I was mandated to see a psychiatrist after a drug relapse in January 03'. That was in lieu of a professional license that was in limbo due to drug problems. I actually started with a psychiatrist who I found attrocious, and then moved on to a Psycholgist I knew who's also a nurse practitioner... thus he could med manage + do psychotherapy. After about a year from him he referred me to another nurse practitioner of psychiatry because he went into teaching. This new NP moved to another psychiatrist's practice monthss after I started with her, and now I'm just sticking to this Doctor's practice... she's moved on again. I've had bad luck as these Psychologist/NP's moving from practice to practice like the wind... not something a mentally ill person needs.
My first visit with this Psychiatrist (my current one) was awesome. I went into full blown detail about my addiction history, and he also got me to look at several factors in my ealrly childhood that I had forgotten or buried. I've been bipolar since childghood, but they didn't have all the psychology/ADHD/child bipolar stuff in the 70's. I was hyperactive, delinquent (not very bad though) even though I had a solid supportive family, an insomniac... just all kinds of stuff that's bizarre for a 5 year old. My mother later backed up all these abnormalities of my youth... which she just thought were growing issues.
To answer you question (sorry for my tangent), you should be comfortable with your psychiatrist. He won't spend much time generally on follow-up visitis as his specialty is medications, but the first visit may be extensive. it should be really. It varies on the Doc. I love my psychiatric practice, and I can admit any thoughts/feelings/actions without any feelings of embarassment. The doc I have now spent about 2 1/2 hours with me my first visist. The first doc I had did a 1/2 hour initial visit.
You should be comfortable and feel cared for. That's it in a nutshell for me. My docotr is special and I'm grateful I found him. He works with mental illness and addiction... my two problems in life.
God, take my will & my life,
Guide me in my recovery,
Show me how to live,
Just For Today!
Identify with the sick and suffering addict... don't judge!