How to Talk to Your Doctor About Your Mental Health
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This is a conversation that may be difficult to start; talking to your doctor about your mental health can be scary at first and even intimidating. How do you bring something like this up if you have never talked to anyone about it before? Maybe you even feel like you’re crazy for pursuing the matter further.
However, talking to your doctor about your mental health is nothing to feel crazy or fearful about. In fact, it is the first step to getting the help you need to feel healthier and happier in life. What can you expect from talking to your doctor about your mental health condition?
Going over what you want to say to your doctor is the first step. Planning ahead to start an uncomfortable conversation can be helpful. It is important to remember that it is the job of a good doctor to listen to your needs fully and understand what you may need going forward.
Getting the Conversation About Mental Health Started
There are different ways you can get the conversation started about your mental health. Opening up about how you feel can be frightening at first. But once you commit to getting help, you will feel relief just knowing you are no longer on your own.
Decide Who to Talk to First
When it comes to opening up about your mental health, it is crucial to decide which medical professional to talk to first. Talking to your primary care physician (PCP) is your first resource, as they know what is going on and can help you take the first steps in getting help.
If you do not have access to a PCP, you may want to research doctors in your area and family medicine practices that treat adults. Another option would be to talk to a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a licensed mental health professional who can diagnose, prescribe medication, and talk you through your mental health situation.
Talking to a psychiatrist first may seem a bit daunting. However, if you can talk to your PCP about your mental health, they may be able to refer you to a psychiatrist and help you prepare for the meeting. It is also important to talk to your PCP because they can diagnose or rule out any physical problem that may be causing your mental health condition.
However, if you do decide to talk to a psychiatrist, first let them know that you do not or have not talked to a PCP about your situation. They know how to properly help you get the diagnosis needed. They can also help you feel more comfortable about talking to a doctor.
Tips on Bringing Up Your Mental Health During a Doctor’s Visit
So, you have found a licensed medical professional to talk to and are ready for the appointment. However, you may feel confused or unprepared on how to bring up the topic of your mental health. First, know that a doctor is there to help you. Bringing up your mental health will not be a surprise to a doctor or a burden.
Write Down Notes
Before you go to your doctor or psychiatric appointment, write down things that you want them to know. For example, if you are feeling persistently sad or anxious, write these symptoms down. By writing your symptoms down on a piece of paper and bringing it with you to your appointment, you can ensure that you will not miss telling your doctor anything that you feel they need to know.
It may be easy to scribble down some notes or create a numbered list. This will help you stay organized and ready to have an honest conversation about how you are feeling. Also, write down questions that you want to be answered. Some general and common questions may be; how do I find out more about my mental health? What kind of therapy should I seek? How can I feel better with or without medication?
Being prepared can make you feel at ease when walking into your doctor’s appointment. It can also help you to remember things that are important to bring up to your doctor. The more information they have, the easier it will be for them to direct you to the right treatment.
After Talking to Your Doctor About Your Mental Health
So, you have talked to your doctor about your mental health. Now you may be wondering what the next step is that you can do for yourself. If you have left the doctor or psychiatrist appointment feeling like you have a direction to go in for seeking proper treatment, then take advantage of the information they gave you.
If you have scheduled another appointment with the doctor to follow up on how you are feeling or have been referred to a clinic like Alter Wellness Care, follow up on the referral. Keep a journal to track how you are feeling until your next appointment. This way, you can write your notes again. Then tell the doctor how you are coping with and managing your symptoms.
Your doctor or psychiatrist may refer you to an outpatient program such as the one offered by Alter Wellness. If this is the case, feel free to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with pursuing this route of treatment.
Mental health clinics are there to help you when the doctor has done everything they can to treat your mental health symptoms. When you are comfortable talking to your doctor, take the same steps talking to a licensed therapist. This way, you can plan the right treatment program for you.
If you feel like you are not ready to tell the doctor everything, take some time and revisit the most important points you want to tell them. You control the conversation, and you make the decision to pursue treatment that works for you.
Feeling tired of dealing with mental health challenges? Need someone to reach out to that will help you manage your symptoms? At Alter Wellness Care, we take mental health seriously. Our outpatient programs have helped those with various mental health disorders succeed and live healthier and happier lives. We take time to treat every individual with care and respect, knowing that the best way to help you is to listen. If you are ready to seek proper treatment for your mental health, do not wait; Contact us at Alter Wellness Care today. Call (866) 311-3510 to learn more about our programs and talk to a licensed medical professional that can help you get the treatment you need.
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