View Full Version : Psychiatrist nervous around me


illuminator3
01-21-14, 10:57 AM
I've recently started seeing a psychiatrist which in general has been a pleasant experience, except for the fact that she seems to be a bit nervous around me, or perhaps intimidated by me.

She's only 31 years old, so I don't know if it's simply inexperience or if it's some quality or characteristic of mine. Qualities of mine that come to mind that could possibly intimidate her or make her nervous are the fact that I'm tall, that I speak in a direct and brutally honest way, that I often speak of morbid subjects such as death, that I sometimes speak in a way that could be confusing, and that I often have an appearance that could suggest anger to some.

She often breaks her voice. For example, when asking me questions, her voice will lower when she is finishing the question. She will also look a bit uneasy when we are both in eye contact, especially if the subject at hand is morbid or perplexing.

The fact that she seems nervous or intimidated is enough to make me feel nervous. I think there is a mutual understanding of nervousness if both of us, although it is unstated.

Do you guys think that I should mention the fact that she seems nervous or uneasy? Or do you guys think that will only make it worse?

To make things clear, sessions with here last about 50 minutes, and she does listen to me and ask me questions. I've read about experiences in which patients will see a psychiatrist that hardly seems to listen to them, in which the sessions only last 10 to 15 minutes, and in which the psychiatrist seems more interested in making money than performing his job to the best of his ability. This is not the case with me and my psychiatrist.

If you guys have been in a similar situation, or if you could give me advice about my situation, that would be a great help.

ginniebean
01-21-14, 11:19 AM
Yes, I would talk to her about it.

someothertime
01-21-14, 11:24 AM
Yes, ask. Don't bring up the topics at al... fact is you don't know for sure she is intimidated ( though you seem fairly attuned ) ... maybe she needs to go the toilet or something...

Try not to make it yes or no... really lightly request she "put her cards on the table" so to speak... If she doesn't that is her perogative... though it would be best to let her know that it makes you uneasy... and it may help her long term to talk to someone about it.

illuminator3
01-21-14, 12:05 PM
Yes, ask. Don't bring up the topics at al... fact is you don't know for sure she is intimidated ( though you seem fairly attuned ) ... maybe she needs to go the toilet or something...

Try not to make it yes or no... really lightly request she "put her cards on the table" so to speak... If she doesn't that is her perogative... though it would be best to let her know that it makes you uneasy... and it may help her long term to talk to someone about it.

By topics do you mean the subjects that I mentioned, such as death? Also, she has seemed nervous on other sessions, so I don't think the issue is one of having to go to the bathroom or something similar.

someothertime
01-21-14, 12:38 PM
Basically what i'm saying is not to contaminate her response with presumptions.

Truth be told your welcome to phrase it how you wish. Bring it all up, the key thing is opening the floor... honesty... She's a little restricted in what she can and can't say to you...

Again, the key thing here is that both you and her feel comfortable. She is acting in a way that seems uncomfortable and it's making you uncomfortable. Whether or not she tells you her thoughts is irrelevant... You simply giving her feedback on a barrier or concern you have...

Corina86
01-21-14, 01:19 PM
I had a psychiatrist who felt uncomfortable around me and I'm female and half her size... It might not be that she's afraid you'll kill her, but rather that she'll say something that will trigger you and make your situation worse. Or she doesn't really know how to help you or what diagnosis to give you or she has a headache or whatever.

I think you should be straightforward with her and tell her that you feel you're making her uncomfortable and you don't want that. However, just in case she is afraid you will kill her or something, you can reassure her that you just need someone to talk and she's the only person you can discuss these things with. If you have a history of violent outbursts (yelling or acting on impulse, not necessarily hurting anybody) you might tell what the triggers were, so she'll know to avoid them. Also, make sure you respect her space: don't lean over her desk, don't move the chair too close to the desk, leave the door half open unless she requests you to close it etc.

I hope this isn't offensive, I assume by your post that you're a nice guy, but even nice people can seem scary sometimes to people who don't know them. Especially when they're twice your size and you're alone in a room with them... My brother is a nice guy, but he yells like crazy when angry and, frankly, he looks like a worse psycho than Manson. He wouldn't hurt a fly, but when raged, he even frightens me and I've known him for decades.

illuminator3
01-21-14, 01:48 PM
I had a psychiatrist who felt uncomfortable around me and I'm female and half her size... It might not be that she's afraid you'll kill her, but rather that she'll say something that will trigger you and make your situation worse. Or she doesn't really know how to help you or what diagnosis to give you or she has a headache or whatever.

I think you should be straightforward with her and tell her that you feel you're making her uncomfortable and you don't want that. However, just in case she is afraid you will kill her or something, you can reassure her that you just need someone to talk and she's the only person you can discuss these things with. If you have a history of violent outbursts (yelling or acting on impulse, not necessarily hurting anybody) you might tell what the triggers were, so she'll know to avoid them. Also, make sure you respect her space: don't lean over her desk, don't move the chair too close to the desk, leave the door half open unless she requests you to close it etc.

I hope this isn't offensive, I assume by your post that you're a nice guy, but even nice people can seem scary sometimes to people who don't know them. Especially when they're twice your size and you're alone in a room with them... My brother is a nice guy, but he yells like crazy when angry and, frankly, he looks like a worse psycho than Manson. He wouldn't hurt a fly, but when raged, he even frightens me and I've known him for decades.

Your post didn't offend me, but thanks for your politeness. I'm actually not that tall, just slightly taller than average at 6 feet zero. Our difference in height is only about 3 or 4 inches. After thinking about it, I doubt that I am intimidating to her. I'm pretty sure that the uneasiness is due to the dark subject matter we speak about, or just the fact that she may be perplexed as how to help me or handle the situation. There was this one instance in one of our sessions in which there was a long and awkward moment of silence. I had just finished speaking and was waiting for her response. She and I stayed silent for about a minute to a minute and a half. It was very awkward and uneasy, so yes, she may just be confused or unsure of how to help me or what to say.

Nicksgonefishin
01-21-14, 02:52 PM
Sot is dead on with his responses to this.

You're so afraid of her reaction that this is where your focus is. Don't worry about her reaction as much as what you're trying to convey. Even though they are touchy subjects share them openly.

If you're too distracted by her reactions tell her so she can reaffirm that the session is about you and not her. I view my therapy as my time to talk about myself while being open to input.

Meditation before a session will help. Or ask for 5 min of guided meditation at the beginning.

Tell yourself "she is the most qualified person to give me feed back and insight right now"

Also she could just have to poop. She is a person too.. Mine likes to see me as i bring a water jug and he has a rule that he can drink if the patient is drinking.

I think it is great that you have compassion and empathy for her.

someothertime
01-21-14, 03:09 PM
Bigtime Nick... but you do raise a fairly ubiquitous conundrum though illuminator... and following my own advise would be equally challenging... I get people ignoring me in the street when I say a pleasant hello cause of the way I look... so I can kind of relate to being treated a certain way because of another's fear too...

I think almost everyone who has undergone therapy gets pre-occupied with what the therapist is thinking... Some sort of "gotta understand you if your gonna understand me" kinda thing...

I know I do... I'm lucky with my therapist at the moment that they are either so skilled or so "purely sincere" that these types of thoughts don't have much fuel to grow from.

Hayden_NZ
02-26-14, 11:57 PM
I feel the same sometimes, im always worried about offending someone by mistake. Sometimes when a thepist or doctor asks me something im maybe to honest, ( honesty is def not something I want to change !!, but maybe I need to stop and think about things more and re-word a little, while still being honest). I think you should def explain the situation to your Psychiatrist, I hope that they are at least happy that your an honest and open book kind of person. They might just be confused as to the meaning of why you are saying something, or maybe your changing/bouncing subjects a lot and its confusing them ?. Also Psychiatrists/metal health professionals also deal a lot with manipulative and un-honest people ( the opposite of yourself), so they maybe a bit on guard or suspicious of behaviour outside the norm, or what there use to dealing with.

dvdnvwls
02-27-14, 12:05 AM
About the uncomfortable wait after you said something: Many know (or are taught) that in certain situations the best thing they can do is shut up and let you take the lead.

Artiste
02-27-14, 09:30 AM
I had a psychiatrist act like this once. He seemed to calm down when I stopped bringing my axe to the sessions.