Preparing for your appointment

Whether you schedule an appointment with your primary care provider to talk about mental health concerns or you’re referred to a mental health provider, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, take steps to prepare for your appointment.

If possible, take a family member or friend along. Someone who has known you for a long time may be able to share important information with your heath care provider, with your permission.

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you or people close to you have noticed, and for how long
  • Key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any current, major stressors
  • Your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions
  • Any medications, vitamins, herbal products or other supplements you take, and their doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor or mental health provider

Questions to ask include:

  • What type of mental illness might I have?
  • Why can’t I get over mental illness on my own?
  • How do you treat my type of mental illness?
  • Will talk therapy help?
  • Are there medications that might help?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
  • What websites do you recommend?

Don’t hesitate to ask any other questions.

Credit information: mayoclinic.org

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