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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What treatment style would benefit a chronicly depressed 50yo male?

    As a child I had a love hate relationship with my abusive father. I have seen several psychologists and have been taking SSRI's for 15 years but now I'm tired of feeling nothing, I'm emotionally flat line with little empathy for others. I really want to get off these meds and feel alive again- emotional highs and lows. I have difficulty relating to workmates, I have no real friends, I am emotionally distant from my mother and older sister, I'm stressed, depressed, angry, sad, fatigued and I'm a dad to a beautiful 9 yo son. I've never seen a psychiatrist and now I want to be properly diagnosed and work on a treatment plan. I want to get it right with my son and be the loving responsible emotionally grounded dad / primary male role model my son needs and deserves. How do I find a psychiatrist who specialises in personality disorders who doesn't have a 12 month wait for new patients? Please help?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    First of all, congratulations on deciding that you want a treatment plan - that can be the hardest step.

    Your GP should be able to refer you to a psychiatrist with specialist knowledge of personality disorders. A psychiatrist will also be able to review your medication with you and, depending, discuss other medication options with you.

    If your GP does not feel able to do that then you could search the BeyondBlue Web site ( for a GP in your area who has relatively specialised knowledge of mental health issues.

    Apart from that, often a combination of medication and non-pharmaceutical approaches is more effective for people with depression than either is in isolation (this has been my experience).

    Non-pharmaceutical approaches which I have found helpful are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

    A referral to a clinical psychologist who has experience of using either or both of those approaches when working with his/her clients could help you.

    All the best.


  • 2


    Dr Zhuang Miao


    Dr Zhuang Miao is a general adult psychiatrist and a Fellow of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Dr Miao works as … View Profile

    I am happy to hear that you have realized the problem and would like to make change for your son! Congratulations!

    Psychotherapy will be beneficial for you. ACT followed by long term psychodynamic therapy will be ideal. Medication will also help some of your symptoms. However, I would strongly suggest you to see a psychiatrist to clarify the diagnosis first. I am happy to provide assessment if any of my pracitice addresses is handy for you to come.

    Hope this helps.

  • 2


    Ritchie Wong


    Ritchie is a Psychologist and EMDR Practitioner in Melbourne who has been working with people of all ages from diverse cultural backgrounds who present with … View Profile

    I have seen a lot of patients like you who have felt they have not gotten anywhere with their psychological treatment. These patients tell me they have tried CBT, ACT, mindfulness approaches yet don't experience any long-term relief. I employ EMDR therapy with which I have had good success with my patients. It certainly isn't a new therapy but for some reason many people including health professionals seem to be unaware of it. EMDR is excellent for both childhood trauma as well as more recent trauma. In my experience, it works faster than some more conventional treatments and helps you resolve your issues once and for all. I had an abusive critical father and non-existent mother as a child so helping parents who want to break the cycle of dysfunction and become the parents they feel their kids deserve is something very close to my heart.

    Anyway I encourage you to have a look at my website ( for more information on EMDR. I would also be happy to answer your questions should you like to contact me.

    All the best!

  • 1


    Alex Blyth

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Ritchie,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. 

    Are you able to use diagnostic tools to finally identify my mood disorder? ie, borderline etc.?

    Do you accept patients with a referral from a GP, as I might be able to claim a gap by Medicare or my health ins. for your professional fees?

    I look forward to speaking with you soon,


    Alex Blyth

  • 1


    Ritchie Wong


    Ritchie is a Psychologist and EMDR Practitioner in Melbourne who has been working with people of all ages from diverse cultural backgrounds who present with … View Profile

    Hi Alex,

    I can help you form a diagnosis of your condition, and I do that through a variety of methods (not just diagnostic questionnaires). However, I believe formulating the right treatment which helps you get the results you want is certainly more important than just finding the right diagnostic label.

    To answer your other question, Medicare rebates (if you have a GP referral) and private health rebates do apply when you see me.

    Feel free to contact me through my website if you have any other queries.



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