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The Transition House, Inc.

Why can't I see a psychiatrist immediately?

You’ve made the decision to get help with your depression, anxiety, sleeplessness or other mental health issue, so what should you do next?

Your first step may be determining whether your insurance plan covers mental health services. We talked about that subject in our recent blog: Will insurance cover my therapy?


If it does, you may need a referral from your family doctor. If you don’t get one and your insurance plan requires it, it could end up costing you. Your family doctor may also be able to recommend a therapist or outpatient center where you can get mental health treatment.

Once you have selected a provider, it’s likely you will see a therapist first. It’s unlikely that therapist will be a psychiatrist because they are medical doctors who are trained in diagnosing and treating mental illness and often more expensive than a therapist or psychologist. Getting an appointment with a psychiatrist is not easy either. A recent study found only a 26 percent success rate in patients being able to get an appointment with a psychiatrist.

Before heading to your first appointment, you might want to do some homework, advises the Mayo Clinic. You will want to come prepared with some answers for when your mental health professional asks you about your health, medication, events in your life and how your life is being impact by your symptoms.

Here is a checklist of items to consider when talking with your doctor:

  • Don’t be scared or ashamed about your mental health concerns.
  • Decide what you want to accomplish in the session.
  • Be upfront with your doctor about your condition.
  • Be clear about your symptoms.
  • Make sure you follow up after the initial appointment.
  • Be your own advocate.
  • Manage your own expectations.

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between psychiatry and psychology when it comes to mental health treatment, but the principal difference is a psychiatrist is a medical doctor and a psychologist is not.

What can you expect from your first appointment? A lot of discussion about why you are there in the first place and an understanding that the therapist is there to help you get better.

You will get a diagnosis of what may be causing your depression, anxiety or other mental health issue. That diagnosis may come with recommendations for future counseling sessions.

Are you now asking yourself, where can I see a therapist in Orlando? Click below to request an appointment. 

  make an appointment for the outpatient center

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