If your anxiety gets to the stage were you seek medical treatment your doctor may pass you on to the community mental health to see either a clinical phycologist or psychiatrist. Here is some information which may help with planning your first visit which can be scary and anxiety provoking.
If you have severe anxiety or if you also have another mental health condition, such as depression. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. A psychologist and certain other mental health providers can diagnose mental health conditions and provide counseling (psychotherapy) such as CBT & CAT.
Because there's often a lot of ground to cover during an initial appointment, it's a good idea to be well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready, and know what to expect from your doctor or mental health provider.
What you can do
To be prepared for your visit, it can be helpful to think about
a few things ahead of time and write down some notes to take with you. Things to write down include:
A list of your symptoms. Include when they occur and whether anything seems to make them better or worse. Also note how much they affect your day-to-day activities, such as work, school or relationships.
What's causing you stress. Include any major life changes or stressful events you've dealt with recently. Also write down any traumatic experiences you've had in the past.
Any health problems you have. Include both physical conditions and mental health issues.
A list of all medications you're taking. Be sure to write down the doses, and include any vitamins or supplements you take.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
Are there other possible situations, psychological issues or physical health problems that could be causing or worsening my anxiety?
Do I need medical tests or other tests?
Are there any restrictions or steps I need to follow?
Should I see a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider?
Would medication help? If so, is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Some questions the doctor may ask include:
Exactly what are your symptoms, and how severe are they?
Have your feelings of anxiety been occasional or continuous?
When did you first begin noticing your feelings of anxiety?
Does anything in particular seem to trigger your feelings of anxiety or make them worse?
What, if anything, seems to improve your feelings of anxiety?
What, if any, physical or mental health conditions do you have?
What traumatic experiences have you had recently or in the past?
Do you regularly drink alcohol or use recreational drugs?
Do you have any blood relatives with anxiety or other mental health conditions such as depression?
Tests and diagnosis
I hope this information is helpful I know that I still get very anxious when going to see either my family doctor or pdoc. I do now follow the steps above and right down any question I have because if I don't I forget to ask them.
I try not to worry about
the future -- so I take each day just one anxiety attack at a time.
Anxiety/Panic Forum Moderator
Diagnosed with:- Asperger's Syndrome, dyslexia, gad, sad, ocd, depression, reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
Medication:- 400mg Lyrica, 15mg Escitalopram, Serequel 25-50mg, 5mg Diazepam Ibuprofen 400mg x 3
Post Edited (Hibee) : 12/16/2011 8:32:24 AM (GMT-7)