What to ask your psychiatrist

Mental health is important, and seeing a psychiatrist to manage it is a courageous step. While the psychiatrist has vast experience and will steer the interactions, you will also have to practice some autonomy. As they grow to understand you and your situation, the psychiatrist will have a lot of questions, but so will you. Understanding what to ask your psychiatrist will help you understand your mental health and the path towards healing.

What to ask your psychiatrist initially

Psychiatrists have varying degrees of experience, methods, tools, expertise, and facilities at their disposal. That means there is a suitable match for everyone out there; you just have to find it yourself. To do that, you need to ask questions that will build your confidence and trust in the psychiatrist, like;

  • What is your background in psychiatry 
  • Do you have a location near me?
  • Are you independent or work with a health clinic?

What you can ask about the treatment

After a few sessions, the psychiatrist may have an idea of your treatment plan, which they will share with you. A lot of it may sound like confusing medical terms, but the psychiatrist will diligently go through all of it with you. In the midst of the information, here’s what to ask your psychiatrist; 

  • There are rarely clear timelines on how long the treatment period can take. But you may ask for guidelines and previous experiences to get an idea.
  • Ask about what behavioral changes and side effects you can expect from the medication.
  • Ask if the medication can be addictive and what steps you can take should a dependency develop.
  • If you are a parent, guard, relative, or friend, you can ask about your part in caring for the patient.
  • Ensure you understand the duration and time of medication they prescribe. As a caregiver, you can also ask about an unwanted occurrence of abrupt discontinuation so that you can prepare for the consequences.  
  • You can ask about other treatment options. For example, if you are uncomfortable with depression medication, you can try TMS. 

As you take the journey to better mental health, take the time to understand it. Never be afraid to ask questions. If you want more information on mental health treatments, contact us at Lighthouse Health.

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