I am stressed over my first meeting with my psychologist. I am not good when talking face to face. We are in touch via email& she is convinced I have depression. I re read my emails, i think i only talked about my depression & ignored the mood swings!
Generally a psychologist (who of course does not have an M.D.) asks a few questions and then asks you to share your experience, not just about bipolar but about general issues in life and coping skills. A psychiatrist will then ask more specific questions to gage what is going on and how to treat it. If the psychologist is working in combintation with a psychiatrist and reports back to them then the best thing to do is print out the mood tracker as that will give them a long term pattern of what is going on so that they can judge exactly what type of bipolar it is within their clinical judgment and know what treatments might be best. Also of course they generally understand what is going on just by a person discussing their day to day issues and more immediate concerns as to how mania and depression affect every day functioning in a way a person is not aware of and then would make their own decisions from there.
Well, the most important thing with a psychologist is to be honest. Because bipolar often usually only shows the depressive side, it can be tricky getting others to see the difference unless they are there when it happens or something sever happens.
I have seen 3 different psychologists in my life so far.
1st was the child psychologist when I was 11/12 years old. I don't remember her well but I do remember thinking that she didn't know or understand me, but I was a kid and it is hard to go off of that. I think I saw her for about 6 months. Her office was warm and friendly and full of toys. That's what I remember the most, but at that time I think I was half gone, as in, never in the moment and swirling with too much going on.
2nd was a psychologist after my mom died who was supposed to help me with grief. This woman's office was very professional and cold. I remember her sitting across from me with an angry face. I didn't like her. I only went to 3 sessions. I was only 13.
3rd is the psychologist I saw last year when I was diagnosed bipolar. She gave me some tests to take home. They were the more in-depth type tests. One was like 500 questions long. Although none of them came up with bipolar, she said that my behavior in the office along with my explanation of past experiences were a good indicator and enough to give her reason to agree with the original assessment done on me by my doctor. Things like my pressured speech, etc. Because at that time I was really struggling with shifting moods.
She was very friendly and listened but, I didn't click really well with her in general. So, when I can see a psychologist again, I'm going to try a different one, but first I would like to see an actual psychiatrist first.
So, every psychologist is different and you have to find someone you are comfortable with.
I barely talked. I was really nervous I guess. She was convinced that what I read here is the reason I think I have mood swings. Same diagnosis I guess, Major depressive disorder. Worse she believes I am in denial. I told her I don't want medication.
I honestly don't know if I had mood swings or just feel low all the time! Unbelievable , but it is the truth. I don't know since there is no chance to involve a family member I think I should ask a friend to go tell her about me.
I just can't stop thinking I brought it to myself, yet I don't know how, when, or how to get rid of it.
I skipped an exam today, I feel nothing. I know it is wrong, but no feelings.
I just want to disappear. I need someone to talk to. Someone that can read my mind because I have no desire even to open my mouth to speak. I want to vanish.
It's been a very long time since I saw my first psychologist. However, because I've moved so much, I've seen many "new" ones. I've seen psychologists, a pastoral counselor, and LCSWs (licensed clinical social workers). I had always preferred psychologists, but the therapist I've been seeing the past yr. is a LCSW who specializes in mental health; she works at a psych hospital/outpt. center. Anyway, just be honest and as relaxed as possible. He/she is there to help; is unbiased and ready to listen. You're not going to remember everything you want to say the first visit. If you have important points you want to be sure not to leave out, write them down and take with you. Psychologists don't make the diagnosis, they provide therapy for symptoms. They may give you tests that will assist in the diagnosis, but medical diagnoses are made by medical doctors (psychiatrist). Psychologists/therapists do understand mental health diagnoses, but some don't even really put a lot of stock into the dx; they're treating you, not your diagnosis. If you do have a disorder that normally requires medication in addition to therapy, you need to seek the services of a psychiatrist. I'd recommend you discuss that with the psychologist.
When I was younger I don't think I did too well with these people because I was even more socially awkward than I am now and them diagnosing you correctly relies heavily on how well you describe what you are going through. When I got diagnosed finally last year, I spent weeks writing out a nine page detailed document on my mental illness and turned it in to the person who did my initial evaluation. By then I had most of it committed to memory so when I saw a psychiatrist finally I just repeated it from memory after rehearsing it to myself several times because the first person didn't read it immediately as I expected so I figured I should rehearse to spiel it off at will. Best thing to do would be go in the middle of writing it down and telling them and write a list of symptoms down and practice adlibing the rest.
I wrote a 2 pager of all the things that I thought are unusual behaviours or inconsistencies.Past and present. I knew I would forget to tell the psych all those things in one meeting.
I was diagnosed then and there.
I think I saved a bit of money doing that.
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