The Psychological Wellness Centre

Psychiatrist in Singapore treating ADHD, Anxiety and Depression
Emotional Wellness is Just a Step away


Seeing a Psychiatrist in Singapore

What to expect

Curious or apprehensive as to what happens when you see a psychiatrist in Singapore? It may appear daunting and intimidating to see one, but a visit is actually quite a painless process. Psychiatrists in Singapore, as with other medical doctors / specialists, can be found both in the public and also the private sector. If you are thinking of going to see or have been referred / recommended to a psychiatrist in Singapore and are not sure what to expect, or you are feeling anxious, read on.

In Singapore, common conditions people seek help from a psychiatrist include depression, anxiety and ADHDIt is understandable that people may feel apprehensive or nervous about seeing a psychiatrist for the first time. However, it is important to understand that seeking help for mental health concerns is a positive step towards improving one's well-being.
Many people however have pre-conceived ideas and may not have a good idea about what to expect before they see their psychiatrist for the first time. Many people also fear that they would be labeled as "crazy" or "mentally weak" 
It is essential to note that a visit to a psychiatrist in Singapore is similar to a visit to any other doctor. The only difference is that the focus is on emotions and mental health. The psychiatrist will evaluate your mental and emotional state and work with you to develop an effective treatment plan. The first visit typically involves taking a detailed medical history, conducting a mental state examination, and making a diagnosis. So what can you expect?
Think of a psychiatrist as a doctor for emotions. In a condition such as depression, sometimes feelings and emotions get “fractured” and a psychiatrist helps to reset the break and take away the emotional pain and let them heal again. If you feel shy or anxious about seeing the psychiatrist alone, it may be a good idea to get your family members or best friends to accompany you for the first visit. There are various approaches to treating psychiatric conditions but all begin with a thorough and complete history, a mental state examination and finally a formulation and diagnosis is made.
During the first visit with a psychiatrist, you can expect the professional to conduct a comprehensive assessment of your mental health and well-being. The first visit would typically take about 40 to 60 minutes
This will typically involve an in-depth discussion about the primary issue or concern that led you to seek help, including how long you have been experiencing it, and how it has impacted your life. The psychiatrist will also ask you questions about your medical history, including any prior diagnoses, medications you are taking, and any previous treatments or therapies you have undergone. They may also inquire about your family's medical history, as certain mental health conditions can be hereditary. Additionally, the psychiatrist may inquire about your social history, including your relationships, support system, work, and hobbies. They may also want to know about any stressful or traumatic events you have experienced in the past and how they have impacted your mental health. 
In Singapore, male patients may be asked about their experiences in National Service, as this can have an impact on mental health. The psychiatrist will likely ask you to describe your symptoms in detail, including how frequently they occur, their intensity, and any triggers that may exacerbate them. They may also ask you to complete certain questionnaires or assessments to help further evaluate your symptoms. Overall, the first visit with a psychiatrist is an opportunity for the professional to gain a better understanding of your unique situation and develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. It is important to be open and honest with your psychiatrist to ensure that you receive the best possible care.
A skilled psychiatrist will of course weave all these into a pretty normal conversation. The key to any psychiatric evaluation is making you feel comfortable and a good psychiatrist would also be able to gauge your level of comfort and tailor the level of questioning to suit this. So don't be worried, seeing a psychiatrist is not particularly scary or intimidating. Dr. Lee is particularly warm, friendly and approachable. It is often an experience on its own for most patients to be intently listened to by someone for the first time. The psychiatrist would then reflect upon what you have said and help you better understand yourself and also develop greater insight into your issues. While gathering the history, the psychiatrist would also conduct a “mental status exam”. Think of this as the equivalent of the physical examination that other doctors do.
A psychiatrist is a trained medical specialist who is able to assess your level of emotional functioning through both verbal and non-verbal cues that you provide. The use of therapy or medications or both would depend on the diagnosis and severity but your wishes would also be respected. Medications may be needed as there may be chemical imbalances in the brain which may need normalizing. At the end of the session, your psychiatrist will offer a summary of what he sees as the current issues. He will take  into account your needs and wishes in the recommended subsequent plan of care, be it the use of medication or potentially a referral to a psychologist as well if needed.
So that’s it, a rather enjoyable first session with plans made for subsequent visits. Seeking help for psychological conditions early on can greatly improve outcomes, but it's never too late to seek treatment. It's important to prioritize your emotional well-being and take the necessary steps to get the help you need. If you're in Singapore, seeing a psychiatrist could be a beneficial step towards improving your mental health. Don't hesitate to make an appointment and ensure that you attend your scheduled sessions. Taking care of yourself is important, and seeking help is a positive step towards a healthier and happier you.