Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / PTSD & Trauma / How do I tell the psychiatrist? Help!

Topic: How do I tell the psychiatrist? Help!

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    220 posts
    8 September 2020

    Hi All,

    I’ve had about 3 appointments in person & 1 video call & 1 phone call during the initial Covid peak with a psychiatrist.

    Now the psychiatrist is male, which makes me quite uncomfortable to discuss certain things. He knows there was sexual abuse when I was a child but I can’t tell him the full story. As the childhood incidents were with a male medical professional for a completely unrelated medical condition, I just feel like if I talk about it with a male I am planting the idea in other people’s head to do the same. And I’m already triggered before even going into each session because I literally relive the trauma every time I sit in a waiting room & I feel & experience all the things I felt as a terrified little girl sitting in the waiting room to see the evil doctor.

    On top of that, I feel extreme shame about the whole thing & I worry my feelings are an overreaction & people will think I am stupid for feeling the way I do.

    my psychologist is female & while it was difficult, I have been able to discuss with her all that happened. Last session with her I told how the psychiatrist was really confused because he didn’t have the whole story. The psychologist asked if I wanted her to write to him about the situation. I said yes & felt great relief, but asked that she did not copy in my entire medical team (like she has with her previous updates). Honestly, my endocrinologist & diabetes educator do not need to know this stuff. Then she got hesitant saying she could write just to him but couldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t share the information with my medical team.

    i can’t bring myself to tell him in person, so she suggested writing it down on a piece of paper, having him read it & then ask for the paper back. But honestly this terrifies me even more. Just thinking about sitting there in uncomfortable silence while he reads my letter sounds like the most excruciating, shameful & uncomfortable experience. I am burning with shame just thinking about it.

    How do I bring up the courage to either tell him or write it down for him? I am terrified. Appointment is a week away but I’m freaked about it already.

    😢

  2. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    6179 posts
    8 September 2020 in reply to TheBigBlue

    Hi. I am not sure how much information you need to share with the psychiatrist. And unsure how much information you feel you can share without being triggered. Your thoughts given your experiences are natural. And the do you have to divulge all the information in one session. In my situation, my psychiatrist leaves most of the talk therapy to the my psychologist.

    While I can say that sessions are confidential, if you trust has been previously betrayed then it may count for little.

    You have been able to tell him part of the story already from what you have said. This was perhaps difficult for you but you _were_ able to tell him. You have also be able to write part of the story here which shows you already have courage. Maybe in talking more here.... I am sorry that you feel terrified about this. I can imagine that you would feel uncomfortable. You should know that you none of it was your fault so the shame you might feel is none of your doing. Instead your younger self was taken advantage of, which should not have happened and you deserve the happiness you are looking for?

    Listening to you,

    Tim

    PS. I hope some of what I have said made sense.

  3. Elizabeth CP
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Elizabeth CP avatar
    2485 posts
    8 September 2020 in reply to TheBigBlue
    I have not been in your position but I was finding it hard to explain what had happened to me & the issues I needed addressed. I wrote down what had happened & included what I specifically needed the psych to help me with. I took it to my appointment & gave it to him still very unsure how he'd react. He read it in front of me & then asked permission to copy it to put in his file for his own reference not anyone elses which I gave permission. I was then given the paper back. My psych thanked me for the information. While it wa a bit scary waiting while he read it it I wa really happy with his response. Because he had the whole picture without interruptions , me getting upset trying to explain things it was much easier. He then clarified things & could move forward to really helping me with what i needed. I personally found it much better providing the written information rather than explaining everything verbally.
    1 person found this helpful
  4. Ely_
    Ely_ avatar
    103 posts
    8 September 2020

    Hi TheBigBlue,

    I was extremely uncomfortable opening up to my psychologist and counsellor as well, in terms of the actual events. I did manage to write it down, which in itself was very difficult. When I gave it to them, I made sure that I had a fidget toy/something to completely distract me and contain my anxiety while they read it. It was still uncomfortable, but I think it was better than if I'd just sat there watching them or staring at the wall.

    In the end, it was the best thing to do, because my treatment team now have the full picture. Just make sure that you practice lots of self care around writing it down, and any appointments where it is given/discussed.

    Take care x

    Ely

    1 person found this helpful
  5. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    220 posts
    10 September 2020

    Thanks everybody for the advice.

    i am in a much better headspace today & not feeling as overwhelmed about it all. I’m having a FaceTime call with my psychologist on Monday so we can talk about my concerns before he psychiatrist appointment on Tuesday.

    I’ve to the realisation if just the thought of telling of what happened is freaking me out, I think it will feel better once it’s out. That will at least my discomfort during the week & before each appointment.
    I did feel much better after telling the psychologist. It’s a horrible secret to keep your entire life without any support.

    Maybe I can write it down as backup in case I chicken out of telling him. I shall let you know how it goes......

  6. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    6179 posts
    10 September 2020 in reply to TheBigBlue
    Hi. Good to hear that you are feeling a little better about it all. Sometimes writing it down and getting feedback can be helpful. And your psychologist sounds very supportive. Hope it all goes well for you.
  7. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    220 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    So I wrote it all down this evening. It’s...... long.

    still unsure whether I will try & tell him or be brave enough to sit there while he reads it, but I have 2 options on ways to explain it.

    And will talk to the psychologist tomorrow.........

  8. Guest_1643
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_1643 avatar
    4854 posts
    14 September 2020 in reply to TheBigBlue

    Hey Big Blue

    How are you feeling about tomorrow? I've just been reading your posts and could really feel for you - it's veyr hard to open up but you are brave for even considering it. I agree with Tim that it's your truth to share and you need to be comfortable - It was interesting to hear this perspective. Not everyone is a safe person, even if they are a professional, but if you feel even a little bit of trust in the person, sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks if that makes sense.

    It has taken me a long time to learn that I get to choose how I feel safe and when to share - and I believe in empowering people to choose how to share in therapy. But if you think the therapist is good it can be really special to share with them. Really healing.

    I think it can almost speak to and help process ptsd to have the events heard and believed by someone who truly cares. I wish you so much luck for tomorrow, and hope it's not too scary!! will be thinking of you.

  9. Guest_1643
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_1643 avatar
    4854 posts
    14 September 2020
    and then thinking of you on Tuesday when you see the psychiatrist as well :) good luck!!
  10. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16213 posts
    14 September 2020 in reply to TheBigBlue

    Hello TheBigBlue, what you have told us is without a doubt a problem in one way or another, so we need to contemplate, when and if or whether we feel comfortable to open up to the psychologist or your psychiatrist, however, there are differences between the two that could be confusing.

    I'm not a doctor but have experienced both of these psychs. but I'm so sorry for what you have had to cope with.

    If we can take you back to the very first appointment or even when you are contemplating making a decision can be very complex, who do I see and how much will I disclose, this has always posed to be a frightening experience.

    If you feel as though you have an understanding psych whom you can easily relate to, then to help you further, they really need to know everything, so a plan can be established, if however, you aren't in this situation, you need to find someone you feel safe and secure with.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

  11. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    220 posts
    15 September 2020

    Hi All,

    Things today went well with the psych. We had the usual chat about how things were going since our last session, any issues with meds etc. Then he asked if there was something else I wanted to discuss.

    And I told him. I was still uncomfortable due to the anxiety in regards to - males, am I safe? will he think I’m overreacting? will it (abuse) happen again? (I have this bizarre fear if I talk about it with a male, the same thing will happen again).

    The psych was appreciative that I told him & said he was glad I felt comfortable enough to tell him. I had also explained my fears about sharing this with a male doctor. He was incredibly supportive & I felt so much better telling someone. It also helped him to understand the things behind my trauma so it was definitely beneficial to share it with him.

    It also helped him understand why I have issues with specific family members, why I can’t confront them, why I’m afraid to confront them etc

    He even said that we would need another first just me & him, but we could discuss bringing in this family member & even if I wasn’t ready to go into the trauma side, we would decide what info he could/couldn’t share with them. He was happy to even have them attend just to explain to them about the anxiety & depression.

    i felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. And I feel like I’ve turned a corner in regards to my trust in this male medical professional ie I think I DO feel safe with him.

    Anyway, am feeling a bit like an emotional wreck tonight, but not just in a bad way. I’m glad I shared, but talking about it does have an emotional toll as well unfortunately.

    oh, we even discussed who in my medical team he should include when he sends a review. So that is also one less stress as well.

    Thanks for all your support here, it really helped me to consider aspects I may not have thought have. I’m glad I shared with him & im happy with the outcome.

  12. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    6179 posts
    15 September 2020 in reply to TheBigBlue
    Thank you for the update.

    It was good to read that you felt supported by him. It took a lot of courage and vulnerability to open up to him about this and as you indicated get the help you are looking for.

    Also, please know that if you want to chat more we are always about here.

    All the best.
    1 person found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up