A psychiatric consultation is a conversation with a doctor whose main goal is to improve the mental state of the patient. Unfortunately, few people decide to seek such help because they are afraid that the doctor will not understand them. Why are there so many false myths around psychiatry? What does a psychiatric consultation really look like? We have found out when it is worthwhile to seek such a doctor and how to prepare for a consultation.

Who should use psychiatric consultation?

Psychiatric consultations are primarily intended for people who have mental health problems, but also struggle with somatic illnesses that make functioning and performing daily activities difficult. Patients also turn to psychiatrists who want to know the diagnosis of their health condition, implement the doctor’s recommendations, and at the same time change their lifestyle.

Psychiatric consultation – questions to ask yourself before your visit

The question of who should go for a psychiatric consultation is related to a series of questions that you should ask yourself before your first visit to the doctor. These include, for example:

Only one positive answer justifies a patient going for a psychiatric consultation.

Should you be afraid of a psychiatric consultation?

There are many false pieces of information surrounding psychiatric consultation, and therefore some people are afraid to go to the doctor. However, it is enough to overcome your own fear and realize that talking about your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. A psychiatrist is a doctor whose task is to diagnose and suggest the best form of treatment that would help to cope with specific disorders.

Fear of the first psychiatric consultation – how to deal with it?

To feel fully prepared for the visit, it is worth preparing your medical documentation and a list of medications that the patient is taking, including those prescribed by a family doctor.

Psychiatric consultation – next steps of the visit

During a visit to a psychiatrist, the doctor will check whether the patient exhibits disorders such as:

Psychiatric consultation – what else can the doctor ask for?

The psychiatrist may ask the patient about their medical history, as well as events that may seem insignificant at the time of the conversation, as they may not be related to the patient’s illness. A psychiatrist who wants to get to know the patient as well as possible may also ask about the use of psychoactive substances and stimulants (alcohol consumption, smoking), as well as conflicts with the law.

Psychiatric consultation – frequency of meetings

The frequency of subsequent psychiatric consultations will depend on the patient’s symptoms and how many visits they need per week. It could even be 3-4 meetings with the psychiatrist.

During the first consultation, in most cases, the psychiatrist is able to propose a specific treatment plan to the patient and, if necessary, choose appropriate pharmacotherapy.