Tell me about your mother...
August 18, 2014 1:12 PM Subscribe
First appointment with a psychiatrist tomorrow morning. Soooo... what's that like? Snowflakes inside...
posted by antimony_hayes to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Posting with a sock puppet account for anonymity.
Because I've met you people, I'm skipping the part where I list my problems and ask how to deal with them. I already know I have significant, life-affecting health anxiety, including panic attacks at fairly regular intervals, with increasing frequency. I may also be depressed - it's kind of hard to tell what's going on behind the constant crushing dread. I talked to my PCP about it, and got a short scrip for lorazepam and a list of psychiatrists to choose from. My first appointment with the psychiatrist is first thing tomorrow morning.
What kinds of things will he ask me? Are there any wrong answers? Is there anything I can do to increase my odds of being taken seriously?
It's been pointed out to me that I have a tendency to downplay significant symptoms in the presence of medical professionals. I need to make it clear that I need help because I am having real problems coping with my anxiety -- but there's a strong likelihood that I'll come across as a charming, smart person with great coping mechanisms in perfect mental health, if left to my own devices. (My current coping mechanisms are to spend every minute I'm not at work watching tv shows or movies, or playing video games, or or eating everything in sight. Or sometimes, all of those things at once. Most nights I have to "cope" like this late into the night, resulting in very little, very poor sleep.)
If it helps to know what's going on, my main issue is an overwhelming fear of death due to undiagnosed illness. I tend to be extremely preoccupied with cancer, but any terminal disease not immediately visible will do. I overuse my doctors and the ER. I regularly spend hours self-diagnosing random unexplained aches/pains/symptoms, and then spend hours trying to comfort myself by researching on line to "prove" to myself I don't have anything serious. This misguided attempt at self–soothing doesn't work, often makes things worse, and is becoming obsessive. I also spend a lot of time crying in despair because I'm certain I'm dying. This is a cycle that repeats itself over and over. For a while it was every few months, then every few weeks, and now...it feels fairly constant. I really, really need it to stop. So far it's not affecting my work, but it's affecting just about everything else.
So... Is this the kind of thing the psychiatrist will want to hear? Or something else? Or......?