U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free

Dr. Peter Forster

Psychiatry
San Francisco, CA
37 years experience male

Locations

Office

San Francisco, CA

Address

211 Gough Street, Suite 211, San Francisco, CA
Directions

My office hours

Wednesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Show more

About

Bio

I am interested in people with mood disorders (depression, bipolar) and people with anxiety (especially posttraumatic stress). I am on the faculty at UCSF. I have a passionate interest in working to fight stigma against mental illnesses. I have a blog entitled MoodSurfing.com that talks about my long interest in helping people live creatively with moods.The clinic that I work at has its own webpage - http://www.gatewaypsychiatric.com/dr-peter-forsters-practice.

Specialties
Doctors may have more than one area of specialty interest. Board certification in a specialty area means the doctor has completed formal training and has practice experience in that specialty, and has passed the certification examination from the corresponding accredited medical specialty board.

Psychiatry

Licenses

United States: California

Languages spoken

English

Doctor Q&A

275 Answers
42 Agrees
The number of answers this doctor has agreed with.
A 18-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Maybe a long time: Some people have anxiety symptoms that more or less never stop. The answer for you will depend on the diagnosis. Is this an adjustment to an acute eve... Read More
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Yes: There shouldn't be a problem. Although i obviously couldn't give you specific advice without knowing more about which medication specifically. Talk to... Read More
A 25-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Varies: The severity of withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (venlafaxine) varies greatly. I had one patient who stopped 300 mg with no taper and had no symptoms.... Read More
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Perhaps: Abilify (aripiprazole) could lead to concentration problems. The tricky issue is that the condition that you are taking Abilify (aripiprazole) to trea... Read More
A 60-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Finding Psychiatrist: You don't say what kind of doctor but i will assume a psychiatrist because you mention xanax (alprazolam). 1. If you have insurance ask them for a lis... Read More
A 20-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
See your doctor: Some of the symptoms you describe could be caused by a type of seizure called a focal or partial temporal lobe seizure. For more information you can... Read More
A 22-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Not ADs: There are many reasons for lousy orgasms, but if you have been off your ads for a while they are not related to the problem. Perhaps your mood is wors... Read More
A 44-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Maybe: Generally yoga, including forms of hatha yoga, are helpful for anxiety. There is not enough information for me to comment specifically about anusara y... Read More
A 36-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Don't know: You are taking multiple medications that impair brain function. Whether this is safe or not is going to be pretty variable from person to person. You ... Read More
A 51-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Talk to your doctor: You should talk to your doctor but if you have been taking it for only 2 weeks it should be fine to stop it. Depending on the side effects you're expe... Read More
A 23-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Get Help: If you are writing in your anxiety is probably pretty bad. It will help to get an assessment of what type of anxiety you are having. Some kinds are ty... Read More
A 39-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Hypersomnia: This change makes me wonder about the possibility that you might be either taking a medication that is causing you to sleep more, or that you have a s... Read More
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Therapy can help: You need to find a good therapist who is experienced in treating depersonalization and dissociation. You may want to contact your local branch of the... Read More
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Bulimia and anorexia: The main subtypes of eating disorders are bulimia (usually periods of overeating followed by periods of restricting or vomiting to avoid weight gain, ... Read More
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Yes: Rewiring the brain is how we learn things, and how we change behavior of all kinds. We strengthen certain connections between neurons (brain cells) a... Read More
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Congratulations: I am sure it was hard work but you should feel good about your success. The key to not gaining the weight back will be awareness. Unfortunately your b... Read More
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Probably not: Anything is possible.... Since there is no universal definition of a positive test for marijuana (how much needs to show up to be positive), it could ... Read More
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Starving & other: The symptoms of anorexia are mostly related to starvation or malnutrition. They can be quite severe including heart failure, loss of bone strength, de... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Probably: The kind of getting mad that is particularly problematic is a chronic fuming anger. So if you get mad and express yourself and you are done with it th... Read More
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Unusual connections: Schizophrenia is a disease of unusual connections in the brain. It means that your brain makes connections between things that others wouldn't ordinar... Read More
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Physical & behavior: The two terms don't really have a medical meaning but the main differences between frequent use and problem use of drugs are physical and mental. Phys... Read More
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Maybe: This is one of the most common questions people ask when they come in for treatment. There is no good answer because it depends on the nature of your ... Read More
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
No memories: A "blackout" refers to a period of time when someone is drunk and alcohol prevents the brain from storing long term memories. The person is conscious... Read More
A 33-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Not good: Higher doses of Ambien (zolpidem) don't really seem to be significantly more effective but are associated with increased adverse effects. If 10 mg isn... Read More
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Loss of Inhibition: When people have a manic episode they seem to shut down the inhibitory parts of the brain (the parts that recognize risk, that monitor for poor decisi... Read More
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Maybe: It depends on what you mean by sexually suppressed. If you mean children raised in conservative homes that discourage early sexual experiences but don... Read More
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Normal: Many people have more frightening dreams as young children than they do as they grow up. Maybe what happens is that our brains are gradually better ab... Read More
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
No: Although it was often said that marijuana was not associated with tolerance and dependence the evidence is now pretty clear that it can be associated ... Read More
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Perhaps: For most people on a low estrogen formulation of the oral contraceptive, it is the Progesterone component of the pill that is most associated with dep... Read More
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Yes: In some people , artificially reducing brain serotonin will induce a depression episode which can have all of the symptoms you describe.
A 48-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Therapy: One of the goals of therapy is to understand the transference (feelings that come up in therapy that have to do with the past experiences of the patie... Read More
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Worth a checkup: You are right that just simply not being hungry is not something to ignore. There are several possible reasons. There could be a medical condition aff... Read More
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Probably: There are many patterns to drinking. Some folks drink heavily (binges) on the weekends, some people drink steadily throughout the week, a few people d... Read More
A member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Perspective: I imagine that you are spending a fair amount of time thinking about this. Get some more perspective from others - talk to friends or other trusted pe... Read More
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Don't worry: If there is nothing else going on one sleepless night should not have much of an impact on you. In fact my personal experience, and several studies, s... Read More
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Perhaps: If you are taking a benzodiazepine or similar sleep medicine there could be a transient increase in anxiety when the medication wears off. The same th... Read More
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
It certainly can: The most common reason these days for insomnia is the failure to "wind down" from the daytime activities and thoughts. In part this is because we have... Read More
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Talk to your doctor: Depression that is significant and that lasts more than a couple of weeks should be evaluated by a doctor. He or she may want to refer you for psychot... Read More
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Usually yes: If you are basically health, and you take the medicine as prescribed, and don't combine it with other drugs or alcohol, or use one and then go out dri... Read More
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Unlikely: The main symptoms of primary, gradually developed, adrenal insufficiency are - chronic malaise lassitude fatigue that is worsened by exertion and ... Read More
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Rarely: This is an unusual response to an anxiety medication. So it makes sense to consider other possible causes. If something is causing anxiety, that could... Read More
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Not cure: There are two very small double blind studies that show that inositol may be helpful in reducing the severity and frequency of a particular kind of an... Read More
A 25-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Practice: This is an excellent question. Thanks for asking. 1. Get support (talk to a good friend). 2. Begin talking about easier feelings (build confidence). 3... Read More
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Ask: There are many possibilities. Maybe she is shy, or had a bad experience, or is upset about something... The worst thing to do is to get upset about it... Read More
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Good Luck with That: I am 54 years old and I am still having trouble getting my mother to be ok with the profession i chose. There really isn't a way to get someone to be ... Read More
A 26-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Prevention: There isn't much to be done once you get that tense. But prevention can be very helpful. For many folks mindfulness training, meditation or yoga can h... Read More
A 42-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Absolutely: In fact that would probably be a pretty common cause of that feeling. Talk to your doctor, and get some help and an assessment of what is going on.
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
No: Of course there are lots of mood meds and they don't all work the same, but in general the answer is no. A word of caution, it is wise with most moo... Read More
A 39-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Get an Assessment: You need to see your doctor and get an assessment to see if you are suffering from depression. One of the key problems for people with depression is a... Read More
A 47-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Maybe not: Psychiatry is the medical specialty which deals with brain disorders that are mostly about connections between parts of the brain and about how the ce... Read More

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions, provide medical advice, write prescriptions, and more.

Ask doctors free
Answer emailed
in 24 hours or less

Testimonials
Recommendations and Thank you notes are endorsements given from patients or other doctors.

5
Recommendations
526
Thank you notes
Dec 2, 2012
I am delighted to endorse Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF, Peter L. Forster MD. He is a superb psychiatric diagnostician and psychopharmacologist. I have referred patients, friends and person...Read More
Nov 3, 2012
Excellent diagnostician, psychopharmacologist, and great understanding of systems.
HealthTap member
May 7, 2016
I am taking antidepressants since 15years I feel excessive sleepiness at daytime & lethargy please suggest treatment.
HealthTap member
Dear Peter, It is well past time that I insist to you that you are not pretty good at persuading me that you are not an exemplary physician. Given all the negatives, that is to say that you are a sup...Read More
HealthTap member
Thank you, your answer or tip was very helpful! I will keep this on mind. I read up on this and will be trying to tapper off the Effexor onto Prozac :-)
HealthTap member
Thank you you have calmed me down I tapered a.little cause I realized those few times I also took during the day cost me still a.lil.scared.

Education & Training

Medical/Graduate school

UC San Diego School of Medicine, CA
Graduated 1985MD

Awards

Best Doctors in America
Top Psychiatrist, Second Place, San Francisco Region - Spring
2014
HealthTap Founding Doctor

Affiliations

Gateway Psychiatric Services
Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry UCSF
90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions, provide medical advice, write prescriptions, and more.
Answer emailed
in 24 hours or less