Scared of the psychiatrist
I went to my doctor about feeling depressed and he's put me on antidepressants and referred me to a psychiatrist. I really don't like talking about my problems. I'm dreading the prospect of having to talk to a psychiatrist about them - so much so I'm thinking about cancelling the appointment. Half of me knows that I need help and I should go, but the other half just can't face it. Will they be annoyed if I go and can't open up about my problems? I don't know what to expect and it's scaring me. Please help.
Depression can be an isolating and frightening experience but it is possible to work through it given the right treatment and support. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to treat symptoms of depression, to help a person stabilise and manage their feelings more effectively. As a result, many people then find they are able to work through their thoughts and feelings through talking treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or a form of counselling.
Opening up to someone you don't know can be hard, so it's understandable you feel worried and scared about seeing a psychiatrist. But please be reassured, like your doctor (GP), your psychiatrist is there to help you and there's no need to be scared.
A psychiatrist is simply a medical doctor who specialises in psychiatry, a branch of medicine that covers the science and practice of treating mental, emotional or behavioural disorders. Coming from a more specialist background, your needs will be fully assessed, so that you can then be offered the right form of support to help you feel better. In order to assess your needs, a psychiatrist will simply ask you questions about how you have been feeling to gain a better understanding and history of your feelings and behaviour.
Although it may feel difficult and you're dreading the thought of having to talk to a psychiatrist, try to be as honest about your experiences as possible, so the psychiatrist can help you as best they can. It's totally fine to tell them how difficult you find talking about your problems, in actual fact it will help them understand if you do find it hard to talk about things.
If you'd like more information about what might happen when you meet the psychiatrist, or would like to talk through any concerns you have about the appointment you can talk to your GP. They can also explain the reasons behind their decision for the referral.
Have you have discussed your feelings with anyone other than your GP? People often find talking with trusted friends and family can help. This may also give friends or family members a better insight into the situation, helping them to offer you more effective support and understanding. Understandably, this can be hard. If you feel uncomfortable talking to them right now, you might like to consider talking in confidence and without judgement to a volunteer at SANEline on 0845 767 8000. Alternatively, you can discuss your concerns anonymously on the discussion board.
Question answered by SANE