Our expert says:
Please don't be scared. Most of us, yes, feel anxious about new experiences, but more than most professionals you'd ever need to visit, a psychiatrist should be fully trained and experienced in putting you at your ease, and helping you to feel comfortable and able to talk about whatever is troubling you.
There are no absolutely firm rules about what happens in a consultation, but he would hope you'd describe to him what is troubling you, and in what way you are feeling bad in in need of help. He will probably ask a number of follow-up questions to clarify what may be happening.
Depending on what diagnosis he makes, he will usually be able to get this clear in that first consultation, and also to discuss your best options as to treating it. If money is limited ( and how few of us could say it isn't ! ) make sure you mention this to him, so he can take this into account in the treatments he suggests. With medications, the most recently available meds are usuall the most expensive, but there are tried and trusted meds that have been around for a while which are available as "generic" meds, chemically identical to more expensive versions, but significantly less expensive. If you ask about this, he may want to see you again some time ahead to assess whether the treatment should be revised, but can arrange with you for your prescriptions beyond the first one to be provided by a GP, so the consultations would be less expensive, and the GP could be asked to send you back to the psychiatrist if further advice is needed. Psychologists charge at different rates for psychotherapy, though there are also less expensively trained counsellors who could be more cost-effective. There are generally agreed and fixed fees set with the medical aids, for consultations with specialists, and no specialist should charge significantly more than these averages.
Effective antidepressant meds don't work instantly, and one usually needs to be on an effective dose for 2 weeks or even a bit more, before the full effects are apparent, though of course you are allowed to start feeling better sooner than that !
I suspect you wll find it a great relief to be able to talk about all of this with a sympathetic expert who ca understand and help. Do feel free to return to the forum later and let us know how things are going for you.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.