Each person who visits a doctor has his or her own personal health history. In addition, anxiety symptoms may not be the same in each person. All of this is important to remember when discussing anxiety with your doctor.
Before going to the doctor, you may want to write down any questions you have about anxiety, your treatment or prescribed medications. It is easy to forget your questions once you are in the office, having them written down can help to make sure you receive all of the information you need. You may want to have a pen with you so that you can write down the answers as well. If you have a difficult time visiting the doctor or become fearful about an upcoming visit, you may want to bring someone with you to help make you feel more comfortable as well as to be sure you understand the information the doctor is giving you.
Some additional information you may want to write down before going to the doctor’s office:
- What symptoms you are experiencing
- How often you are experiencing symptoms
- What situations may trigger anxiety symptoms?
- If you have aches and pains with no clear reason
- If you are having problems sleeping
This information can help a doctor make an accurate diagnosis and help to create a treatment plan specific to your situation.
You should be prepared to ask questions concerning your diagnosis, your treatment and any prescribe medications. Some examples of questions are:
- What is your exact diagnosis?
- What are the different treatment options available?
- What are the different medications available to treat this type of anxiety and is the medication taken on a daily basis or an as needed basis? If daily, how long does the doctor expect you to be on the medication?
- What are the common side effects of the medication and how long do these side effects normally last? What side effects would warrant discontinuing medication or contacting the doctor?
- Are there some precautions you can take to help prevent some of the side effects?
- Will your insurance cover the costs of your treatment?
- Would therapy be helpful? Is there a specific type of therapy that would be better? Can the doctor recommend a therapist that specializes in treating anxiety?
- Are there lifestyle changes that can help improve symptoms of anxiety?
- How soon should you expect to feel better once you have begun a treatment plan?
- What are the chances of recovering from anxiety if you follow your treatment plan? Will anxiety symptoms return in the future?
- What are some of the related conditions you should be aware of?
- Will your insurance cover your treatment?
Choose the questions that fit your situation and bring the list with you to the doctor. Having this information can help you understand and follow your treatment plan.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.