First time at the Psychiatrist

January 5, 2023

What happens on the first visit to a psychiatrist?

First off, congratulations on making it this far. It is scary to ask for help, especially when you are vulnerable, and you are doing amazing! It's completely normal to feel nervous about making an appointment with a psychiatrist or any other mental health professional. It can be intimidating to talk about personal issues with someone you don't know, and you may be unsure about what to expect during the appointment. However, seeking help from a mental health professional can be a very positive step in addressing any mental health concerns you may have.

Here are a few things that might help you feel more comfortable:

  • Make a list of your concerns: It can be helpful to write down your thoughts and feelings before your appointment. This can help you organize your thoughts and better articulate what you want to discuss during your session.
  • Find a mental health professional who you feel comfortable with: It's important to find a mental health professional who you feel comfortable talking to. If you don't feel comfortable with the first person you see, don't be afraid to try someone else. It may take a few tries to find the right fit.
  • Remember that confidentiality is important: Mental health professionals are bound by strict confidentiality laws, which means that what you discuss in therapy will not be shared with anyone else without your consent.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions: If you have any concerns or questions about your treatment, don't be afraid to ask. Your mental health professional should be able to address your concerns and help you feel more comfortable.

Overall, seeking help from a mental health professional can be a positive step in addressing any mental health concerns you may have. It's okay to feel nervous, but remember that your mental health is important and seeking help can be very beneficial.

During the first visit to a psychiatrist, you can expect the following:

  • The psychiatrist will ask about your medical and psychiatric history: This will include questions about your symptoms, your overall health, any medications you are taking, and any past psychiatric treatment you have received.
  • The psychiatrist will conduct a physical examination: This may include taking your vital signs, such as your blood pressure and pulse, and performing a general physical examination to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
  • The psychiatrist will perform a mental health assessment: This may involve answering questions about your mood, thoughts, behaviors, and functioning. The psychiatrist may use a standardized assessment tool, such as a depression or anxiety scale, to help identify any mental health concerns.
  • The psychiatrist will discuss treatment options: Based on the information gathered during the evaluation, the psychiatrist will recommend a treatment plan, which may include medications, therapy, or a combination of both. The psychiatrist will also discuss the potential benefits and risks of each treatment option.

It's important to be honest and open during your visit with the psychiatrist. The more accurate information the psychiatrist has, the better they will be able to diagnose and treat your condition.

Will the psychiatrist ask me about my trauma or how my parents treated me growing up?

It is possible that a psychiatrist will ask about your past experiences, including any traumatic events you may have experienced and your relationship with your parents. This information can be helpful in understanding the possible causes of your symptoms and developing a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.

However, you are not required to disclose any information that you do not feel comfortable sharing. It is important to remember that you have the right to privacy and to decide what you want to share with your psychiatrist. If you are not comfortable discussing certain topics, you can discuss this with your psychiatrist and decide together what information is relevant to your treatment.

Related Psychiatric Providers

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This article was published with assistance from a language model trained by OpenAI.

Psychiatric appointment with a provider and a patient