Many people get in front of a psychiatrist and freeze, completely forgetting all the issues that brought them there in the first place. This is extremely common. So, before you head off for your first psychiatric appointment write down all your concerns. Some examples would be anxiety, flashbacks and trouble sleeping just to name a few.
Bring a Loved One to Your First Psychiatric Appointment
It can be really difficult to sit in front of a stranger and pour out your heart and admit to things you’d likely prefer to forget. But you need to, so bring a loved one to your first psychiatric appointment to make it easier. This person will be on your side and be able to fill in any blanks you might forget. Plus, this person can offer a perspective on what symptoms he or she has personally seen and that can be very helpful for a doctor.
Be Open and Honest In All Psychiatric Appointments
Honestly, it’s natural to want to hide stuff, even from a psychiatrist, but he or she can’t help you if you don’t give him or her the full picture. Its critical to be honest with your psychiatrist to let them know exactly how you are feeling ad how you have changed since your auto collision.
Don’t try to shape your answers into a diagnosis, just be honest. Really, you’ll be a more accurate diagnosis that way. You don’t’ know what is important so don’t try to do your psychiatrist’s job for him or her. Always remember that they are on your side and are there to help you.
Write Down Everything the Doctor Says in Your First Psychiatric Appointment
Chances are there will be a lot of information flying your way in your first psychiatric appointment so write it down for reference later.
Ask Questions at Your First Psychiatric Appointment
What matters in any psychiatric appointment is that you understand what is going on and you can’t do that without questions. No questions are dumb questions. Don’t leave the room without an understanding of what is going on and what is happening next. Again, your loved one may be able to do some of this for you if you’re feeling overwhelmed, which would be natural. Likely you won’t have a complete understanding of your illness at your first appointment but your doctor may be able to recommend resources where you can learn more.
Your First Psychiatrist Appointment Should End with a Plan
You may or may not leave your first psychiatric appointment with a prescription, but you should leave with a plan for next steps. Will you be seeing someone else? Do you need any tests run? When can a diagnosis be made if not now?
You Should Understand Any Prescriptions from Your First Psychiatric Appointment
If you do get a prescription, make sure you understand what it is, what it’s for and what the common side effects are. You should also know if there are any special dosing instruction (like, take with food (and how much food)) and if there are any interactions to worry about. Again, you may want to write down what you want to know about a prescription before you get there so you know that when you walk out, you have all the information you need.
Your First Psychiatric Appointment Is Worth It
Try to go in with a positive attitude, with the backup of a loved one and start getting the help you need to get better.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace a physician’s advice. Please always consult your physician for your medical needs.