How to Get Over the Anxiety of Meeting a New Psychiatrist
People seek to change psychiatrists for a wide variety of reasons including a geographic move, changes in insurance, or just wanting to feel more comfortable with a different mental health professional. If it’s your first time scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist you may be intimidated by the process.
Some reasons why people may feel anxious about meeting a new psychiatrist include fear of the unknown, negative experiences with mental health professionals in the past, concerns about stigma for seeking help, and concerns about sharing personal information.
It’s completely normal and understandable to feel anxious about meeting a new psychiatrist.
Scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist (or new psychiatrist) is a big step. In many ways, is the first of many steps on your journey. While your first meeting may create feelings of anxiety, there are things you can do to help yourself feel better.
Prepare For Your Psychiatry Appointment
One way you can relieve some of the anxiety you may be experiencing about meeting a new psychiatrist is to sit down a day or two before your appointment and get prepared. If this is your first time meeting with a psychiatrist, you may be even more unsure about what to expect.
Write Down Your Most Important Questions and Concerns
Writing down a list of questions and topics you want to talk about can make you feel more confident and relaxed when meeting your new psychiatrist.
Another useful bit of information to write down are your triggers and symptoms. By working with your psychiatrist to help identify what tends to cause symptoms, your psychiatrist will be in a better position to help you start feeling better as soon as possible.
Finally, you should also make a list of the goals that you are hoping to achieve through your sessions. If you feel comfortable, you can share this list with your new psychiatrist and then you can begin to work out how you are going to achieve those goals as a team.
Prepare Your Mental Health and Medication History
Prior to your visit, take stock of your physical and mental health history.
Although it can be difficult to be vulnerable and open up about your mental health, your psychiatrist is there to help you. Omitting or glossing over details may impede your psychiatrist’s ability to properly evaluate and treat your concerns and provide you with the best possible treatment plan.
You may be asked questions pertaining to family mental health history, your mental health history, and any medications you have taken. Your medication history should include prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, supplements, and other substances such as cannabis. Be sure and write down the names, dosage, and dates taken for each medication.
You Choose Another Psychiatrist If This One Doesn’t Work Out
When going into your first meeting with a new psychiatrist, you are likely to feel nervous. This is when it is important to remember that this psychiatrist may not be the best fit for you as an individual.
It is vital that you find a psychiatrist who understands you and your condition, and not every psychiatrist you encounter is going to feel like the right fit.
In many ways, you can view your first appointment with them as something of a test run to see if you are capable of building a bond and working together toward your goals and improvement in your mental health.
Once you have finished your first appointment, you should sit down and reflect on the session. If you do not feel as though the appointment went well, then you can begin to look elsewhere for another psychiatrist who may suit your needs better.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in activities that help you relax and feel calm. These self-care practices can help you feel more grounded and prepared for the appointment.
You Are in a Safe Space
Meeting a new psychiatrist for the first time can be an extremely daunting and emotional experience. One of the biggest reasons people worry about seeing a new psychiatrist is because they fear that they may end up opening up to that person and displaying unexpected emotions.
It is important to remember that a psychiatrist’s office is a safe place and you are free to share your emotions and thoughts without judgment.
Remind yourself that it’s ok to ask for help. Seeking help for mental health concerns is a brave and important step, and your psychiatrist is there to support you.
What to Do After the First Visit
If you are satisfied with your first visit and are going to see the psychiatrist again, then you should take the time to make some assessments following your first visit.
You should reassess the list that you created before the first appointment and decide whether or not you feel as though you need to add anything else to it. Your first appointment may have highlighted some issues that you didn’t realize had existed before or it may have shed some new light on a situation and changed your perspective on it.
If you are seeking a new psychiatrist, know that the professional team at Novum Psychiatry understands that this is a big step. We are here to help, so please contact us for a confidential evaluation.