If you have scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist to talk about your mental health for the first time, you may be understandably nervous about the situation. The unknown is always a little bit scary. However, going to the psychiatrist does not have to be and should not be scary in the least. Get to know more about what to expect on your first visit with the psychiatrist. Then, you can feel better knowing more about the psychiatry process. 

Bring Your Medical History With You (or Keep It in Mind)

One of the most important things you will need to provide your psychiatrist with is your medical history. They are not just concerned with your mental health but also your physical health and well-being. Psychiatrists understand that some physical conditions can cause or contribute to mental health symptoms and want to know your full medical history to get a better understanding of what is going on with you. 

As such, if you have trouble remembering your medical history, jot it down and bring the paper with you. That way, you will remember to give the psychiatrist the important details of your health history. 

Be Prepared to Answer Several Questions

The first psychiatrist appointment you have is often the longest appointment. It is also often full of questions. Your psychiatrist is trying to get to know you and your situation as well as possible and they will ask you several open-ended and close-ended questions about yourself to achieve that goal.

So, be prepared to answer a lot of questions. When you get an open-ended question, (such as "what brings you in?") try to be as detailed and thorough as possible. The more you tell the psychiatrist, the better they will be able to help you. 

Don't Expect an Immediate Diagnosis

Even if you come into the psychiatrist's office with a mental health diagnosis from your primary care doctor, do not expect an official diagnosis from the psychiatrist right away. It can take time for them to go over everything you have said for one thing. For another, they may need several sessions with you to really get to know and understand your mental health.

As such, do not expect the doctor to come out and say what your diagnosis is on the first visit. You can ask what they think, but they may not be ready to share a diagnosis until several sessions have passed. 

Now that you know more about what to expect when you have your first psychiatrist appointment, you can feel more prepared and confident scheduling and attending your appointment.