Fear of psychiatrists is still deeply rooted in many people. It used to be commonly believed that psychiatrists were doctors whom “ordinary” people did not visit. Therefore, a visit to a psychiatrist was considered stigmatizing and therefore very embarrassing. A psychiatrist is a doctor like any other. You don’t hesitate to visit your doctor when you have physical pain, do you? You shouldn’t hesitate to do so when you experience pain and mental health problems. Read about a visit to a psychiatrist, find out what questions you can expect, and stop being afraid!
FIRST VISIT TO A PSYCHIATRIST
A visit to a psychiatrist is a natural consequence of problems that need to be addressed. As with all health problems, these problems will not disappear if ignored, they will only worsen. So what does the first visit to a psychiatrist look like?
First and foremost, it is a long and detailed conversation aimed at the psychiatrist getting to know the patient as well as possible. The atmosphere in the office itself is very friendly and calm.
How long does a visit to a psychiatrist last? The first visit is usually longer than subsequent ones. This is because on the first visit, the psychiatrist wants to get to know you as well as possible and have enough time to talk to you about yourself and your problems. Later, when he knows your story, visits can be appropriately shortened. Therefore, the first visit can take up to forty minutes depending on the problem and even longer, while subsequent visits may last only twenty minutes.
WHAT TO TELL THE PSYCHIATRIST?
You can prepare for a visit to a psychiatrist – then it will be a much less stressful experience. What to tell the psychiatrist? First of all, the truth. Remember that the psychiatrist is willing to help you and lying to the doctor is never a good idea. During your first visit, the psychiatrist will ask you a series of questions that will allow him to understand your problem as deeply and accurately as possible.
First, tell your doctor what brought you to him. Tell him about all your problems, doubts, or concerns. Tell him what led you to the situation where you decided to seek help. Remember and prepare your medical history – everything about the medications you take or have taken, as well as information about any visits to a psychologist or therapy with a psychotherapist. All of this can help the psychiatrist understand your problem very well.
Also remember that you have the right to ask questions! If something worries you, something troubles you, or you don’t understand something – ask your psychiatrist for more details.
WHAT QUESTIONS DOES A PSYCHIATRIST ASK?
The psychiatrist will ask you about all the circumstances of your report – complaints, problems or emotions that you come to him with. Questions may also arise regarding sleep and its quality, as well as problems with concentration, memory, and daily activity. They will also ask about your mood and fear, as well as the symptoms you report – how long they have been going on, under what circumstances they occur, and to what extent.
They may also inquire about your life situation – private, emotional, and professional. The psychiatrist may ask where you work, what your professional and family situation looks like. They may ask you about your parents and siblings, as well as your relationships – past and present.
Remember – you don’t have to answer all the questions. If you’re afraid to talk about something, feel embarrassed or uncomfortable – you don’t have to answer immediately, you can come back to it on subsequent visits when you feel more comfortable with the doctor. However, the more you tell the psychiatrist, the faster and better they will be able to help you.
You are completely safe – always keep that in mind. The psychiatrist, like every doctor, is bound by medical confidentiality.
WHEN TO VISIT A PSYCHIATRIST?
Everyone experiences some mental problems in their life – that is completely normal. Not all of these problems require immediate medical attention. On the other hand, never underestimate your problems – if you feel that you should seek the help of a psychiatrist, consider that it will be the best for you.
Remember that you can’t always assess your mental state properly, so sometimes it’s worth relying on the judgment of close people who want the best for you.
Visit a psychiatrist when you experience problems related to anxiety, depressive mood, social life, thinking, concentration or memory. Report also when you notice symptoms indicating the presence of psychotic disorders. For all these reasons, the following can be mentioned in particular:
- Constant sadness
- Thoughts of suicide
- Feeling of helplessness
- Feeling tired all the time
- Lack of motivation and energy to act
- Constant feeling of tension
- Constant fear and anxiety
- Avoiding contact with other people
- Fear of interaction with other people
- Disturbed forms of behavior or thinking
Don’t be afraid of the psychiatrist – it’s a doctor whose job is to help you deal with health problems that bother you. Let them help you.