Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

In some cases, a health care provider, family member, friend or another acquaintance may ask about your behavior, thoughts and mood or suggest that you be evaluated by a mental health provider. Or you may decide on your own to schedule an appointment with your family doctor or mental health provider to talk about your concerns. In some cases, you may be taken to a hospital for an emergency psychiatric evaluation.

What you can do

Being an active participant in your care can help your efforts to manage your condition. One way to do this is by preparing for a planned medical or psychiatric appointment. Think about your needs and goals for treatment. Also, write down a list of questions to ask. These questions may include:

  • Why do you think I have catatonic schizophrenia?
  • How do you treat catatonic schizophrenia?
  • How could treatment change things for me?
  • What do medications for this condition actually do?
  • How could counseling help me?
  • How long will I need treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? Or can you recommend reliable websites?

In addition to your prepared questions, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment if you don't understand something.

What to expect from your doctor

During your appointment, your doctor or mental health provider is likely to ask you a number of questions about your thoughts, behavior and mood. You may be asked such questions as:

  • What are your signs and symptoms?
  • When did these signs and symptoms start happening?
  • Do you notice the same signs and symptoms that other people notice in you?
  • How is your daily life affected by your symptoms?
  • Do you hear or see things other people don't seem to?
  • Do you have certain special mental abilities that other people don't?
  • What have you tried on your own to feel better or to control your symptoms?
  • What things make you feel worse?
  • Have friends or family commented on your thoughts or behavior?
  • Have any of your relatives had a mental illness?
  • Do you ever have thoughts of harming yourself or others?
  • Do you smoke? How much?
  • Do you use alcohol or recreational drugs? How much?
  • What medications or over-the-counter herbs and supplements do you take?
Dec. 17, 2010