Pre-Psychiatrist Appointment Nerves

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.

16 thoughts on “Pre-Psychiatrist Appointment Nerves

  1. I’m sure you will be fine. Also, in my own experience with psychiatrists, there are not many that have their receptionists ask what the issue is. I would be upset and pissed off if someone asked me that and tell them to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Good luck and I’ll be thinking of you. You CAN do this 🙂

  2. I think it’s normal to be nervous about it. I’m much 🙂 older than you you and I still get nervous when meeting new treatment providers. I hope it goes well. And I’m glady your able to be in charge this time.
    BTW I agree that it was really unethical to discuss your issues with the receptionist, especially if others can overhear. Actually that’s probably illegal. Most therpists offices in my area have partitians between patients and staff so that patients don’t overhear phone calls. I think what you exprienced is worth bringing to your new psychiatrist’s attention.

  3. I’m in the spot where my psychiatrists’ “secretary” is actually also a psychiatric nurse who does some counselling in the same office and does p-doc’s paper work. This means she knows everything. They work together really well so it’s not so much of an issue now, but if I had some random person asking me that over the phone, I’d probably hang up.

    Good luck with your appointment – let us know how it goes!

    • I’m not sure what they think actually, we pretty much never talk about my mental health issues and just avoid the topic. However, they are the ones that suggested I am going to the appointment alone, as they are unable to make it due to other commitments.
      Thanks, will definetely write a blog post after my appointment.

  4. You will be ok chick. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you…and every experience comes with a positive, even if it doesn’t work out quite as you hope or expect. Interestingly my last psychiatrist was called Dr T….everyone actually just called him Dr T rather than his full name, and he was one cool dude, so hopefully yours will be too 😉

    Sarah x

  5. hiya chicks:)

    i hope it goes ok for you:)

    ugh i used to hate my mum having letters from docs and school nurses and stuff about me-mind you she used to just chuck em away, but i always used to hate not knowing what they said all the same.

    i hope it goes ok duck:)

    oooh cant remember if i told you, new blog is

    take care, vics xx

  6. I thought I had replied to this, I am sorry. I really hope it goes well, I will be thinking of you. I am sure your GP will have referred you to someone who they think you will get on with ok, but if you don’t like them then there is absolutely nothing wrong with going back to your GP and saying that you don’t really feel like they are the right person for you to work with and can they please refer you to somebody else. Even if your GP is friends with the psych, that wouldn’t be insulting the psych in anyway, or saying they aren’t a nice person – just that they aren’t right for you. But fingers crossed it won’t come to that because they will be great! Out of interest, what did you decide about the 2 referral letters, and which one to give them? Anyway, I hope all goes well, and I will be thinking of you on friday, although your friday is probably more like my middle of the night thursday, so I will think of you when I am not able to sleep tomorrow night 😉 xxx

    • I have decided on the original uneditted one. I’m quite sure my GP would not have faxed it over to them and therefore the pdoc will not find out. But if she does, and asks about it, I will probably turn bright red and stammer out, ‘Uhhmmm, I…forgot to bring the new one?’ Haha :S
      Thanks Bipp xx

  7. *hugs. I know psychiatrist appointments can be really scary. We’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. Everything’ll be good.

    • Thanks Bipp, that means a lot 🙂 Hope you manage to get some sleep though!
      Appointment in…two hours. :S Okay, shall be okay…hopefully!

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