Getting The Most Out Of Your Psychiatrist
Getting The Most Out Of Your Psychiatrist
I guess I need to put my usual disclaimer here and that is my psychiatrist appointments over the last decade have been in ten minutes or less. I do not pay to see my psychiatrist thanks to the Canadian health care system and that being said they tend to be very busy seeing multiple patients every hour so this is not a lie down on the couch and talk about that dream you had last night. Nope this is a safety check and a medication review for the most part so that should be kept in mind though the points that I will provide in this article should help in meetings in all psychiatrists
My Psychiatrist Background
When my mental health issues decided to completely take over my life the first stop that i made was to my family doctor. After hearing what I was experiencing he prescribed my first antidepressant and referred me to a psychiatrist. I think it was a two month wait at the time which is much better than the typical wait period of six months to a year which it is now.
The very first appoint I had with this particular psychiatrist who I will call Dr. MD did not last long as I failed the safety part of the meeting and before you could say boo I was sent home to pack and ended up that night in a psychiatric hospital. I was giving the choice of signing myself in voluntary or the doctor would issue a seventy two hour hold. So I signed myself in. Over the next three months that I spent in this particular psychiatric hospital Dr. MD was my primary doctor so I saw him Monday to Friday for about five minutes per day until I was released and would see him every week for the next three years or so. Afterwards it was down to once per month and after a couple of more years it was down to once every three months.
Psychiatrist Issues I Brought Upon Myself
The main issue I had when I was first released from the psychiatric hospital was that I was worried that if I said the wrong thing I would find myself back on the psych ward, the fact that his office was on the ground level of the local mental health hospital did not help the matter. He would ask basically the same three questions and I would give him the same basic three answers. My goal was to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Of course all this really did was waste his time and my own
Psychiatrist Communication Breakthrough
Two years after the first admission I signed myself back in to the psych ward and finally realized that if I did not make a major change in my life that I was doomed to repeat this cycle over and over again. So what I did was spend a few days and write out my psychiatric history. The doctor was stunned to put it mildly. To put it simply he learned more in that one week than the previous two years combined. I also managed to diagnose myself in the process which he would completely agree with. Now with the right information he was actually able to be much more effective which in the long term would go a long way, though I spent another two months on the psych ward. A few years later I would end up back on the psych ward, issues with medication for the most part, and would be assigned another doctor for some reason and this relationship was horrific right out of the gate, which I may talk about at a later date. Regardless I signed myself out of the psych ward at the end of the first week and I have not been back since
Getting The Most Out Of Your Psychiatrist Meetings
There are a number of things you can do to help yourself and put your psychiatrist in a better position to help you that I have found effective over the years
1. Keep A Journal – Now I have mentioned this in a earlier post on how keeping a mental health journal can make such a difference when it comes to getting your sanity back on track. Where a mental health journal helps is at your psychiatrist meetings. You will be able to show him and her how your moods are fluctuating, any issues with medications, how you are sleeping and coping day to day. I use to walk into Dr. MD office and just hand him my journal, once he read it we discussed any issues I was experiencing
2. Making A List Of Questions Or Issues Beforehand – Ever waited weeks before a doctors appointment with a number of questions in your head then walk into his or her office and go blank? Yep I have been there too many times so for the time leading up to the appointment anytime I had a question or concern I would write it down. The day of the appointment I would review my questions then copy out the ones I would want to bring up during the appointment
3. The Doctor Works For You – If you are paying the doctor through your taxes or paying him or her directly the end result is the same, they work for you. If you had an employee that you hired and you wanted him or her to complete a job you would give them absolutely everything that they needed to finish the job properly. The psychiatrist is no different. Keeping valuable information from him or her is going to cost you in the long run. Too much is better than too little
Hopefully one or all of these tips will help you to get the most out of your visits with the psychiatrist or any doctor for that matter. In order to get to the goal of sanity fastest it is imperative that we have as many tools as possible on our side and the doctor is a big one.