What To Expect During Your First Psychiatry Appointment

You have decided to take control of your mental and spiritual health, and the first step is to work with a psychiatrist. The idea of visiting a psychiatrist for the first time can be intimidating because you do not know what to expect and what you need to do to prepare for the experience. Here are a few things you can anticipate happening at your first psychiatry appointment, and some simple things you can do to get ready for the appointment.

Get Ready to Answer Several Questions

In order to create a diagnosis and determine a treatment plan, your psychiatrist will ask you several questions about yourself, your medical history, and your family's medical history. For example, one important question is if there is any history of mental health issues in your family, such as anxiety or depression.

Your psychiatrist will ask you very specific questions about your own past diagnoses and if those diagnoses, such as anxiety, depression, or bi-polar disorder, are currently being treated. Finally, you will be asked to fill out a variety of assessments and answer several questions about why you are seeking the help of a psychiatrist, including:

  • What are the exact reasons you are seeking therapy?
  • Have you ever been to another therapist and was the experience effective?
  • Do you have issues with your identity?
  • Do you have thoughts of harming yourself and others?

Being completely honest with your psychiatrist is critical because it is the best way for your experience to be successful.

Help Your Psychiatrist Create a Treatment Plan

After answering questions and filling out assessments, you and your psychiatrist will work together to create a treatment plan. This plan will include any recommended medications and how many sessions you will attend every week. Your psychiatrist might provide you with a diagnosis during this first session, as well.

Prepare For Your Appointment

Before your appointment, there are several things you can do to make the experience less stressful and more productive. For example, write down a thorough medical history for both you and your family. If you are not sure about your family's mental health history, ask a parent or another older family member for help. Writing down a list of questions to ask will also ensure you do not leave the session with any misunderstandings about your mental health and treatment plan moving forward.

Visiting your psychiatrist for the first time can be scary. However, with some preparation and honesty, your first session can be productive.