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Preparing For Your First Psychiatrist Appointment

Guest Author: Dr. S

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

1) Write down why you think you have been referred to a psychiatrist.

2) Write down the symptoms and feelings you are struggling with the most.

3) What are your expectations for your consultation with a psychiatrist? If you are not sure research (aka Google) what the role of psychiatrist is.

4) If you have seen a psychiatrist before (or engaged in mental health programs and/or therapy), write down the dates, diagnosis and if you found it helpful.

5) Understand you will be asked personal and sensitive questions, which you may have never been asked before, such as abuse history and relationships.

We do not have to go into detail but please do share, because it helps for diagnosis and understanding you. We’re asking these questions to ultimately help you.

6) Ideally, you want to have your family doctor run baseline labs. Bring those results to the appointment.

7) Ensure you bring your current full medication list, including ones used for other medical conditions. This one’s important!

Current meds also includes:

  • Naturopath
  • Herbal
  • And recreational drug use – marijuana, alcohol, etc.
  • And yes, even caffeine and smoking count.

8) Know your, and your family’s, medical history. If you don’t have this, and have the ability to find out, ask your mother, father, aunts, uncles. For example: diabetes, blood pressure, seizures, thyroid, cardiac issues and especially any history of mental illness.

9) Write down any psychiatric medications you have used. Say what ones worked, or the ones you hated because of side effects.

10) Be on time. But understand that there may be a delay because patients before you may be struggling like you and may need more time than their appointment was scheduled for (just like I would do for you if you needed it).

And most of all…

11) Be honest. I know it’s hard with someone you just met, but it goes a long way to help you and that’s what we are here for!  In our nonjudgmental way.

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Mrs WTF
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My spouse is going in the morning for intake and psych evaluation and is already having a hard time with having to answer questions and talk to a therapist about anything. He is also concerned about why I want to go along. I have a feeling he is not going to be cooperative , and that will affect how helpful therapy can be for his overall mental health. Being paranoid schizophrenic, he is already in his head believing that every one will try to trick him and will become agitated when asked about his family and history . I am one person who has information that can help them (Dr.) Understand the depth of his condition, and then offer the best path to help my spouse be more likely to thrive more comfortablely in society. But my spouse has his own agenda, and does not want to take his medication correctly, or do any other forms of therapy that was weekly visits from his therapist , I on the other hand feel like he needs the components of the therapy and medication, because he is not doing well, but has everyone fooled that he is okay, but hides away in our room for the majority of the day other than bathroom, kitchen and smoke breaks. Since October his smoking has doubled and he only drinks coffee and soda all day. I’m trying desperately to get the situation nipped in the bud, so that we can continue to grow and learn how to live in the best mental health . I will have to sacrifice his happiness with me for a day, to make sure I am giving him the best chances of getting the right therapy for his own good. ..Just be with me Lord, in Jesus name Amen. .

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