Dr. Peter Forster

Psychiatry
San Francisco, CA
38 years experience male

Locations

Office

San Francisco, CA

Address

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

My office hours

Thursday: 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 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Risk Assessment: One of the key things that happens with mania is that the part of the brain that keeps watch for risky situations is shut down. This means that you tr... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Similar: Most addictions seem to affect similar brain pathways connected to the neurotransmitter Dopamine linked to pleasure. Some agents, like methamphetamine... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Stages of Change: Romance is pretty complicated... I was about to answer the question based on prochaska's stages of change... When it occurred to me that you really we... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 25-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Why?: There are many reasons for cold feet. Some people have a tendency to get cold feet when a relationship reaches a certain point (anxiety about being "t... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Support: Make sure that you have people in your life you can talk to about what happened and who can help you watch for tricky situations. Sometimes a support ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Cognitive / behavior: There are two usually linked strategies - one is cognitive (helping you to change distorted thoughts) and the other is something called progressive ex... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
No: Nothing works all the time. That is certainly true of these agents. For instance, if the blood vessels that are responsible for creating an erection a... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Drugs, therapy: Basically there are a number of effective treatments. And the evidence is that the more of them you use the better the odds of success: medications (t... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 73-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Could be: Without knowing more about why you are taking the medications i couldn't say for sure but it sounds like a good early response. Keep track of your moo... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Rare before age 9: The younger the age, the more difficult the diagnosis is. It is rare to make a clear and convincing diagnosis before age 9. Most people have first epi... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
In Moderation: Cimetidine inhibits gastric alcohol dehydrogenase, interfering with alcohol breakdown. Blood alcohol levels could potentially increase substantially. ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 29-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Probably not: But there are lots of things that can including stress. Which could be associated with flying.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Perhaps: All serotonin reuptake inhibitors (including venlafaxine) have effects on platelet aggregation and can cause various minor (mostly) bleeding disorders... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 27-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Short Term: You are stopping a medication that is sedating and has some immediate anxiety reducing effects (lyrica - pregabalin) and increasing the dose of a medi... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 20-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
No one answer: Benzodiazepines are complicated. There is nothing as good for treating acute severe anxiety. Some people are at risk for addiction, but it is usually ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 41-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Question not clear: I am not entirely sure what you are asking (what you mean when you say "dont fil taking it with 1 mg so i take it in half..."). But there is no proble... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Causes: Delayed sleep phase syndrome refers to a tendency to go to sleep late and wake up late. Shift work syndrome refers to any problem caused by the fact t... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 37-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Perhaps : Both medications affect serotonin. The combined use of agents that enhance serotonin activity should be undertaken with caution. Patients should be mo... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Probably OK: I am so glad that you decided to do something to improve your health. I can't quite make out what you meant by your current resting heart rate, but th... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
BuSpar (buspirone) Might: The evidence for passion flower is quite weak. And in general there is limited evidence for the effectiveness of any natural supplement for anxiety r... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 22-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Not likely: Olanzapine muscle spasms are often due to the effects of Olanzapine on dopamine. Sertraline would not help this problem. You should talk to your docto... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 23-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
No evidence: There is no evidence that rosemary tea helps anxiety. That doesn't mean it doesn't. But i wouldn't count on it.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 23-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Psychotherapy: There really aren't medications that work that well for depersonalization (although they may help if there is also anxiety or depression). Therapy wit... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
It all depends: How old is the woman and how young is the man. In any relationship the key issue is making sure that both parties are able to enter the relationship w... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Mood Disorders: The most common cause of mood swings is a mood disorder. Depending what you mean by a "mood swing" you could be talking about a mild form of bipolar. ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Not true: These days sexual addiction is considered a disorder for both men and women. At least in the medical community. In the non-medical world, of course, t... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Mood versus thoughts: Generally bipolar is a condition that primarily results in a disturbance in mood (mania or depression) - any psychotic symptoms (false beliefs, voices... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 20-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
They don't get well: The main problem is likely to be that the person doesn't get well. Stimulants can have some beneficial effects on some kinds of depression, but are ge... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Many things: Sexual problems are very common in women. In the United States, 40 percent of women have sexual concerns and 12 percent report distressing sexual prob... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Severity: Acute alcohol ingestion literally means that you have just drunk alcohol. Alcohol intoxication means that you have drunk enough alcohol that you are "... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 25-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
No: Alright, so that might be a bit strong, but really the odds against this being the case are so great that it would be hard to give you a real life exa... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Natural fear: It is natural in a situation that is causing anxiety to be afraid of people who you can't see. The brain is conditioned to be more afraid of things it... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
It can be subtle: Bipolar disorder has several features that make it hard to diagnose at times. Mood variability does not have to be dramatic (hypomania is one of the f... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Yes: Bipolarity is very strongly related to genetic inheritance. How it affects your life (the balance of good and bad effects of mood variation) may depen... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Yes: After you return to a normal weight your hair will return.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 42-year-old male asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Erectile Dysfunction: There are many reasons for a man to have trouble keeping or maintaining an erection. First, you should know that occasional difficulties are pretty co... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Happiness?: An interesting study done by a group of economists suggests that spending money on therapy was a much better way of improving happiness than spending ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Brain recovery: Amphetamines have powerful effects on your brain that generally take a few weeks to resolve (they are usually mostly resolved in a month, complete ret... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Focus of young: For a number of reasons sexual activity is much higher in young people anyway. For instance, hormone levels tend to stimulate interest. But also young... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 45-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Taper: Probably the only way of minimizing pain symptoms when withdrawing from opiates is to taper off. Many folks also prescribe tylenol (acetaminophen) to ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Loss of awareness: Dissociation is basically a loss of connection between different parts or aspects of your self. So you might feel that you are disconnected from your ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Level of care: Honestly there is considerable variation from place to place about how this works. However if you want to get a sense of how things "ought" to work yo... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Anger and Control: The effects depend on whether the stress causes irritability (easy anger and frustration) and whether the person feels that they have some control ove... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Stress: The key is how well do you adapt to the emotions you are experiencing. It is the combination of the stress that causes your emotional upset, the sever... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Often: The answer depends on the mental illness and the type of brain scan. But with most psychiatric disorders abnormalities in functional brain imaging can... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 44-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Depressed or anxious: The most common reasons for a sudden decrease in ability to think as quickly or sharply as you used to in someone your age are depression or anxiety. ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Possibly: There are a number of possible connections. The most important one is that any chronic disease (such as schizophrenia) is likely to make you more preo... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Consult: This can be one of the hardest things to figure out for a psychiatrist, so you should go see a psychiatrist as part of figuring this out. You may well... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
An assessment: There is no way of knowing that someone has schizophrenia without a comprehensive psychiatric assessment. All of the symptoms of the disorder can be c... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Peter Forster
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Mental state: Hypnosis or hypnotherapy are techniques for allowing the brain to enter a state of increased suggestibility and reduced anxiety. Everyone has some cap... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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

5
Recommendations
527
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
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