My First Psychiatrist Visit

Well here I am, 27, and about to see my first ever psychiatrist. Believe me, it was a long road to get here.

My senior year of high school, I didn’t eat for like a week straight, I felt fine, I just wasn’t hungry. I saw my pediatrician, she ran some tests, told me it was stress, and sent me home.

In college, I would often find myself so overwhelmed I couldn’t control my thoughts or feelings. I would lash at people I cared about. I would spend days alone in my room.

During that time, I briefly saw a school counselor, but I felt judge and uncomfortable and I never went back after the first session.

Over the years I pretty much came to the conclusion that I have anxiety and depression. But I felt like I was handling it well so I didn’t do anything about it.

Recently, things have been worse. I’ve been very low, very on edge, and having a hard time concentrating at work. A friend suggested I listen to the ADHD episode of a podcast we both like, Hannahlyze This. In this episode, Hannah Hart talks about her experience with ADHD and how it was actually the cause of her other mental health problems.

The things she was saying felt like my story and because of that, I started to think maybe there was more going on with my mental health than I thought.

So I’m sitting in this waiting room of a psychiatry group not too far from my house on a beautiful Wednesday morning, waiting to hear what the doctor has to say.

Her office is inviting and warm, fun colors and toys are everywhere. This is when I find out that I booked an appointment with a child psychiatrist. She tells me it’s okay and that she works with adults sometimes too and if it’s not a good fit, she can give me a referral. I start to relax a little but I’m still nervous.

She’s nice. She asks a lot of questions. She asks me why I came in. I tell her about the podcast and my friend’s suggestions. I tell her about my past struggles and my family history. We talk for an hour and it flies by.

At the end she tells me that she isn’t ready to fully diagnose me yet. She’s sure I have anxiety and she’s sure I have depression, but while I do exhibit many signs of ADHD, she isn’t sure. She says she’s hesitant to diagnose me with ADHD because the medication can cause anxiety. She says she needs another appointment before she can be sure. It may be that my lack of concentration stems from my anxiety rather than the other way around.

Another week I must wait, but hopefully soon I’ll have real answers and a plan for how to move forward and live my best life.

Mental HealthZoe Wolff