For many people, the decision to make their first psychiatry appointment can be quite overwhelming and emotional. Such feelings can be amplified if you have also experienced social isolation.

These feeling are quite normal. To assist with managing these feeling and having a productive consult with your psychiatrist, the following tips to prepare and know what to expect at your first appointment are provided below. 

Tips for Your First Appointment:

1. Know Why You are Seeing a Psychiatrist: In addition to what your GP says in your referral, you need be able to state why you need to see a psychiatrist. One way to prepare for that discussion is to identify and write the major stressors in your life, prior to your first appointment. 

2. Dealing with Appointment Anxiety: Experiencing anxiety is a quite common occurrence, before having your first psychiatry appointment. However, it is vital that you keep to your commitment. Getting out of your comfort zone can be tough, but it can be rewarding. After getting over the initial hurdle and getting to know your psychiatrist, you will feel more comfortable. 

3. Be Punctual to the Appointment: The first appointment is the longest, as it takes time to obtain the key information. As a result, if you are not on time, you will lose invaluable time. 

4. Looking at the Clock: You may see the psychiatrist looking at the time from time to time. This is NOT because he has his eyes on the clock, wanting to finish the appointment quickly. On the contrary, it is because the psychiatrist is checking to see if he/she has enough time to cover what is required in the in the assessment. 

5. You May Get Emotional: At your first appointment, several topics including your past experiences may be covered. Therefore, it is quite understandable if you were to become emotional. In fact, this is usually a sign that you are identifying important issues. As the first session may be overwhelming, be gentle with yourself afterwards. 

6. Be Honest: Your psychiatrist cannot help you if he/she does not have the full story. You need to be able to share and express all your vulnerabilities. While it can be nerve-wrecking to open about your vulnerabilities to a new doctor, please remember that psychiatrists are there to help you and not to judge you. 

7. Do not expect an immediate solution: Your psychiatrist does not provide you a step-by-step list of things to improve your mental health overnight. Instead, your sessions should give you the tools and the self-understanding to manage your mental health issues. 

8. Medications: In some cases, your psychiatrist may prescribe medications, if required. As a result, if the list of your medication in your referral is not current, it is important to bring an updated list of your medications to your first appointment. 

9. Take a loved one with you: You may consider taking a loved one with you to your first appointment. In addition to being a support to you, their perspective may be helpful to fill some important gaps for the psychiatrist. 

10. Do not be afraid to ask questions: You should feel free to ask any questions that may be of concern to you, without any reluctance. It is vital that you understand what the psychiatrist wishes to achieve and why. 

Call us on 07 3870 9388 to make an appointment with one of our psychiatrists or to enquire further about services of Takes Care Specialist Centre.