What to expect on your first visit to a psychiatrist

According to a report published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, of Indiana’s more than 6 million residents, close to 227,000 adults live with serious mental illness and about 71,000 children live with serious mental health conditions.

For many Hoosiers suffering from a mental illness, a treatment plan includes being in the care of a psychiatrist.

If you or a loved one plans on seeking the care of an Indianapolis psychiatrist, the American Psychiatric Association says you should expect the following from the initial visit:

1. Be prepared to answer questions. When you visit the psychiatrist, the doctor will ask questions about your background, family, habits and general health, and ask why you think you need treatment.

2. You'll be asked about your medical history. The psychiatrist will want to know when you last had a complete physical examination, may ask to see your medical records, and may ask your permission to consult with your personal physician. The psychiatrist knows how to interpret laboratory results and other findings of the physical examination.

3. Ask your own questions. You should feel free to ask questions about fees, appointment flexibility, cancellation policy and insurance form processing.

4. The first visit is the first step. When you’ve found a psychiatrist with whom you are comfortable, you’ve finished the first part of the treatment process. The second part—working together with your psychiatrist to understand and manage your illness—is about to begin.


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