Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your doctor may ask about your mood during a routine medical appointment if you seem to be sad or down. Or you may decide to schedule an appointment to talk about your concerns. Because dysthymia often requires specialized mental health care, you may be referred to a mental health provider, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, for evaluation and treatment.

What you can do

Prepare for your appointment by making a list of:

  • Any symptoms you've had, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment
  • Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
  • All medications, vitamins, supplements or herbal preparations that you're taking
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Taking a family member or friend along can help you remember something that you missed or forgot.

Basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • Why can't I get over dysthymia on my own?
  • How do you treat dysthymia?
  • Will talk therapy (psychotherapy) help?
  • Are there medications that might help?
  • How long will I need to take medication?
  • What are some of the side effects of the medication you're recommending?
  • How often will we meet?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed materials that I can have?
  • What websites do you recommend visiting?

Don't hesitate to ask questions any time you don't understand something.

What to expect from your doctor

During your appointment, your doctor will likely ask several questions about your mood, thoughts and behavior, such as:

  • When did you first notice symptoms?
  • How is your daily life affected by your symptoms?
  • What other treatment have you had?
  • What have you tried on your own to feel better?
  • What things make you feel worse?
  • Have any relatives had dysthymia, major depression or another mental illness?
  • What do you hope to gain from treatment?
Dec. 20, 2012

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