In less than three days, I will be meeting my new psychiatrist, Dr T, for the first time. My appointment is scheduled for 3pm on 28th of May. Already, I am freaking out. Reading an article yesterday, about a woman in my state who was charged with stealing drugs (dexamphetamine) from the pharmacy in which she worked, does not help. Though it doesn’t state explicitly, it alludes on my referral letter towards the implication that the pills I took in an effort to harm myself were in fact stolen from the pharmacy in which I work. It’s not an action that I’m proud of, and I am not keen on displaying my incompetencies to yet another person. Telling my parents and GP were bad enough. It’s unethical to steal drugs from your workplace to later overdose on, it makes it even worse when you’re studying to become a pharmacist at the same time. I know that, and thus I am ashamed. Ashamed enough to throw away the stash I have left over? Unfortunately, no.
My GP had previously informed me that Dr T used to work as a GP before traning as a psychiatrist and they worked together during this time. This could either work in my favour or against me. I’d hope that my GP wouldn’t mindfully refer me to a lady he regards as horrible and incompetent. If she does turn out to be awful though, I wouldn’t feel right going back to my GP asking to be referred to someone else, being aware that he knows Dr T personally.
I can’t help catastrophizing. I am thinking about all the ways the appointment could go wrong. I am afraid that she will dismiss my problems as not being serious enough to warrant help.
At the time of making an appointment, 28th of May seemed like a date in the far off distance, too far away to worry about yet. How did time tick away so quickly? Two months has gone and passed. So despite any reservations I may have about going, I can’t back out now. I’ve waited too long for this. I am hoping this time it will work out.
If the telephone conversation with the secretary is anything to go by, seeing Dr T may turn out to be a better experience than seeing my previous psychiatrist. I was pleased when I called up to make an appointment with Dr T and the secretary made no attempt at findng out why I was being referred. At the PC Medical Suites where I saw my first psychiatrist, when you made an appointment for the first time, the receptionist would ask you what sort of issues you were wanting to see a psychiatrist for. I was mortified when my GP called up and told the receptionist that I was being referred for ‘self harm.’ I remember sitting in the waiting rooms of the PC Medical Suites and hearing numerous telephone conversations between the receptionist and patient, asking the patient what it was they were needing help for. Call me overreacting, call me sensitive, but I do not think it necessary for a receptionist to be told of my issues and I do not want the entire room to learn of my self harm. I feel it is a breach of my confidentiality. Oh, and in case you were wondering, depression was the most common of mental illnesses being treated by the psychiatrists practicing there.
The last time I saw a psychiatrist, I was still underage at sixteen/seventeen years old. Last time, it was my parents making the appointment for me. Last time, it was my parents in posession of my referral letter, I didn’t even get to glance at the words it contained. Last time my parents accompanied me to my initial appointment, and my psychiatrist wanted to chat to them alone, as part of his assessment. Last time my parents made the decision on my behalf for me not to go on medication. This time, as an eighteen year old, I am seeking help as a legal adult. This time, I am in possesion of my referral letter and it’s my parents turn not to be privy to it’s contents. This time, I am going in alone and unaccompanied (though I am a little nervous about this). This time, I am gaining my independence, I am doing this myself, I am making my own decisions, I am in control.
It’s interesting to note that the last time I saw a psychiatrist was almost exactly a year ago, in May 2009. I’ve experienced an initial appointment with a psychiatrist before, I should be familiar with how it works. But does the fact that I’ve been through this process before make it any less anxiety provoking? No. I’m still terrified.