I have been having anxiety/panic attacks for the past 2 years. I am considering seeing a psychiatrist. What are the possible negative repercussions, professionally, insurance-wise, and other, of doing this?
My panic/anxiety attacks tend to be anxiety about anxiety--thoughts about how stressful it is to have a panic attack tend to actually cause more panic attacks. These have been happening multiple times per week for the past 2 years or so, with severity of the attacks waxing and waning with time. These started when I was in my mid-20s, so I assumed they were just a phase and that they would go away on their own, much as they appeared. 2 years later, they haven't, and I'm thinking that a visit to a mental health professional is probably in store.
I am a graduate student in science/engineering who will be finishing up my PhD soon. What are the possible negatives that might come out of having a visit to a psychiatrist, and possibly a mental health diagnosis, on my medical record? I'm interested in all possibilities, no matter how far a stretch they may be. Will I have trouble, say, getting a security clearance if I eventually want a job that requires one? What if, and I'm talking about extreme cases here because I honestly want to know the full scope of possibilities, I decide that I want to be, say, an astronaut? Will a visit to a psychiatrist have consequences for any job whatsoever?
What about insurance, especially because my student insurance is going to end when I graduate, and I will presumably transition onto some sort of employer insurance? Especially if the supreme court strikes down the pre-existing conditions clause of the healthcare bill, am I at risk for serious coverage denial or premiums going through the roof? Are there any other negative consequences that I haven't considered?
I know the positives of seeing a doctor: I might end these troublesome panic attacks. However, I would like an honest appraisal of the counterpoint: what are the possible negatives of seeing a doctor about my mental health? I live in the United States. Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org