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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder if anyone has any advice about going to see a shrink for the first time. I just got my insurance so I can go and I'm seeing a lady psychotherapist/psychologist next saturday. The problem I have is describing my symptoms without necesserily saying that I have DP/DR since that's something a shrink should establish.

I guess I can muster up some of the effects like detachment from the body and sense of self, anxiety and panic attacks, some depression etc. I'm wondering as to how I'm going to explain what has happened to me as it all happened in some DR hazed out world. Some other symptoms would be the brain silence thing where I don't have any thoughts/feelings that float naturally into my awareness like with other people.

I'm also scared of being mis-diagnosed I guess and I'm afraid I'll be at a loss for words when asked about my condition. I'm also of course afraid of the trip there and back again as I have my highest anxiety when going outside. Basically any and all advice is welcome. This is my first time seeing a shrink in my whole life and I have so many symptoms and problems it would be hard to formulate exactly what is happening to me.

Anyone have and advice it would be greatly appreciated as I prepare for my first time being evaluated and given a diagnosis.
 

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Hi Universal, the one good thing about being afraid about driving to and from is at least now you are going to a place to talk about that, if that made sense. I knwo around hre we call a shrink a Psychiatrist, M.D. and does some therapy but mostly about meds. Apsychotherapist or psychologist will be probably interested in how you been feeling--may even have a psychiatrist they work with or refer to in conjunction. But if you are at your first visit try not to think all or nothing about it.
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You are a consumer. Yes this feels vulnerable, but check out how you see things going too, and if it feels like it's clicking. Trust your gut. remember they are there to help and have heard lots and lots I'm sure. Not to say you arent unique only to say try not to feel like a weirdy weirdo, haaaa. You are doing soemething very courageous tha only a small % of people in the world do--seek help. Bravo! Also write stuff down if you have trouble verbalizing..might not need it but you will have it (notes). Let us know how you are when you get back. And we're all behind you 100%!
---Clay
 

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http://www.aboutpsychotherapy.com/Tthecure.htm

"The cure for psychological problems is increased awareness of the "other agendas" discussed in Why go. Psychotherapy is the process that accomplishes this. The less aware we are of our motives, feelings, thoughts, actions, perceptions, the more they control us and the more we stay stuck in old patterns that don?t work anymore. Relief from symptoms lies in discovering and incorporating into our constant, every-day consciousness that which is being masked, distracted from, or indirectly "acted out" in symptoms. (Take a look at the characters in Personality for examples of this process.) Virtually all psychotherapies work in this way, by expanding awareness (which is why the term "shrink" is so silly; psychotherapy is supposed to do the opposite). In fact, even when the focus of treatment is not symptom relief, when the goal is a general increase in contentment, power, freedom, happiness -- "self-actualization" it?s sometimes called -- the key is awareness.'

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http://www.apsa.org/links.htm
http://www.metta.org.uk/therap/psyc/psychoanalysis.asp
http://mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/chap7/
http://freudfile.org/psychoanalysis/resources.html
http://www.psychoanalysis.org.uk/newlibr2.htm
http://eseries.ipa.org.uk/prev/news-north.htm
 

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Universal,

I recall seeing those posts and now they're gone. What happened? Did you change your mind?

One thing I wanted to add that I should have said earlier -- just that I think the most important thing you can do is try to just be yourself and be completely open. Assess how well you think you can work with the person and ask questions. Can you find out this week who she is and what her background is? How did you come to choose this woman? Does she come highly recommended?

I'm a little worried about why you deleted your posts; I hope nothing I said upset you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My mother chose this woman somehow, I guess it's because she was recommended. And about those posts, i deleted them because the links were already there and I guess I didn't want to overpost anything. Janine or someone can you please delete those posts? Once again any and all advice/replies are welcome, especially from recovered people. 8)
 

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I saw a succession of shrinks over a number of years. Generally by the time I got to the consulting room I was too depressed to speak about what was going on and they would always diagnose me with major depression. The beginning of getting any more constructive help only began when I was at work feeling so spaced out and wierd one day, I made up my mind to go and make an appointment with a new shrink and tell her EXACTLY what I was experiencing, not let her deduce it from my answers to a list of questions or whatever. I did that and spent an hour and a half defining the precise feelings, thoughts, sensations that I was going through. She did not ask me any standard questions and listened very attentively (I was lucky there), she said she could not make a precise diagnosis (which was fine by me) but felt it was related to anxiety, a rare kind of condition. She referred me to a clinical pyschologist and that was the beginning of the road to recovery - a long one and I am still on it and I still have not recovered - I am still having episodes (in one now) but the well periods are getting longer and I know that it is possible. So yes, I think you have to use the opportunity to say as much as you can about your experiences.
 

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While it's totally fine to not say "I think/know I have DP" I'll also say that I perfectly described DP to 3 different therapists, who still chalked it up to depression. I didn't know at the time what it was that I was experiencing, but I knew it was more than depression, and it really bothered me that they didn't have an answer for what I was going on. So you may want to tell her what your symptoms are and see what she says about it, but if she doesn't bring up DP on her own, it's not a bad idea to mention it.
The more you can tell your therapist about where you are, where you think you are, what you think is going on, what you think you have, etc, the better off you are. Good luck! And remember, there are lots of therapists out there. If you don't feel that you "click" with this person within 2-3 sessions, it might be a good idea to find someone else, rather than waste your time with someone who can't help you, when there are other people who may be able to.
 
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