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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Treatment => Medication => Topic started by: plantsandworms on October 11, 2017, 04:26:30 PM

Title: Meeting With Psychiatrist For The First Time - Tips?
Post by: plantsandworms on October 11, 2017, 04:26:30 PM
Hey everyone, I am scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist for the first time and I'm wondering whether yall have tips for what I should be looking for. This psychiatrist specializes in treating PTSD and is also from a "holistic" school of mental health treatment. He was recommended to me by my therapist who I like a lot but is a little more of a "hippy" than me haha. This person I'm going to see apparently does panels on my vitamin levels, neurotransmitter levels, etc. and examines both my physical and mental health history to find a treatment that works for me (which may or may not include anti-depressant or anti-anxiety meds). I guess I'm just wondering what other experiences folks have had with first-time appointments and whether there are "red flags" to watch out for or treatment recommendations that are "good signs." Thanks for any input, wish me luck!
Title: Re: Meeting With Psychiatrist For The First Time - Tips?
Post by: AphoticAtramentous on October 12, 2017, 03:16:53 AM
Don't have any tips myself sorry, I'm as clueless as you in regards to good signs and red flags. ;)
But I do wish you good luck with it all. :) Hope it all turns out good for you.
Title: Re: Meeting With Psychiatrist For The First Time - Tips?
Post by: woodsgnome on October 12, 2017, 04:17:02 AM
Worthy topic and hard to answer as so much of this is individualistic; one size doesn't fit all.

First thing that comes to mind open. But also aware that this person is partnering with you, not about to become your guru or leader. It's also not as cut-and-dried as medical procedures are. There's also a tendency for transference to set in, where the practitioner is unconsciously treated as a pseudo-parental figure one never had (I know I've done that--temporarily at least). Being the client does not make you inferior, although the practitioner will and probably should have expertise in certain areas you don't--it's why you're agreeing to see them as a part of your healing. 

So I guess something to watch for is how flexible they are. Respect and courtesy rank high, but it's surprising how often this isn't necessarily the case. I went through over 10 therapists before finding a good match, someone with whom I formed a good bond but not an easy one by any means--that's where the depth of expertise factors in. Sometimes things come up that can only be regarded as painful, but a skilled T or psychiatrist should be able to stay with you as this happens.

It is important, I think, to relax but develop some means to stay focused as well. I have a habit of dissociation in therapy as with my life in general, so I find having something to ground me like holding a precious stone or toy puppet I'm fond of,  a scent-stick like lavender to relax with or a short mantra (e.g. love/peace) helps me when I notice this happening.

Still, as said, each encounter can be pretty individual--some people mix better with certain approaches that others wouldn't tolerate as well. Hence the openness I suggested above.

Here's hoping you will have a positive experience from this new venture.  :hug:


Title: Re: Meeting With Psychiatrist For The First Time - Tips?
Post by: rbswan on October 12, 2017, 04:33:30 AM
I agree with woodsgnome and would add that it is acceptable to interview your potential psychiatrist some concerning what they know about C-PTSD or what you want them to focus on.  It's more important for a T to know but relevant I think.  I reference Pete Walker a lot and he recommends in his book on C-PTSD that it's appropriate to ask if they have done their own work in therapy.  This person sounds like a good, thorough psychiatrist from your description but keep in mind that it's your health.  I used to look at therapists/psychiatrists as such authority figures that I spent way too much time with some very poor, unequipped "professionals".  My current therapist and nurse/practitioner are great and both have done childhood trauma work.  I'm not saying that it is a prerequisite but it certainly helps and brings a measure of trust.  I hope it goes well!
Title: Re: Meeting With Psychiatrist For The First Time - Tips?
Post by: Three Roses on October 12, 2017, 05:20:13 AM
Some of these downloadable documents may help you in your search for a good fit with a therapist -

Title: Re: Meeting With Psychiatrist For The First Time - Tips?
Post by: Slim on October 13, 2017, 09:55:21 PM
I don't know your experience of psychiatrists...first off, they aren't  mind readers....although they often think they are.
If you can be open (with a complete stranger who is a professional) then you are a better person than me.
Some  are really good, and some are really bad, like in any trade or walk of life.

BUT most importantly, if you have cPTSD, the chances are that you have VERY sensitive antennae for danger, and you will pick up their energy quite quickly.
The problem for cPTSD sufferers is that sometimes we don't know how to handle this info...I, for one, used to gravitate to negative energies, like some sort of death wish.

Why not come back and tell us? Writing it down might help you decide whether you want to go and see him/her again
Title: Re: Meeting With Psychiatrist For The First Time - Tips?
Post by: Slackjaw99 on December 06, 2017, 12:19:52 AM
A basic question to ask your psychiatrist is whether or not they've heard of and understand the Polyvagal Theory (Stephan Porges). If not, move on. Shows they haven't bothered to stay current in trauma related neuroscience, and have no business prescribing meds for cPTSD.
Title: Re: Meeting With Psychiatrist For The First Time - Tips?
Post by: Rainagain on December 08, 2017, 12:45:25 AM
My only advice is this:

Don't go dressed as napoleon.....

Good luck!