How To Get Ready For Your First Appointment With A Psychiatrist

If you are suffering from depression or another mental health issue, your family doctor may have advised you to see a psychiatrist. This medical professional specializes in diagnosing and treating various mental and behavioral disorders. If this your first time seeking treatment for a mental health problem, you may feel nervous. However, if you prepare ahead of time, the appointment will be less stressful.

Here are a few tips for getting ready for your first appointment with a psychiatrist.

Gather Information About Your Medical History

During your first appointment with a psychiatrist, he or she will want to know information about your medical and psychiatric history. As such, remember to bring a list of your medications, your current and past medical conditions and family history of mental health problems. If your psychiatrist has all of this information, he or she can help you better.

Educate Yourself About Your Condition

Whether you are seeing a psychiatrist for bipolar disorder or a phobia, it is a good idea to research your condition. Find out about the symptoms, causes and treatment options. If you know more information about your condition, you will be able to ask your psychiatrist better questions.

Write Down Questions

At your first session with a psychiatrist, you should not be afraid to ask questions. In fact, a good psychiatrist will encourage you to ask as many questions as you want. Before your appointment, write down your questions in a notebook to avoid forgetting them. For instance, you may want to find out about your medication options or how you can be involved in your care.

Do not Expect a Quick Solution

Although it would be nice if your psychiatrist could solve your mental health problems immediately, it is not realistic. Improving your mental health takes time and effort on your part. A psychiatrist can only provide you with the tools to manage your mental health woes.

Plan to Arrive Early

Because your psychiatrist will ask you questions about your medical history, your first appointment will be longer than the rest. Therefore, try to leave your house several minutes early to make it on time. You want to get the most you can out of this appointment.

It is normal to feel anxious about your initial appointment with a psychiatrist. Keeping these tips in mind will ease your nerves and help you have a successful first appointment with your psychiatrist.