If you are preparing for your visit to the psychiatrist, it is normal to be confused or overwhelmed. You may not know what to expect. Fortunately, psychiatrists such as Dr. Amr Beltagui can help you make the process as simple and seamless as possible. Having mental health concerns is nothing to be ashamed of. One in six people in the United States takes psychiatric medication. The following are some of the things to keep in mind during your appointment:
1. Your First Visit Will Be Long
Your initial visit is usually the longest, sometimes taking up to two hours. During that visit, you need to fill out the paperwork, and your psychiatrist will assess and determine a diagnosis. They will try to learn more about you and to understand your needs more accurately. They may ask several questions that are important for you to answer honestly. Some of the most common questions that they may ask include:
• Why are you here today?
• How do you feel?
• What do you hope to achieve?
• How may I help you?
Do not be nervous when being asked the questions. Open-ended questions can be intimidating but there is no right or wrong answer. Show up to your appointment ready to communicate openly and honestly.
2. Write Down Your Personal Concerns
Before showing up to your appointment, write down a list of the concerns and troubles that you want to address. If you don’t have a list, you are likely to forget to talk about some important issues or focus on ones that don’t best represent your key points. When you visit a therapist, make sure to write down their recommendations in response to your concerns so you can implement them and reference them frequently.
3. Cope with Pre-Appointment Anxiety
Appointment anxiety is a common problem for many people. If you don’t find a way to properly address this, it could likely affect the outcome of your general experience. Your therapist will help you no matter how intense your problems appear to be, and this can be a source of relief and comfort to some. A simple but proven way to deal with your anxiety is to prepare in advance for your appointment according to the specific things you feel are prompting the anxiety. Taking a friend or family member to your first appointment can also make it easier. Many psychiatrists suggest that you have a loved one at the appointment to help ease anxiety, but this is completely up to your preference.
4. Try to Understand Your Psychiatrist
Your first appointment is the perfect time for you to get to know more about your psychiatrist. Ask about their passions, communication skills, experience, and treatment methods. This is as much a time for you to learn about them as it is for them to learn about you. Treatment can prove to be much more effective when personal understanding is reached on both sides. Compile a list of any questions that you feel would help you get to know them.
5. Compile a List of Your Medication
If you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, compile a list of those medications and their correlation to your existing medical conditions. Medications to list include herbal drugs, recreational drugs, naturopath, and even caffeine. Brush up on your medical history and past experiences like if you’ve had seizures, mental health concerns, blood pressure problems, cardiac issues, conditions like diabetes.
If you choose to pursue psychiatric help, preparation is important for creating a solid starting point. Proper preparation can drastically improve your overall experience. Mental health problems can result in more extreme struggles including extreme sadness, reduced productivity, and social isolation. Having mental health problems is normal and nothing to be ashamed about. With the help of a good psychiatrist, you can manage your symptoms and live a healthy life.