Making an appointment with a psychiatrist is the first step to improving your mental health. It’s important to make the most of each your sessions in order to maximize your efforts. Here are 5 ways to get the most out of your psychiatry appointments.
- Look for a good fit! Before you schedule the first appointment, do as much homework online as possible. Call the office and ask about the office routine. Try to find a psychiatrist and an office that fits your needs.
- Come prepared. Bring the psychiatrist ALL of your medications – I recommend typing up a list with name, dose, time you take it, side effects, etc. On the list it is also helpful to include when you started the medication and when the dose was adjusted in the past. If you have tried medications in the past, try to write all of these down as well with name, dose, schedule, and reason you stopped taking it.
- Don’t forget about other providers. Make a list of your other providers with their name, specialty, and contact phone number or email. The most important contacts are primary care and if you are working with a therapist; however, it is helpful to bring contact information for other providers as well.
- Why are you there? Be prepared to tell your “story” in about 20 minutes – why are you coming to see a psychiatrist? What symptoms do you have? How are they affecting your functioning? What are your friends and family noticing about you?
- Where do you want to go? Think carefully about your goals for treatment and write some of them down. If you do not want to take medication make sure to state that as one of your goals.
Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne