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Melancholya

Tips for being assertive with my new psychiatrist?

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I'm a pretty passive person and I have social anxiety too which puts me a bit on edge with people. My previous psychiatrist was a middle aged man who was not very warm, and quite expressionless. I don't do well relating to these types of men, they make me so anxious it's hard to talk to them. I was displeased with him from the first meeting, and it's taken me a year to finally ask to have a new one.

So I requested a new psychiatrist a few weeks ago and have my first appointment with him next week. With my previous psychiatrist, I didn't feel he was really taking into account my specific problems, and was just trying me on different meds without giving me full information about them and the side effects. He kind of shrugged and said "all antidepressants have these side effects" when I told him what I was not tolerating; I often went away and did my own research and brought suggestions to him, rather than him looking into appropriate options for me and presenting them to me.

I'm a little worried the new pdoc will be similar, again he's a man in middle-age. I asked my psychologist if he's nice and she kind of hesitated then said "Yeah, well I think you would have had trouble getting on with the other two available, and (new pdoc) is very open minded". I'm so worried I'm going to find it hard to be honest with him and be assertive about what I need. I'm also VERY self conscious about appearing to be one of those people who does 'internet research' and then thinks they know more than the doctor. I don't want to put him off taking me seriously. 

Does anyone have tips?

And is a psychiatrist the person you would ask to rule out a particular diagnosis with? (I'm wondering if I might be affected by bipolar 2, but I don't want to just walk in and say "I think I'm bipolar". I want to rule it out as a possibility before trying new medication.)

 

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Honestly, I’d just go in to that appointment with a list of current/past meds, your most troubling symptoms, and an open mind. It’s silly to get yourself all freaked out before you even meet the guy. Maybe he’s great and things go smooth or maybe there’s tension- but you don’t want to make it a foregone conclusion in your mind that he’s gonna be trouble. Also- while it’s your right to ask and understand a Dx- the first appointment may not be the best time to get into all the technicalities- simply because he hasn’t ever worked with you yet, so he may be reluctant to put up a Dx when he hasn’t observed your symptoms or patterns. I think that making sure you drill in what symptoms/issues really need his attention is probably the most important first step, cuz that is the cornerstone to Dx and Meds and appropriate therapy and all that fun stuff 

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1 minute ago, Iceberg said:

Honestly, I’d just go in to that appointment with a list of current/past meds, your most troubling symptoms, and an open mind. It’s silly to get yourself all freaked out before you even meet the guy. Maybe he’s great and things go smooth or maybe there’s tension- but you don’t want to make it a foregone conclusion in your mind that he’s gonna be trouble. Also- while it’s your right to ask and understand a Dx- the first appointment may not be the best time to get into all the technicalities- simply because he hasn’t ever worked with you yet, so he may be reluctant to put up a Dx when he hasn’t observed your symptoms or patterns. I think that making sure you drill in what symptoms/issues really need his attention is probably the most important first step, cuz that is the cornerstone to Dx and Meds and appropriate therapy and all that fun stuff 

You're right. I tend to "catastrophize" and convince myself things are going to be awful. Thank you, my psychologist suggested taking a list of past and current meds too so I have already started that :) 

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@Melancholya Good questions, I have the same issue. Takes so long to finally find and get in to see someone, I get anxious about the same scenario. And true, it's tough to keep silent when you've spent years (if not decades trialing meds and doing infinite research). Experts usually don't appreciate patients that do a lot of internet research. They certainly don't like a know-it-all, many docs have sensitive egos also....

I suggest the same: bring in a list of your medications (I'm meticulous about noting the dates I was on, and the exact side effects or benefits the med had).Then I would mainly drive home your most debilitating symptoms. Maybe even 1-2 "suggestions" about what you might try?

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Preparing a meds list, complete with dosages, when and how long you took them and for what, and what the side effects were, is a great idea. I’d also write down every concern you want addressed and question you have, so that you don’t forget when you’re in the moment.

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Yes, I can't get through a pdoc appointment without a detailed list. I forget everything when I get back to her office that I wanted to talk about without one.

Good thing is, my lists are getting shorter, and my sessions are taking less and less time.

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8 hours ago, Blahblah said:

@Melancholya Good questions, I have the same issue. Takes so long to finally find and get in to see someone, I get anxious about the same scenario. And true, it's tough to keep silent when you've spent years (if not decades trialing meds and doing infinite research). Experts usually don't appreciate patients that do a lot of internet research. They certainly don't like a know-it-all, many docs have sensitive egos also....

I suggest the same: bring in a list of your medications (I'm meticulous about noting the dates I was on, and the exact side effects or benefits the med had).Then I would mainly drive home your most debilitating symptoms. Maybe even 1-2 "suggestions" about what you might try?

 

5 hours ago, Gearhead said:

Preparing a meds list, complete with dosages, when and how long you took them and for what, and what the side effects were, is a great idea. I’d also write down every concern you want addressed and question you have, so that you don’t forget when you’re in the moment.

Thank you both. Unfortunately I have NO IDEA how long I took each med for or when. I mean I know them roughly. But I don't know exact dates and some of them I can't remember all of the side effects, but I can remember the main ones.

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Depending on how far back you’re going... can you remember the pharmacy you used? I don’t know how long they keep records, but it might be worth a shot. 

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43 minutes ago, Rabbit37 said:

Depending on how far back you’re going... can you remember the pharmacy you used? I don’t know how long they keep records, but it might be worth a shot. 

I could check my doctor records to help me out, but I don't think they're complete. I've had about 5 different doctor clinics and pharmacies in the past 12 years, due to moving around frequently. 

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