When you decide to reach out to a psychiatrist for your mental health concerns, you may have a lot of questions about the way your session will go or what the psychiatrist will ask you about. Booking an appointment with a psychiatrist can seem daunting when going through a difficult time.
“Will they give me medicines?” “Will those medicines have side effects?” “What if my concern is not curable?” “What if I get dependent on those medications?”
It is okay and absolutely normal to have these questions and apprehensions. We’ve put together a list of things that will help you understand what to expect from a psychiatric consultation.
In your first session with a psychiatrist, a lot of time will be spent discussing your medical history - including any illnesses you have suffered from, surgeries, or any other medical conditions you have dealt with.
It is important that you tell your psychiatrist about your health in as much detail as possible, including the timeline, previous consultations with any other doctor, family history with similar concerns, and any ayurvedic, homeopathic or allopathic medications that you’re taking.
It’s also helpful to talk about how your health has impacted your sleep, diet, mood, or behaviour. Thinking about these questions before you visit a psychiatrist can help ensure you don’t miss any significant details.
In order to arrive at the right diagnosis for your concerns, your psychiatrist may ask you a series of questions and may dig deep into them as well.
This can include details about your daily routine, how you have been feeling over the last few weeks or months, your immediate living environment, your close relationships, the kind of thoughts you have, sexual history, interests, your work history and why you have chosen to seek treatment.
Once you have answered these questions, be assured that your psychiatrist will guide the treatment plan and decide the exact kind of medication that you may need.
A psychiatric consultation does not always end up in the prescription of medication. After a thorough assessment of your biological, social and psychological factors, your psychiatrist may decide that you don’t need medical intervention but refer you to a therapist instead.
They may also give recommendations on changing your lifestyle, such as changing your dietary habits. The important thing to remember is that the psychiatrist will work with you to create a treatment plan based on your specific needs and concerns.
Most psychiatrists ask you if you are comfortable taking medication and give you a clear indication of any side effects that your medications may have.
If your psychiatrist misses this information, ensure that you ask them about the duration of the medications, how they function and the possible side effects they may have. If you notice that the side effects are too strong, it’s okay to ask your psychiatrist for advice. They will help you deal with side effects or taper the medication, when necessary. Also, your psychiatrist will also ensure follow-up sessions to make sure that the medication is working properly and to support you throughout your journey.
A comprehensive mental health treatment involves different experts in the mental health ecosystem - psychiatrists, psychologists, or psychotherapists.
Your psychiatrist may recommend therapy if they conclude that psychotherapy can help you deal with your symptoms and concerns. You can trust them with their advice about seeking the right kind of help.
Finding the right psychiatrist and establishing a collaborative relationship with them is a process that takes time and patience. If you are anxious about your first psychiatric consultation, it is okay to feel this way.
Remember that there’s always some way out of the difficulties you are experiencing. At your psychiatric consultation, ensure that you ask the right questions and open up honestly and in detail so that the psychiatrist can build the best treatment plan for you.
If you are struggling with any emotional or behavioural difficulties, connect with one of the psychiatrists on our team, and we promise to make the process easy for you.
Amaha psychiatrists come with decades of experience and rigorous training in diverse clinical settings for the entire spectrum of mental illnesses.
Psychiatry at Amaha goes beyond just medication - we combine the biological, psychological, and social aspects of care to create a comprehensive treatment plan for each client. Book a session now.