What happens during a psychiatrist assesment?

Posted , 8 users are following.

Just wondered if anyone could tell me what to expect when you for the first time meet a psychiatrist?

Can they also give a diagnosis on the information you give them there and then or is that a different process?

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23 Replies

  • Posted

    To be honest, there's nothing that a psychiatrist hates more than giving a name to a diagnosis. It's the current model to try to treat in as general way as they possibly can. If you have predefined ideas of what you want them to diagnose, forget it and don't mention it to them, or you'll never get that diagnosis. Be honest , don't tell them things that are embellished or that you've read online, they'll see through it in a second. Tell them how it is, but dont expect too much

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  • Posted


    I saw a psychiatrist for the first time a few weeks ago (privately as I have medical insurance through work). After giving my history and describing my current symptoms he did give me a diagnosis of depression and anxiety, a "straight forward case" . He started me on a new regime of meds as I'd pretty much gone through all the SSRI's and not been able to tolerate them (vomiting, insomnia and suicidal thoughts) and the last two weeks are the best I've felt in ages, Im actually looking forward to things now and not analysing every thought and feeling. Just wish I'd seen him sooner as I really feel that I've got my life back. Good luck with your appointment.

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  • Posted

    Hi jon. If its yr first visit it will generally be a bit longer than usual as they go thru all ur symptoms now, how long youve been feeling this way, & generally ask questions from childhood abt relationships with parents, any traumatic events etc. Sometyms not always they may ask you to fill in a questionaire with several questions to help/ geared along with yr answers gage a possible diagnosis. Not always possible from seeing you just on one occasion. Xxx

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    • Posted

      You can usually call beforehand to request a friend or family member maybe attend with u if youre more comfortable. And likewise they will ask if youre ok with medical students being present xx hope this helps xx
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  • Posted

    Hi Jon,

    Is this your first appointment with CMHT?  The first "triage" appointment can take up to two hours.  The first half is with a CPN (about 45 mins) then a Psychiatrist (about 45m-1hr).  I guess it depends on how complex your needs are, together with your past history and how your were referred. 

    A couple of things that might help for your appointment,

    A family tree, doesn't have to be loads, just immediate family?  Just helps as they will probably ask you about your family.

    A timeline - How far back you go is up to you, but you may find it helpful noting any significant life events.  It can also help them understand what you have been going through. And might help in the diagnosis.

    Any other information - if you have had previous counselling, maybe from a different provider, it might be helpful to take any letters/notes that you have.

    If they don't need (or want) it, that's ok, but I found it useful.  Sometimes, there is so much stuff going on in your head, then they ask you a totally random question, and you lose your train of thought.

    Good luck with your appointment, hopefully, you will start to get some answers.

    Best wishes 

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