Often meeting with a Psychiatrist can be scary. Many people assume it will be an unpleasant experience. It does not help that movies and TV shows often show Psychiatrists as villains. I often tell my patients who are meeting with me for their first sessions (called an “Initial Psychiatric Evaluation or Assessment”) that I’ve never met anyone who schedules with a psychiatrist for fun.
People schedule to meet with a psychiatrist because there is something they are hoping to improve. Or in some cases, something someone else is hoping will change. Many people schedule with a psychiatrist because someone else has suggested (or even strongly suggested) that they engaged in mental health treatment.
Meeting with a Psychiatrist often means discussing something bothersome such as low mood, panic attacks, behaviors that had negative consequences. Of course, that would be unpleasant! But the purpose is not to discuss unpleasant things, but to see if there are ways to make the unpleasant things better. That’s the goal, right?
People wonder “Is meeting with a psychiatrist scary?” “Are Psychiatrists like they are in the movies?” “Will I be asked to discuss every detail of my painful past?” “Will Psychiatric meds make me a zombie?”
My hope with this blog series is to dispel some of the apprehension in meeting with a Psychiatrist to address some of the unknowns, misconceptions, and questions people have when considering meeting with a Psychiatrist.