Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Does Seeing a Psychiatrist Help? (Need advice)

Hi guys,

I've recently found the opportunity to go meet with a psychiatrist. It's something that I've been wanting to a do for a while, because I feel that my procrastination springs from a deeper issue that I want to deal with. What I'd like to know before I meet him is whether any of you who've been to a psychiatrist have felt any improvement because of it? My first appointment is this Sunday.
Looking forward to reading your feedback.

I've been to three

I've been to three psychiatrists. From two, I gained a fair bit of insight; one was too inexperienced to really help me.

A good psychiatrist can help you in ways other therapists, however well-meaning, can't. Best of luck!


I identify with your difficulty in getting honest with yourself. For me, that is a huge component of why I behave self-destructively. I am really happy that you are giving yourself the present of taking ownership of your actions.

One book that I really love that guides me through the waters of this is The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie. It is set up as a year of affirmations, but it definately deals with many of the thought patterns I have which lead me down the path to acting out with food, procrastination, etc. 



e and psychotherapy

there is a lot of value in everything, provided you 'take what you want and leave the rest'. I have had mixed reviews with psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. However, much of it I think depended on my own ability to own up to my problems. The person I had good rapport with I was able to move ahead with, even if I did not move forward directly.

Over the years I have wandered off in all sorts of directions for help. If you would like to chat privately on this issue, you can contact me through my profile.

I am excited for you that you are ready to grow!

hugs, e


I would like that, e :) Thanks for the support :D

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson

Yes. Psychology Been Bery Bery Good To Me.

Hi Edge,

As you can see from my signature, I'm a big fan of learning about myself. It's a bit of a spiritual pursuit, I guess. The idea being that by knowing myself I don't act unconsciously so much, and therefore refrain from doing harm to myself or others. I've always been a pretty self-conscious person naturally. But I would say that a few things I've learned about my Procrastination habit through my readings of, and sessions with, psychological professionals have pointed me in good directions. Since I joined up with Procrastinators Anonymous two years ago, I've come a long way. Oh, I can still be tortured by paralysis of will, but it's a relief to have identified myself as a procrastinator, just so I can legitimately address my own well-being. Not a "disease" per se, but a set of perceptions that make a condition. But, as time has gone on, I think I've realized that calling myself names may be an extension of the same condition. Let me explain.

My procrastination is a mechanism whereby I get backassward positive feedback for doing the normal in a way that I can perceive as doing the impossible. Fewer and fewer people want to give me that kind of feedback anymore, but I notice that the games I play with myself involve ways of boosting my self esteem through massive self-destructive tendencies. In other words, I'm pretty sure my procrastination condition is my child self, my tender ego, screaming for attention. The psychologist who's work has most informed my journey to placate and nurture that child in me is probably Claude Steiner. Yes, I'm from California, and yes, I grew up in the 70s. But you can read some things here, and maybe you'll get a glimpse of what I mean.

Claude Steiner on Transactional Analysis

With Transactional Analysis, Eric Berne made complex interpersonal transactions understandable especially the "games" that the "inner child" plays in order to gain recognition from others.

 I also saw a counselor (MFCC) who I trusted and who was able to give me permission to believe I wasn't the scum of the earth. And I was then able to recognize and accept the messages I had been getting from friends and colleagues that I was fine and normal after all. 

The last few years has been spent understanding that it's all well and good to get the concept, feel the love, be spiritually aligned, blah blah blah, but that I've got to walk the walk and, lo and behold, it is indeed possible to change. I owe that epiphany to what I learned about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy --which is a way of Knowing Thyself, at the level of how you make decisions to feel a particular way about something. And then making different choices at that level in order to Change Your Feeling, and thus Change Your Behavior. My counselor and others helped me learn how to do some of that. It became a matter of survival.

So, armed with CBT, I owe my real changes in behavior, and my higher percentage of time not being in a sorry state of self-loathing and anxious inactivity, to those productivity gurus like David Allen. Embarrassing, but true. I guess CBT convinced me it was possible to change, but GTD helped me identify what changes to make.

Well, that's my story. Enjoy tomorrow's appointment. I wish you the best with your process. May you discover the wonderful feeling of trusting yourself and loving what comes next.

Gnothi Seauton ~ Know Thyself

Thanks Gwen :)

I sure did learn a few things about myself that I wasn't willing to fully face before, after my session =/ We don't like admitting our real weaknesses to ourselves, do we? But because we don't, we never face the real problem and solve our resulting shortcomings :(

I'm learning the hard way what it means to be open with myself. My psychiatrist gave me a few papers to answer - multiple choice questions and some material where I should highlight certain behavior or feelings that I feel apply to me. Let's just say I had to wrestle aside my own embarrassment to answer everything truthfully, but I did it =/

I never realized how much I hated/feared people seeing me as weak until now. That, coupled with my perfectionism and my demand resistance and fear of failure has created a jumbled mess of contradictory feelings and behavior. But I have hope :) The only constant in this world is change, right? I'll change, eventually, and with the right treatment :)

For now we've established that my problem isn't medical (though meds were suggested to help keep me anxiety free, something that I refused), and so we're going to work on CBT :)

Thanks for sharing your story with me, Gwen :) It makes dealing with my situation less overwhelming, because you've inspired me and given me hope :*

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson

Prof'l help

Hi Edge,

I'm kind of a therapy junkie -- I had a lot of issues to work through, other than procrastination -- and have had some very good and some not so good experiences.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors, so they often do tend to focus more on meds than on talk therapy. Psychologists have Ph.D.s; they can be very good as long as they don't insist on interpreting everything in terms of whatever theory they wrote their thesis on! M.S.W.s can be good, too, and often have a more holistic approach. The person who helped me most with procrastination specifically was a skilled hypnotherapist with no degree at all, but be careful -- some hypnotists can be really flaky.

Whoever you work with, the most important thing is that you feel respected, heard, taken seriously and supported. You want someone who will challenge you, but in a respectful way. If you don't feel safe opening up to the person you're seeing, or feel crazier when you walk out of the office than you did walking in, drop that person right away!

Best of luck with it,


Thanks Falcon

I'm keeping a close eye on my psychiatrist to see how he handles my problem :) Like Gwen said, great advice :D

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson

Re: Prof'l help

Here here. Good advice, Falcon.

re: psychiatrist/psychologist

Hi edge!

Well I've never been to either a psychologist or a psychiatrist.  So I cannot speak from my own experience on that.

However, I've heard that this method helps a lot of people:

This author
describes CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)
in this book:

It sounds as though you are wanting to address some underlying cause for your procrastination (rather than the procrastination itself).   That is fine, and probably helpful.

However, please see my (rather long) reply to this thread:
(specifically the last half of my long post on that thread).

Thanks for the links,

Thanks for the links, moving! I found your answer in that thread to be particularly insightful. I've replied to it as well.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson


I've never been to a real psychiatrist, but I've been to a psychologist and it did help.  I've heard that psychiatrists are big on meds, but I don't know from personal experience.  Nothing wrong with meds though, IMHO


“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” - Stephen Covey


Lol, I hope it doesn't come to that. I've never been fond of meds. Though I doubt that my issue will require any meds.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson