If you are seeing your doctor about a mental health condition, you may feel overwhelmed and even embarrassed.
Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to trauma, environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment many people learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder. To increase the chance that treatment works, patients and their families should actively participate in their care and treatment. This means understanding your condition, taking an active role in your care and recovery, and asking questions. Remember, there is no such thing as a “dumb” question when it comes to your health.
Take this list of questions with you the next time you go to see your doctor, and write down the answers for future reference.
The answer to some of your questions may help you and your doctor choose the treatment that is best for you. Treatment for mental health problems may include counseling (psychotherapy) and/or medication. Mental health disorders respond well to treatment. Talk to your doctor, and learn as much as you can about your condition and its treatments.
Questions About Your Mental Health Diagnosis
- What is my diagnosis? Can you explain it in simple language that I can understand?
- What are the possible causes of my condition?
- What is the prescribed treatment? What are the benefits and risks?
- Is this the most successful treatment available? Are there other treatments available?
- How soon should treatment start? How long will it last?
- What are my options if this treatment fails?
- Do I need a follow-up visit?