Approaching the Psychiatrist

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hi, I came across your website and answered articles when I was searching for a way to talk to my doctor about add. I’m 20 and I’ve made the appointment on my own. I have issues with my mom who says I am being dramatic over this. I constantly have negative thoughts about my body image and when I get very overwhelmed I fall into a pattern of binging and purging. I have a short temper, cant take being yelled at. When I was in high school I would restrict with food and was always thin looking back I wish I had spoken up. Now I catch myself over eating when I’m stressed, I am always stressed. I can’t focus at work and I work 2 days a week at a great internship, I actually do things and everyone is so nice but I can’t focus to do computer work. I find myself not being able to account for time. On the days I don’t work I could stay in bed the whole time. The morning is afternoon before I know it. I am very motivated and always have a list of things to do but it takes me forever to get out of the house. Schoolwork is very difficult even with my phone turned off and no distractions. I am going into my junior year of college and this past year was very hard. My mom told me I was distracted and having too much fun. I have to put in more work then everyone else and its extremely stressful because I not partying or watching TV I just cant focus and get the information in. it is so frustrating. My boyfriend has adhd and he brought up researching add, maybe this is bad, I am not saying I have add but I fit some of the symptoms, honestly I’m looking for guidance. I went to a regular doctor because I am not too old for a pediatrician and I am not sick, I do not have mono but I did end up crying for no reason during the appointment so I walked out of my physical with a clean bill of health but with an anxiety/panic coping packet. I have a short temper and find myself picking out little things during important talks that set me off and I look back realizing I was off in my thinking. I don’t know what to do, there are many factors playing into this but I have an appointment with a psychiatrist and I am afraid of not knowing what to say. When I told my parents how I felt I was shot down, and when I told my doctor that I had met once I was given an anxiety packet. I read through ways to cope and holding my breath for 5 seconds doesn’t take the edge off being mad. I have always screamed and raised my voice and fought and when I try to hold it in I end up crying for no reason. I’m not sure where I’m going wrong or where to turn.

A. Going to the psychiatrist is a great place to start. When you speak to the psychiatrist, inform him or her of the symptoms you mentioned above, which include:

  • difficulty concentrating;
  • difficulty accounting for time/losing track of time;
  • bingeing and purging;
  • depression;
  • high stress levels;
  • short temper;
  • highly sensitive;
  • crying spells; and
  • negative thinking.

Be very specific about your symptoms. I would encourage you to see both a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication to improve your symptoms. Psychotherapists utilize talk therapy. Both types of treatment are usually indicated for the majority of mental health problems.

You believe that you may have ADD. You may have some of the symptoms of ADD but not all of yours match. Bingeing and purging are associated with eating disorders. Sometimes, when an individual feels highly stressed or out of control, they engage in bingeing and purging behaviors as an attempt to gain some level of control. Their attempt does not provide them the relief that they want. In other words, bingeing and purging simply doesn’t work. Instead, bingeing and purging are very dangerous behaviors that significantly damage the body.

You also might be exhibiting signs of depression including: negative thinking, short temper, crying spells, and hypersensitivity. It is difficult to know with certainty what diagnosis you might have, which is why it is important to have a psychological evaluation from a mental health professional.

To summarize, report your symptoms to your psychiatrist and inquire about a referral to a psychotherapist. When you meet with them, report all of your symptoms and be very detailed. The more information you can provide, the better they will be able to assist you. Bring a list. Hopefully, they will then devise an appropriate and comprehensive treatment plan. I hope this helps you know how best to proceed.

I am very encouraged by the fact that you are willing to return to the doctor. This time, be certain to be as specific, as detailed as possible and ask for referrals. This is one way to ensure you will get the help that you desire.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to write again. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Approaching the Psychiatrist. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/07/25/approaching-the-psychiatrist/

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