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What to expect on first visit to Psychologist?
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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What to expect on first visit to Psychologist?

In two weeks I've got my first appointment with the Psychologist and I already very nervous about it. Just wondering what it will probably be like?

Thing is, right now if I saw her I would feel a fraudster as I am ok at the minute. When I went to see my GP I was feeling very depressed, was self-harming and thinking of suicide everyday (although I didn't mention feeling suicidal). I had been before with OCD symptoms, about 5 years before so I just asked if I could take them up on the offer to see someone, an offer I had not used before. So I was referred and got my appointment letter through today.

I'm embarressed to go because of how my mood swings, how am I going to explain it. I don't even know if I'm bipolar but I felt it would fit in better here than in the depression forum. I've finally crept out of over 2 months of depression, self harm and feeling suicidal. I might feel fine for ages now, but I know from the past years that this isn't the end of things. I always get my hopes up and think I'm cured but I have always dropped and hit rock bottom again.

Sometimes I am buzzing and it is not until I am back to normal that I look back and realise how dangerous or stupid the things I did were. I explained it best in my first post: "I will spend loads of money, stay out late, not have a care in the world. Whatever really pops in my head as something fun to do I will go for it, jump straight in without thinking, nothing is quite fast or loud enough - and I'll do as much as I can while I can. I feel like no rules apply to me, I can do whatever I want. That's why things don't make sense, because how can I feel that free and full of life at times and then so bad at others? Sometimes I feel that this must be how everyone feels, I just don't handle it well and that I need to get a grip. I think it would be easier if it was one or the other but when ever I feel good it gives me hope that I am normal and that it will stay that way, but it never does. :( I hope that makes some sense."

How am I supposed to walk in, grinning from ear to ear and explain that I am depressed? What will they do? or ask?

Thanx for reading. xx
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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585414_tn?1288944902
Just explain exactly what is going on and if your moods vary keep a mood tracker here and print it out for them as that would definitely help them.
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952564_tn?1268372247
Well, I printed out my mood tracker from med help and brought it to my appointment. (I do this for all of my doctors.) It gives them an idea of how I've felt previously. Everyone has said this is very helpful.

The next thing that happened is she asked me a lot of questions about myself, my family, my health, etc. Questions like "Who is the most important person in your life." and "Have you ever used drugs." or "Do you have a family history of mental illness in your family." You know, all that type of things.

Next we talked a little about how I was feeling. We talked about my self-harm problems and my suicide ideation and I had to make a verbal contract with her that I would either call her or go to the ER if I was feeling suicidal.

Finally she gave me the MMI to fill out at home and also another test to see what problems I have. Not sure how I felt about the tests but that's how she works. She then explained her training a little and about cognitive therapy. Then the hour was over.

It goes by really fast. On one visit I was just sort of sudued, the next visit I was fidgeting and rocking and I pressured speech. The finally visit I was okay. So, she sort of got a look at my behaviors.

Anyway, there is nothing to worry about. Just because you are fine one day doesn't mean anything. You're not wasting anyones time. Just be honest and you'll get the help you need.
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739988_tn?1386676569
I was nervous about my first psychologist appointment too.  But there was nothing to worry about.  I've been seeing her for about 3 months and it has helped me very much.
The first appointment was very easy, just a lot of questions.  Be honest!  Tell him/her exactly how you feel now and in the past.  They know that people who are depressed/bipolar cycle back into normalcy sometimes (like I am now).  They are expecting this.
The best advice I can give you is to be honest!  Tell them everything!!
Keep us updated.
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Avatar_m_tn
you wil be diagnosed within 4 vists if there good ones out of the dsm 5  criteria book..
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Avatar_m_tn
When I went the first time he asked me a lot of questions like what's going on with me that brought me there and things like if I have a family history of mental illness and if I've been to the hospital before for psychiatric reasons.  A majority of the time was me describing my mental illness to him and he also asked me things like if I experienced paranoia which I forgot to touch base on but was part of the mental illness he suspected.  If you have some red flags of a specific mental illness and your symptoms aren't blurring the line of what mental illness it could be they might figure it out on your very first visit.
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1015302_tn?1252242711
Thanks everyone, it's nice to have some idea about what is going to happen. Lots of questions! I going to print off a couple of diary entries, a high and a low one and then, because my memory is shot and I'll be nervous I can refer to it. I never talk to anyone about how I feel so on my visit to the GP I skipped over the important points. I will really try to be as honest as I can.
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