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o_q
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is embarrassing to me, but... I've finally realised my issues are severe enough to warrant seeing a doctor and getting medication. The problem is... I've been so avoidant I don't even know HOW. Do I just ring up, ask for an appointment, walk in on the day and wait until the receptionist calls my name? And what do I do afterward, what paperwork do I have to fill out? I'm in Australia - will I need a Medicare card? What if I don't have one? I'm 19, if that matters.

And I don't have photo ID, how will I pick up my prescription? Do you need ID?

It embarrasses me to admit that I've been so introverted for so long I don't know how to do simple things like go to the doctor or catch a bus, but I hope I can get some support here.
 

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Hiya. No need to be embarrassed. I'm in the U.S. so I wish I could give more definitive advice. Mostly I wanted to offer support though. :)

I can tell you how it is in the U.S. if you're interested. I bet it's probably a little different due to us not having nationalized health care (we're backwards, what can I say?)

In the U.S. though yeah you call a doc, and ask for an appointment.

They may ask what the appointment is for--you can say it's for "personal" reasons or something...they will ask you again though when you get there, but I've also told them it's personal. They're not asking to be nosy, they ask so they can pass it on to the doc and he can be more prepared to talk about your condition. As you can see I am a very private person so I worry about these things. :b

Oh once there, they ask patients to fill out a bunch of forms concerning their ailment and previous medical conditions, allergies etc.

In the U.S. you can also pay cash if you don't have insurance coverage. As for rx, you actually don't need one here. :D I've picked up rx's for my mom. They ask for the date of birth and address and that's it.

Is there anyone in your family that can help you with this btw?
 

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I'm from Australia too. I think it is best to avoid those walk-in medical centres. Try for your local GP. Phone up or walk in and make an appointment. When you go for the appointment the receptionist will probably ask you to fill out a form with some personal details. When you arrive just let the receptionist know you are there and they will ask you to have a seat until the doctor comes and calls your name. Then you just go in and explain the problem! You don't NEED a medicare card to see a doctor but it is expensive if you don't have one - maybe about $50. You don't need photo ID at all.

If you get a good doctor it is likely that they will speak to you about couselling - you can get up to 18 sessions with a psychologist subsidised by medicare if you get a mental health care plan from your GP. You don't have to do this, but it could be a good idea. Also, don't go expecting medication. Just go and talk first, and see what happens.

Good luck with it! Feel free to PM me with more questions, or let me know how it goes!
 

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o_q
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys... so... is it likely the doctor would just tell me to go in for counselling first, before offering medication? I can't just insist I'd rather get the medication?

I'm still anxious about what I'll even say. Should I tell them about suicidal thoughts?
 

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Some docs don't like to give meds right away. Don't know if this is allowed over there, but I had to shop around for a good doctor. Yeah some say "hmm..try some exercise first" or something. :wtf One time I really had no choice, so I just kept coming back and he did give me some rx. One amazing doctor though practically had an Rx written out when I walked in the door, and pretty much just confirmed his diagnoses of what I had written on those forms. He handed me Rxs for beta blockers, Xanax, and antidepressants practically before I even sat down. He was really good too, not a quack. I heart that doctor :b.

Another problem I have is that because of my SA I understate things plus I forget things. So I actually bring a list of things I want to talk about. Don't understate things. If you're a girl, by all means break down and cry. Kidding, but make sure he knows how bad it is ya know mate? Yes tell him all your symptoms. I'd be a little worried about divulging suicidal thoughts but that's just me. I'm so personal. Oh hey that reminded me of

http://www.paniccentre.net/

You can get a list of symptoms that you can print out.

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f26/how-do-i-know-if-i-actually-have-s-a-66674/#post967143
 

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o_q
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for that, I'm reading it now... I'm definitely sure I'll understate things and be too brief, so I'll have to write it down too...

And one more question about the procedure... you tell the receptionist your name when you walk in? Why?
 

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Well you sign, or if they have the sign-in form, then yeah you tell them your name and say that you're there for the 1:00 PM appointment with Dr. XZY for example. Some clinics have more than one doc, so this let's them know that a.) you're here now for the appointment which they can check to make sure the day is right and b.) which doctor you're there to see. and that the doctor is in for you (it happens rarely that something came up...but usually another doctor covers for them. Anyway, that's about the time they ask you to fill out some forms and insurance or payment.

Don't know how bad your SA is but it might be a good idea to bring a book or PSP or something in case you're nervous about strangers. They usually have magazines for you to read, but sometimes getting to them involves walking to one end of the room where some people might be sitting. :afr

I actually still worry a little about seeing a new doctor because of the new environment. I have no idea of whether it will be a big office with like 30 seats or one with just like 5 seats. Never hurts to ask I guess when it's less busy in case you're worried about things like that. If you are don't worry, you can always sign in and maybe step out and get some fresh air, pretend you need to use the bathroom, or get some water or something then come back. Oh, lots of docs have TVs...some just show some videos on medical procedures though. :b If you're anything like me, it's best to be prepared to make small talk though cuz if you meet someone nice you will regret later that you just sat there. If you do make small talk it's like a big deal, at least for me. :D
 

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Thanks guys... so... is it likely the doctor would just tell me to go in for counselling first, before offering medication? I can't just insist I'd rather get the medication?

I'm still anxious about what I'll even say. Should I tell them about suicidal thoughts?
It depends on the doctor. I suppose a good one would consider both. Just try to be a bit open minded because medication isn't necessarily the answer. But also know that if you're not happy with your doctor you can find a new one. They should automatically ask about suicidal thoughts when you bring this sort of stuff up, but if not tell them.
 

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o_q
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, I see. Thanks a lot guys, this really helps. I'm going to schedule an appointment for sometime this month or next and see if I can get some relief. :)

The other embarrassing thing about this I realized is... I don't even know how to catch a train to get to the doctor's office. I've never caught one before, so I don't know what to ask for! And I'd be embarrassed to ask anyone in person. Do you just go up and ask for a one-trip ticket? They're 2-hour tickets, right? So you just buy a 2-hour ticket, get on the train and get off when it stops where you want? :blush:
 

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I avoid public transit like the plague. But when I absolutely have had to I go to their website. Nowadays a lot of them have a website. I'm actually planning to use public transportation soon. (Partly to challenge myself), and I went to the public transport website. It's for buses not trains, but it had the schedules, rules, maps of their stations, and tips and instructions on how to mount your bike onto the bus (which I was extremely nervous about. Can you imagine yourself fumbling with your bike, while you hold up everyone on the bus? :b). Anyway, on the website they let people buy fairs online, so maybe yours will too. I guess some kind of debt card is sent. Wish I could help more--good luck. :)
 
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