What to expect from a Psychiatrist?

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    • #59565

      I used to see a PMHNP. She would write the prescription & ask me what’s new (which I thought was just a time filler & usually replied with something my kids were doing that was recent). The follow ups were about every 6 months. Since she left, I had my first visit with a psychiatrist (who filled the time slot) who asked me to come back in 3-4 months (I’m told it is because he doesn’t know me).

      If there were any issues I was to see my PCP, there were no referrals, & no checks for side effects. I thought of the PMHNP as a refill nurse. My question is what is a psychiatrist supposed to do/what should I expect? I thought psychiatrists were more than refill nurses & never considered to see one. Although he never introduced himself, mentioned ADHD or asked about the medication, It doesn’t feel like he’s taking over from where the NP left off. It’s not like “I have something on my chest to get off”. I just want to get in & out. What is a psychiatrist supposed to do/what should I expect?

    • #59573

      Depends on what kind you go to. Ours specializes in medication management, so we are in and out, with decreasing frequency as things go well–first 1 month, then 1 month again, then 2, then 3, etc.

    • #59581
      Penny Williams

      Here’s a list of all clinicians that might be involved in ADHD treatment, and what each does, including the psychiatrist:

      ADHD Doctor? Psychologist? Therapist? Finding the Best Treatment Professional

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #60104

      I think you should expect to not be hassled. You should expect the doctor to keep with your current treatment plan.

      I recently went back on meds after being off for over a decade. The first guy I saw wanted me to do another psych battery just in case, you know, my ADHD magically “went away”. Yeah.

      After that I went to a doctor who specializes in attention and got back on Adderrall with one visit. We talked about what brought me back into a psychiatrist’s office after all these years. I explained that over the past couple of years my attention issues had gotten almost unmanageable and I couldn’t focus at work. That seemed a good enough reason for him. I also told him who diagnosed me and my medication history.

      You should also expect at least a quick discussion about your symptoms, how well the meds seem to be working, and any side effects you may be experiencing. In my case, subsequent follow-ups with my new doctor have included discussion about adjusting dosage (I decided to try XR, and it’s different than regular Adderall.) and XR’s affect on my heart because I’ve had tachycardia my whole life.

      That’s been my recent experience. I hope it’s helpful to you.

      I don’t know how reasonable a totally in and out visit is unless absolutely nothing has changed with your symptoms. If you feel there are things you need to discuss, bring them up. Don’t be afraid to seek out second opinions and better care if you don’t feel a provider is giving you what you need.

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