage symptoms and make good decisions about your treatment.
psychogeriatrician
A psychiatrist that specialises in illnesses of older people.
psychological treatment
Sometimes called "psychotherapy"’ or "talking therapy". It involves talking about your thoughts with a professional. Evidence shows that psychological treatments work well for emotional, mental and behavioural issues.
psychologist
Health professionals who are experts in the way people think, feel and behave. There are different types of psychologists. Clinical psychologists have special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. They are the type of psychologist you are most likely to see for help with a mental health issue.
psychosis
A mental state where someone has problems thinking clearly, controlling their emotions and knowing what is real and what is not.
psychotherapy
Another word for psychological treatment.
psychotropic medication
A drug that acts on the brain and nervous system. Also called "psychiatric medication".
PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder. A mental illness that comes after an event where a person is exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence. The person has intrusive memories of the event, which affect their physical and mental health, relationships, work and daily activities.
public system
The part of the health system that is funded by the government.