How To Make The Most Of Your Psychiatry Follow Up Appointments

After your initial consultation with a psychiatrist, chances are good that you are going to need to talk to him or her again within a few weeks in order to make sure that the medications that you have started are working properly. These appointments often seem very short because the psychiatrist needs to see many patients during the day. Here are some tips for making the most of your psychiatry appointment and ensuring that you get and give the information that you need.

1. Write Down the Severity of Your Symptoms Before and After Medication

You absolutely need to prepare for your psychiatry appointment. Purchase a notebook specifically for this task, or make a memo on your smartphone. First, list all of your symptoms, such as ruminating, depressive feelings, mania, or anything else that you might have been suffering from before you went on medication. Next to each item, place a number between 1 and 5 or 1 and 10 that represents the severity of the symptom before you went on medication. Then, list all of the items again and write down how you feel now, after you have been on medication for a certain number of weeks. 

This information will allow you to make sure that you are able to give your psychiatrist more information about how you are feeling than just "fine" or "okay." You have a quantified list of how you are feeling and how the medication has affected you. This will allow you to make better decisions about your use of medication.

2. Write Down Any Negative Side Effects

If you notice any new symptoms, whether they are physical or mental, you are going to need to make sure that your psychiatrist knows about them. Write a list of everything that you have experienced since taking the medication. Give this list to your doctor so that you and him or her can have an informed conversation about whether or not you should continue taking the medication.

3. Write Down Any Questions You Have

Finally, you want to make sure that you write down any questions you have, such as if it matters if you take two pills at the same time, rather than one pill with breakfast and another with dinner. Getting these small, technical questions answered can help improve the efficacy of the medication and make your quality of life better.

For more information, talk to your psychiatrist (like those at Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc).