what happens after i ask to see a psychiatrist?

im turning 18 in the later end of 2023, and i was hoping to wait till then, but i honestly dont know if i can afford to wait.

im considering to go, but theres 2 things ‘holding me back’

  1. parental consent
    ive been dismissed and told to ‘pray it away’ so idk. and i know its gonna be a big shock to them since ive been acting ‘normally’ in front of them. im really scared of my parents reacting badly, because if my siblings need help too, they’ll have to deal with the certainty of a bad reaction and i really dont want that to happen.

so id like to know what can potentially happen and when will they actually inform your parents.

  1. its my own brain, really
    a part tells me that all i need to do is suck it up, do better and be better. i dont know if i can because ive talked to mental health screeners and they suspected bipolar 2 disorder. but ngl, i feel kind of embarrassed and scared, ‘what if im making it all up and everyone feels like that’ or ‘all i have to do is make big lifestyle changes and be better and it will be alright’ or ‘what if its confirmation bias?’. its stupid, its confusing and its very conflicting.

Dear @jwywg,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about seeking professional help. It sounds like you are struggling with the difficult decision about seeking mental health treatment, and you’re worried about how your parents may react to this decision, all whilst also trying to manage your own doubts and fears. Your worries are very much valid, and I want to firstly reassure you that you do not have to face these concerns on your own.

Locally, parental consent is required for most medical procedures, including mental health treatment, if you are a minor i.e. under 21 years old. However, there are some exceptions where minors can consent to their own treatment, such as in cases where there is a risk of harm or neglect.

It’s completely understandable to be worried about how your parents may react, especially if they have dismissed your concerns in the past. It may be helpful to have a conversation with them about your mental health concerns, and explain why seeking treatment is important for your wellbeing. From what you’ve shared, I can imagine that this could be a difficult and nervewrecking conversation to have. Here are a couple of tips to help you prepare for this conversation, should you be open to trying to speak to them about this:

  1. Plan what you want to say beforehand and try practising this out loud
  2. Choose the right time and place - It’s important to have this conversation at a time and place that feels safe and comfortable for both you and your parents.
  3. Start with the facts - Begin the conversation by sharing the facts about your mental health concerns. Explain what you’re experiencing and why it’s important for you to seek treatment. Using “I” statements to share your feelings could also help avoid any sense of placing blame on your parents.
  4. Seek support - It may be helpful to have a trusted family member or friend present during the conversation for support. They can help you navigate the conversation and provide emotional support.

However, if you do not feel comfortable talking to your parents about this, or should the conversation go in an unintended direction, you may wish to speak to a mental health professional at greater length to discuss your options and develop a plan for treatment. There are various mental health services available, including public hospitals, private clinics, and non-profit organisations. If you’re not sure where to start, you can refer to the National Mental Health Resource directory here to look through your options. You’ll find a description included with each service along with contact details.

It’s common to have doubts and fears about seeking mental health treatment, but it’s important to remember that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. If a mental health screener has suspected bipolar 2 disorder, it’s worth exploring this further and seeking an evaluation from a mental health professional who can help you develop a treatment plan that meets your needs.

I hope this information is helpful, and please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns!