New Psychiatrist

Recently I had my psychiatrist appointment, unfortunately my last and most recent one had left so I had been allotted a new one so I was a bit anxious about the change. The new psychiatrist was lovely and put me at ease straight away.

We discussed my progress and how I’m doing. I explained that I’ve just finished a two and half year court battle to get regular access to my daughter. She agreed that that must have been incredibly stressful and I agreed. I also informed her that the bipolar and the meds seem to be stable and I’ve not experienced a manic episode for over 2 years. So I’m happy with the medication and don’t want to risk changing them, she understood and agreed with me. I felt heard and listened to which is important in patient centred care.

I also told her that I’ve been in therapy for almost a year now and it’s been a massive help. She was a little sad that I have to pay privately for it due to a long waiting list on the NHS, but understood that it’s a worthwhile investment for me, I do get PIP so I put a large part of that towards my therapy.

We discussed that I’m very insightful about my illness and that I now know my triggers and how to manage them. For me there are 4 things that work: sobriety, distraction, movement and self-care. She was very impressed with this.

She told me that I should be proud that I’ve come so far and that I’m doing everything I can do to stay well. She also congratulated me on my 22 months of sobriety.

We then discussed the side effects of my medication. The side effect that has affected me the most is the weight gain. I’ve put 5 stone on in 2 years since being put on one particular mood stabiliser. I did however point out that I would rather be fat and stable than skinny and bouncing all over the place. However, I’ve always been slim so the weight gain has really affected my body confidence. Don’t get me wrong I love being curvy now but I still find it hard seeing the reflection in the mirror, I just don’t recognise the woman looking back at me. I have a physical job, I walk everywhere and I hardly eat (this really needs some work) plus my recent blood test was fine so I know I’m healthy. We discussed a referral to a dietician and using a PT to help with weight loss. I did have a cry when talking about my weight and it was nice to finally vocalise my concerns. Like the worry has been exposed and now I can feel relief about sharing my worries.

All in all a successful session and I feel very supported. Massive thanks to the psychiatrist and my mental health team, you hear a lot of horror stories around the NHS and mental health but I have received great care and I’m very thankful to our NHS.

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