Dr Anshul Swami

Consultant Psychiatrist in Addictions and Adult Psychiatry


Dr Anshul Swami is a consultant general adult psychiatrist and specialist in addictions and substance misuse disorders at Priory.

He is certified by the General Medical Council as holding special qualifications and expertise in the management of addiction sciences/substance misuse disorders.

He holds specialist qualifications and has extensive clinical experience in treating patients with complex and severe drug difficulties (heroin and cocaine), harmful or dependent patterns of alcohol consumption, prescription medication problems, over the counter medication problems, club drug problems (which include the misuse of ketamine, mephedrone, GHB/GBL, legal highs and methamphetamines), chronic pain and resolving problems that other clinicians have found difficult to treat.

Dr Swami also sees patients that have inadvertently developed withdrawals or dependency to pain medication and sleeping (or benzodiazepine-type) medications, such as Valium®, after recovering from chronic pain, bereavement, operations, stress and long illnesses.

Dr Swami has worked in specialist stimulant clinics with young adults who are in their late teens and early twenties and are struggling with cannabis and club drug use. He has worked on inpatient residential drug detoxification units based at the Maudsley and Bethlem Hospitals, between 2003 and 2010.

Since completing his training (between 2010 and 2017), he worked in an NHS community complex care dual diagnosis service in North London, as a clinical lead. There he treated patients with combined, severe and enduring mental health problems and concurrent drug (including club/recreational drugs) and alcohol use. Between 2010 and 2014 he was the clinical lead and managed a detoxification wing in a large London prison.


He is certified by the General Medical Council as holding special qualifications and expertise in the management of addiction sciences/substance misuse disorders.

Dr Swami qualified at the world renowned Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry in London. Here, his broad and intensive training encompassed the assessment and treatment of adults with severe mental health problems including refractory depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia/psychosis, adolescents with mental health problems, older adults with mental illness and concurrent dementia, eating disorders (requiring community and inpatient treatment), severe anxiety disorders, addictions (requiring community and inpatient treatment), as well as specialising in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

He later specialised at the Maudsley and the National Addiction Centre in assessing and treating patients with severe addictions. He was also an honorary clinical lecturer on the Kings College London and Institute of Psychiatry Masters of Science in Addiction programme. He has also taught junior psychiatrists, GP trainees, GPs specialised in substance misuse problems and is up-to-date with clinical supervision training and doctor appraisal training.

During the course of Dr Swami’s training he has worked with a large cohort of patients from black and ethnic minority groups who found it difficult to approach and engage with traditional mental health services.


  • Approved under Section 12 of the Mental Health Act 1983, 2006
  • General Medical Council Specialist in Addictions/Substance Misuse Disorders, 2010
  • General Medical Council Specialist in General Adult Psychiatry, 2010
  • Masters of Science in Addiction Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry at the Maudsley and King’s College, London, 2009
  • Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych), 2006

The first step is to recognise that, despite your best efforts and with support of loved ones, for some undiscovered reason, you are simply not recovering or able to move forward. Patients can feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, nervous and perhaps even sceptical about seeing a psychiatric doctor. This is sometimes due to the lack of understanding of what psychiatry is, or due to a public misconception about mental health issues, but can also be down to the depression, anxiety or other mental health  illness convincing you, with negative distorted thoughts, that there is no way out and nothing can be done.

The act of engaging in assessment and starting treatment can go some way to reversing these thoughts, and as treatment advances and patients start to feel better, they are glad that they made the decision to step into a doctor’s office to talk about how they are feeling.

I am well aware that it can take a few sessions before you are able to open up to a complete stranger and ‘unpack’ your struggles and concerns.

Before seeing me for your initial medical assessment, it may help for you to sit down and write, in bullet points, what has been happening to you in your life recently, how you are feeling, how you are affected in your personal and work lives, and what you feel will or won’t help you.

If you are on any medication or have been diagnosed with any health problems, it’s helpful to bring the medication, over the counter medication and any hospital/GP letters, to the appointment.

The assessment takes the form of an introductory discussion, followed by a structured consultation, in which I will ask you lots of questions in a simple, conversational style. As well as exploring your symptoms and possible triggers, I will enquire about:

Your physical health

Medications you are prescribed

Help you’ve sought before

Treatment you’ve tried in the past

Your relationships, childhood and later years

Enquire about you personality, your current work and private/family situation

If you find it too difficult to talk about some of these things we can explore those delicately at a later date, if relevant and helpful. It should be a safe environment where you are not judged and can discuss any subject.

We will discuss the treatment options available, the pros or cons of each treatment path and how this may progress in the short to long term. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything we talk about because it is my job to answer your questions and address any worries in future follow-up appointments.

I usually see patients by themselves first, but collateral information provided by a friend or family can be crucial.

If I determine that you need specialised psychological treatment or talking therapy, I will refer you to the most appropriate person/therapist. Often the best treatment plans are those that combine medication and a talking therapy.

Once the assessment is complete, I will discuss various treatments and then see you for as many outpatient appointments as needed.  We will also discuss how often we should ideally meet to monitor and review your treatment and how many more sessions you might need.