I Need Some Advice

Dear Reader,

In 5 days time I will be attending my first mental health appointment at the hospital.
I’m not really sure what to expect, but I assume it will be some kind of assessment.

So here’s the thing. I know a lot of my readers have had these appointments, I know a lot of my readers probably have a better grasp of what is about to happen and I really need some help.

In my letter it says to take my medication. So I will do that.

But my question is what else should I take? What would be useful? 

Should I write down the symptoms of my possible manic episode? What possible triggered it?

I have kept a mood diary for the last month I will take that.

Is there anything else I should take? 

Should I make a list of questions? What should I ask?

Any advice is much appreciated. 

I will do my best to write a post the day before the appointment. But if not. I will see you all on the flip side of it.

I want to thank all of my readers for sticking with me, for commenting and helping me on my journey. I have come to a pretty big place in my journey that I wouldn’t have been able to get to without your support. So sincerely, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

As always,

The Elephant in the Room


19 thoughts on “I Need Some Advice

  1. It sounds like you have an idea what to do. Bringing your journal is good. Write down anything you want to make sure is discussed. Sometimes the appointments can be over and your thinking “I wish I would have said this or brought up that feeling”. If you write down things you want to discuss it helps you to be organized during the appointment.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Agreed – I usually take a couple of notes of things to discuss, and I usually ask my wife if there is anything she wants me to mention that she has noticed (I have to write this down or I’ll forget). I often too take some brief notes at the doctor like the plan or anything particular that i want to take away. Going to the doctor is like going to church sometimes – great sermon, but i can’t for the life of me remember what it was about.

    Most importantly, I decided a long time ago to just fully trust the doctors i talk to – I’m embarrassed about my thoughts and actions sometimes, but this is the one person on earth that needs to know the whole story.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree with all but Fully Trusting a dr you do not know. There are some bad therapists and many good ones.

      Share what you need to and see how they respond and how you feel when you leave.
      You have to find one that works for you and is not arrogant or condescending.

      I am having those two issues with my daughters therapist when I get called back to speak with her. She is condescending and I do not like it. It gives me severe anxiety when i am there and when i leave.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Other appointments I’ve had have asked me about my family history of mental and physical illness, which I was unprepared for the first time around. After that I did question-asking and wrote it down so I’d be better prepared. That’s one thing you could do to prepare, just in case πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve never commented here even though I’ve wanted to πŸ™‚

    I agree with what others have been saying. Sometimes you have everything you want to say planned out in your head, but you forget what you want to say when you’re in front of the doctor. This has happened to me so many times. A journal, log, diary, or even a simple list can make the appointment an easier experience. Family history, your own history, any medication you’ve taken, anything that has been bothering you even if you think it isn’t important… these are things you can bring up.

    I remember being very uncomfortable with something I wanted to share once, and I wasn’t pressured to talk about it until I felt comfortable. I think it’s important to have that kind of understanding from a doctor or any kind of counselor. You shouldn’t feel forced to talk about something that overwhelms you.

    I really hope your appointment goes well πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree – you’re definitely on the right track with the medications and mood journal! πŸ™‚
    Hopefully the staff at your appointment will be knowledgeable enough that you won’t need to remember/plan too much as they will be asking the right questions.
    Try not to think of your symptoms in terms of how they fit with illnesses you know about and just list anything that you can think of through your life which seems odd, has disturbed or impeded your function or has caused you distress. I found that my most successful Psychiatric evaluation came from not limiting what I spoke about to illnesses which I thought were relevant. I also found that the best thing to do is to try and be brutally and completely honest. I’ve many times found this hard to do fearing judgement or worry about how the truth may impact the outcome, but when I finally let myself be blunt it yielded the most helpful result. If you don’t know something, say you don’t know or just let yourself stream thoughts if need be, as I say, if the staff are onto it they will be able to piece things together for you and it will all make sense to them! πŸ™‚
    Super good luck to you hun! I hope you get some positive feedback and come away with some answers and a good plan to move forward!
    Aimee xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just to reinforce further, you seem to have it pretty well in hand. The only thing I would add is not to be afraid to hand over your notes for them to read them. Sometimes, even when I write things down, I forget to mention them, or ‘chicken out’ and have recently developed the practice of writing a list of bullet points to give my Psychiatrist to read.

    Best of luck xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You can write a list of symptoms . The mood diary is good.
    Write down questions you have in your mind.
    Write down anything that is worrying you.
    With the lists you will not worry about forgetting anything.
    Do not be afraid to mention times you have had suicidal thoughts. It could help for them to prioritize your appts.

    If there is any particular post that you wrote that describes things that are important, you can print it ot them and take off the web info.
    Peace and healing,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with what everyone has said here, especially Otherwiser and her suggestion about your family’s mental health history (also addiction, e.g., alcohol) – diagnosed or non-diagnosed. I’m not sure if you have a history of prescriptions you’ve taken but write those down. I usually just bring in my medicine so my doc and I don’t have to worry about accuracy, or how much I have left. Good luck, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with the other comments just take everything including the kitchen sink!:)

    You have shown tremendous courage in wrting your blog and sharing your struggle with mental health with us, and have very supportive in your comments, I thank you for that.

    Take care and good luck:)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I will echo everything others have said here – but please try to also log your other habits in relation to how your moods have been. Did you drink too much? Eat too much (or not enough)? Work crazy long hours? And so on…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Here’s my advice: don’t overthink it. Be prepared to answer questions. You’ll probably be asked quite a few. Relax. Be forthright and honest with your answers. If you are going into the appt. with trepidation, then have a few questions ready for them. Share any anxiety, worry or nervousness you may have about the appt. They’re just people too. Notes help. Go over them in the waiting area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree witj Dont Overthink. It will cause more anxiety.

      If you forget anything or they want anything more, you can bring it to the second visit. So you can’t really go wrong because it is not a One Chance sort of situation.
      Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

      I need to make an appt myself and I have been too scared and anxious to do it.

      So you are giving me courage because you are doing it.

      If I can follow my own advice about not worrying if I have everything the first time, then I can get the courage to go.

      Thank you for including us.


  12. Are you seeing a psychiatrist or a psychologist?

    A psychiatrist will give a test by asking a list of questions and perhaps prescribe a medication or make a medication change. They will ask about family history, medications, and your symptoms, etc. It will most likely be a 45 minute session. After that you will probably see them monthly or bimonthly for 15 minute appointments to discuss your meds.
    Take your meds as prescribed and take them at the same time each day. Get a medication alarm if you need too.

    A psychologist will often do the same initial testing, family history, ask about medications and also ask what goals you might have or want to work toward. You might see them once or twice a week, or monthly or bi-monthly for 45 minute talk sessions. Bring a short list to discuss your thoughts from between sessions as it will help you make progress. Sometimes you will go over and over the same subject and other times you will work through a problem more quickly. The progress is slow, maybe one or two years but has lasting effects as you learn new coping mechanisms. Don’t miss sessions. There will be days when you really don’t want to go or want to avoid it, but you will almost always feel better afterward. Stick with it. Be sure to talk to the therapist if you fell uncomfortable in anyway. They should be willing to change their strategy or work it out with you – don’t just stop going. They want to help. You want to find someone you can form a trusting bond with – remember it takes time.

    Good Luck!


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