Common conditions people in Singapore seek help from a psychiatrist include depression
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. They often feel very apprehensive while waiting for the appointment. There is often much anxiety about what he will be like and what he would then do to you. Many people also fear that they would be labeled as "crazy" or "mentally weak"
Actually, a visit to a psychiatrist in Singapore is pretty similar to a visit to any other doctor.
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.
The first visit would typically take about 40 to 60 minutes, during which, expect the psychiatrist to get to know you and your problems better.
He would usually begin by finding out about the main issue that has brought you to the clinic. He would then want to get to know you better and find out more about your family, your childhood experiences and your educational and occupational history. Male patients in Singapore would also be enquired about their stint in National Service. A more thorough evaluation of each symptom would then be undertaken. He would also be interested to find out more about your relationships with others and whether there are areas of concern you have.
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 and psychiatrists are generally warm, friendly, approachable and nice people. 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. Remember, psychological conditions respond best when treated early, but its also never too late to seek help. Don't hesitate any longer, take good care of yourself and your emotional health and get your appointment and then turn up promptly at the clinic. Seeing a Psychiatrist in Singapore may just be the best thing that you have done for yourself in a while.