Talking with some physicians about depression and anxiety therapy is a direct way to determine what is not right and then taking action to cure your problem.
However, for some patients, the prospect of talking about their mental health issues with a physician is as horrible as the issue itself. LaShawnLewis gives thirteen tips for helping you to prepare for your conversation with a doctor, and also for what does come next.
1. You might feel a bit uncomfortable while sharing your legitimate medical issues for getting assistance
Sometimes, patients get scared while bringing issues up. Unfortunately, despite huge progress in this field, mental concern is yet an important subject that is branded by stigma, shame, and misunderstanding. When you link your signs with character flaws or weaknesses, it is no wonder that you are hesitated to discuss these. That is why the first conversation that you must have is just with yourself.
2. Set targets for your conversation
First of all, you need to think regarding the results you are seeking. You should remember that treating and diagnosing depression and anxiety takes some time as well as expertise. Set some reasonable targets for your conversation, like a) think about all your concerns, and b) work with the physician to determine your plan for addressing these concerns.
3. Select which doctor to trust
For several patients, PCP or primary care physician offers regular health care and does coordinate the care that is delivered by some specialists. PCPs are general practitioners, internists, or family practitioners. Some patients might be in regular contact & have a familiar r/p with the specialists like an OB/GYN or obstetrician/gynecologist, endocrinologist, or cardiologist. These physicians are qualified as well to respond to concerns like depression and anxiety. In some cases, a patient might just schedule an appointment with a mental health physician like a psychiatrist.
4. Do not expect that your physician can read your mind
Even a physician who has already seen similar patients for several years might skip the signs of your mental illness, mainly if she or he is focused on some other concerns and conditions. That does not mean that the doctors do not sense an issue & ask about this – instead, they usually do. But do not assume this would come up – you need to prepare to bring this up.
5. Express your all concerns in simple words to your doctor
In case you state your signs and symptoms a bit vaguely, then your doctor might look for the physical causes, instead of just focusing on depression and anxiety therapy. Rather, you need to use some clear statements such as “I think that I may be depressed and anxious,” or “I’m experiencing following signs” to start the conversation. Also, try to be more specific and direct with your doctor, as it would be far easier for your physician to respond in an effective way.
6. Make this a major priority, and not just an afterthought
In the busy medical practices, your appointed time with the physician is quite limited. Several patients see the PCP for a brief visit just once a year or even less. And, the primary temptation is to tell a large number of problems into a single meeting. That is not the right approach. If mental health problems are at the end of your list and thus are shared at the end, then very little time is there for your discussion and treatment planning. Instead, discuss the issues and signs at the start.
7. Understand there’re a large number of different diagnoses to think
When you have shared all your concerns in detail, realize that the physician has a challenging and essential job of reaching the diagnosis. What initially looks like anxiety or depression might be more than a single mental health problem or a combination of physical and mental illnesses. For instance, depression and anxiety quite often happen together, bipolar disease and depression share a few common properties, and depressive disorders usually co-occur along with severe conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes. The doctor might ask you a few screening questions and schedule some follow-up appointments as well to learn more about your health condition.
8. Ensure your mental health providers are talking with one another
Just like you might have to take important steps in coordinating the follow-up, you’ll have to take the lead to keep everybody participating in the care connected. It’s quite common for a PCP in order to prescribe the medications whilst depression and anxiety therapy is given by the social worker, psychologist, or some other specialist.
For helping to facilitate the communication between the mental health providers, first of all, make sure you’ve signed the release form (also called the HIPAA form as it’s the product of “Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996”) hence the therapist and physician might exchange information when protecting the privacy.
9. Manage the hopes
What do you hope would result from the discussion? Today, more than half of the antidepressants are generally prescribed by the primary care physician, hence when the initial diagnosis could be made; the doctor might begin your treatment very soon. Along with the medication, she or he might encourage you in order to be checked by another provider like a social worker or psychologist to give psychotherapy or counseling as a part of the comprehensive treatment planning.
10. Need to be a consistent advocate
The physician is a good “first responder” for the concerns that include those affecting the mental health and must be both able and willing to handle this challenge. However, in an unfortunate event that she or he doesn’t act upon the concerns, do not give up.
You should be patient with the health care providers. Every case is different, and this does take enough time to reach the impactful individualized treatment plans.