There is a lot of stigma around mental health. Unlike physical illness, mental illness is attached to a lot of shame that makes it difficult for people suffering from mental illness to seek help. Thanks to the increasing awareness among people about mental illness, people have started to acknowledge and normalize mental conditions and are breaking taboos.
If you are suffering from any symptoms of any mental illness and you have decided to seek help we would like to start by congratulating you on your road to recovery. Your first psychiatry appointment can be daunting for a lot of reasons.
You might have a lot of questions and doubts that you might not be comfortable asking others.
In this article, you will learn about what to expect in your first appointment and the mindsets to hold on to a fruitful session with the psychiatrist
What to Expect During Your First Psychiatry Appointment?
Self-doubt and Anxiety
This is a big step and not many might understand your decision. When the date comes near you might experience shame and loud inner criticism that might tell you that you are overreacting or seeking attention. You may doubt your choice to seek help and you might have the urge to cancel because you can take care of yourself. It is important to avoid such thoughts and believe in yourself. Be kind to yourself and tell yourself it is okay to seek help.
Walking inside the clinic is the toughest part about seeking help. This experience can make your condition worse and your fight or flight responses stronger. Think of why you made this decision in the first place. It will help to have a friend support you in this.
Questions from Your Psychiatrist
In your first appointment, your psychiatrist will ask questions about your background and situation to understand you better. Although you might feel the questions to be irrelevant, it is important to trust the process and have open communication.
Share in detail and avoid refraining from giving details or information. Sometimes in the first appointment, you might not discuss the existing problem but dive deep into your background and your habits. Do not be too soon to judge the process.
Extra Tests and Procedures
Your first diagnosis is where they will ask more questions and go through your background to know your situation better. There are chances that you might have to take further tests to have a specific diagnosis. Do not feel overwhelmed about the terminologies and names. Feel free to ask your doctor for clarifications and voice out your concerns.
Your first psychiatry appointment can be a scary experience. You will feel a lot of strong emotions but once you manage to step into the clinic and meet the doctor, it gets easier. You will feel relieved about opening up to your psychiatrist. You will feel safe in a non-judgemental place and your recovery will start looking feasible.
If you are fighting a silent battle and are skeptical about seeking help, understand that this is not your fault. Although there are a lot of stigmas attached to it, it is up to oneself to fight their personal battle. So, find the right doctor, book your appointment today, and hope you have a good experience!