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Seeing a psychiatrist for the first time; not sure what to do but I need help!
An_246486 posted:
I hope this is the right place and way to ask this, but I could use some advice.

I've been seeing a psychologist for a bit now, because some mental health issues I've had since I was in middle school have been getting worse since I started college. My psychologist believes I have bipolar disorder (I was previously medicated for depression, about 7 years ago, but without any useful results).

My psychologist wants me to see a psychiatrist, who I hope will prescribe something to help me, but I don't know what to do! I have the number of someone my psychologist reccomends, but do I just set up an appointment? What will the appointment be like? What do I tell the psychiatrist? Do I go in and say "my psychologist says I'm bipolar, please medicate me"?

This is a first for me - I'm on my own for medical stuff for the first time. I can barely cope right now, I want - I NEED help - and hopefully before school starts up again, I barely made it through my first year of college. I'm scared of myself right now, and I'm utterly clueless.

I'm sorry this is so long, and I'm sorry if I'm unclear, but I could really, really use some help. (I'm also sorry if this posts twice: I'm having some technical difficulty)
Anneinside responded:
"do I just set up an appointment? What will the appointment be like? What do I tell the psychiatrist? Do I go in and say "my psychologist says I'm bipolar, please medicate me"?"

First, if you have insurance you need to find out if you need a referral from your regular doctor and if the psychiatrist is covered by your plan. If you don't have insurance, just call the psychiatrist's office and say "my psychologist wants me to get an appointment with a psychiatrist and recommended Dr. X. When can I get an initial appointment?"

The first appointment is usually about 1 or 2 hours. The pdoc (psychiatrist) will ask you questions and soon you will find that your story is coming out. Be honest and tell everything about how you have been doing emotionally, behaviorally, and physically. You should say that your psychologist said you might have bipolar. Ask what the psychiatrist's diagnosis is and how it will be treated.
ibex7 responded:

As you grow with the bipolar experience, you will discover that many of your moods cannot be trusted and you will develop a sense of cognigitive thinking. Medications and your psychiatrist will help you understand misleading thoughts such as hopelessness and sinking.

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