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Should I See A Psychiatrist?

Hey everyone


I've been going through a lot of (wait, can you swear on this site?) sh1t lately, and I don't really know what to do next.

For the last two years or so, I've been struggling with depression, anorexia nervosa, anorexia bulimia, severe arachnophobia, persecutory delusional disorder and paranoia, but I've managed to hold it together enough to function in society.

My main issue at the moment is the severe arachnophobia (it's the one I have the least control over), and, by extension, the persecutory and paranoia, as they are a result of the phobia.


I've been getting help from my school counsellor for a while, but apparently, he's decided that I'm sane enough to not need his help anymore (but I'm pretty convinced my fear is only getting worse with each passing day, no matter how much CBT I try.)

So, lately I've been considering seeing a paid psychiatrist, but I'm still undecided.


Even if I do see them, I don't think there's much they can do. Days of research plus the time I've spent with my school's various counsellors has lead me to believe that CBT is my only real option to recover from this, and I ultimately have to do that myself (after all, it's my brain and my thoughts.)

Also, to see someone, I would have to ask my parents, which would mean them forever knowing that I'm not okay, which would result in endless otherwise avoidable interrogations and talks.


I guess what I want to know is... is it worth it?

Should I see a psychiatrist, or keep working on it on my own?


Any advice, all opinions, please.

Thank you.

Re: Should I See A Psychiatrist?

Hey @Kit Kat


Welcome to ReachOut. Sorry to hear that shit's gone down for you. Smiley Sad 


And yes, you can most definitely swear on here! No harm done, unless you're putting yourself and/or others in the community. It sounds like you're quite studious and very self-aware of your own health & wellbeing, which is great. You're lucky to have supportive counsellors at school who've been helping you out too. 


I think that it would be best to seek our further advice from a school counsellor on how to proceed. Even if they may say that you're 'sane enough', you can ask them that you'd like to seek help outside of school too. They might have relevant contacts or suggestions on where you could go.


With your parents and not wanting them to know that you're not okay, go at your own pace. You might not be feeling up to telling them now but you might later. Mental health fluctuates and there will some rather volatile life moments. But that doesn't mean that it can't get better Smiley Happy 


As for labelling yourself and looking into CBT, what makes you feel so sure that you have all these conditions and that this therapy would be the best fit? Have you seen a psychologist or psychiatrist before? 



Stay excellent

Re: Should I See A Psychiatrist?

Hi @Kit Kat,


Wow it sounds like you have a lot on your plate at the moment, but well done for holding it all together, and taking the steps to seek help from a counsellor. It your family supportive of you seeking help? Do you have any friends who you've spoken to- what have they said? 


Are there any factors in your life that could be exascerbating your symptoms at the moment? (ie peer pressure, family woes, substances, etc?) 


One thing to note is that a counsellor doesn't (by law at the moment in Australia) have to do the same training as a psychiatrist or psychologist. By seeing someone like a psychologist or psychiatrist, you can be sure that they will be able to deliver an effective CBT treatment plan. Despite this there are heaps of other therapies that could be beneficial to you, for example, phobias are treated differently to depression. Often psychologists will use a combination of therpies to treat symptoms, and they form an educated and appropriate decision about which therapies to use during interviews based on their knowledge, experience and research.


The fact that you're questioning whether you should be seeing someone else at the moment tells me that your uncertain that you will be okay without that extra support at the moment, so I would encourage you to seek the help you need. You can do this by visiting your GP to obtain a Mental Health Care Plan which enables you to access a rebate for psychological services through the Medicare scheme. 


Thank you for contacting us here and sharing your story, that's really brave.

I hope we can help you out a little and point you in the right direction.


Keep us posted,






Re: Should I See A Psychiatrist?



Okay, cool (I'm new to the site, obviously cx)


I don't think that's really an option for me, I've been dubbed 'fine' several times by my counsellor, but I kept coming back because something or other would happen that I needed help with. However, the last time I saw him he made his opinion very clear when he made me leave early because he had someone with "more important problems" to deal with. Now, I couldn't trust any of my school counsellors even if I wanted to. I really needed help, and the second he shooed me out, in defence I guess, my immediate thought was that he was working with the spiders. Of course he was. All of the school counsellors were clearly conspiring with them.

At least now I can see how ridiculous that is. Even so, I don't think I could trust any of them.


No, I haven't. I was told I had these disorders by my school counsellor, but now that you mention it, a professional is far more likely to know if those things are what's going on. Honestly, I don't really care. All I know is that I have the symptoms of the aforementioned conditions, and they're hellish, and I want them gone.


Thank you for your response, it has helped clear some stuff up.

Re: Should I See A Psychiatrist?

Thanks @Lahna. As far as my family goes, I haven't told them. They are uneducated when it comes to mental disorders (for example, they believe the "Attention Whore" thing), so I have no idea how they would react, but I know it wouldn't be... constructive.

I have tried to explain my phobia to them a few times, but each time they just scolded me for "being silly." After all, it's "just a spider."

I have told one of my friends about it. She also suffers from severe phobia (vomiting and sickness), so we kind of help each other out (eg if she sees a spider in a room she'll take me somewhere I can't see it, then go back and kill it), but we don't really talk about it. We just know that we both have a bad fear and we try to help each other out, which is still definitely good.


Not to my knowledge. Like I said, this has been going on for two years ish now, so it's not like I'm just feeling stressed.


Okay, thank you for your help, you made some really good points there.

Re: Should I See A Psychiatrist?

Wow @Kit Kat I am really sorry you were treated so poorly by your counsellor. That is certainly not a helpful thing to say at all! @Lahna's advice about getting a Mental Health Care Plan through your GP is one that I think will be beneficial for you. You can also use the plan to ensure you find someone who works best with you and the best way to manage your symptoms so that this situation isn't repeated.


I would also suggest getting in touch with Kids Helpline. You can contact them any time for any reason on 1800 55 1800 or use their WebChat counselling.

Re: Should I See A Psychiatrist?

Hey @Kit Kat, thank you for sharing your story with us. It takes a lot of strength to seek help, and it sounds like you a lot of self awareness, and have taken some steps towards recovery - which is awesome! I'm sorry to hear that your experiences with the school counsellor were not very helpful, though.


Your friend sounds like she is a great person to have in your support network. That's great to hear that she is able to provide you with some practical support, and that you both have a mutual understanding and help each other out when needed. You mentioned that you don't really speak to each other about the phobias. I'm wondering if there's any reason for this, and whether having that conversation could be a positive thing?


It sounds like you have recognised that you would like things change to change, which is often something that is very hard to admit. Have you had a chance to contact your GP, or check out Kids Helpline? We're here to support you on RO, and would love to keep chatting with you.

Re: Should I See A Psychiatrist?

Hey @Kit Kat,


How are you going today? 

What's been happening?



Re: Should I See A Psychiatrist?



Yeah, she is great. We have talked about it in the past, but all of those conversations were very brief, either because one of us didn't want to talk, or because one of us said something the other found offensive (by accident, of course). An example being, one time she said something to me along the lines of "At least your phobia is well known, so people don't treat you like a freak as much." Which offended me so then I told her that having a well known fear is no picnic because people will either tease you for being a "wuss" or play fear related pranks on you, which are often traumatising.

Whenever something like that happens, the conversation just kind of peters (lol spelling?) out.

She's just used to struggling alone, so I think it's hard for her to accept that there is someone on the same grounds as her, but if we do manage to have that conversation, it probably would be good.

Re: Should I See A Psychiatrist?

It sounds like your friend could be a great support for you @Kit Kat, and you for them. It might take time for you guys to work out how to discuss everything with eachother but you will get there! Have you spoken to anyone else about what's going on, any other friends perhaps? Just remember that there will always be heaps of people to support you, so don't be afraid to approach those close to you, and even a local GP to see where you can start getting the support you need.


Also, have you checked out Reach Out Next Step yet? It might just help you get that little bit more information you need to take the next step forward.