Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You may start by seeing your doctor, or your doctor may immediately refer you to a mental health provider, such as a psychiatrist.

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you're experiencing and for how long, to help determine what kinds of events are likely to make you feel angry or defeated
  • Key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any current major stressors
  • Your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions with which you've been diagnosed
  • Any medications, vitamins or other supplements you're taking and the dosages
  • Questions to ask your mental health provider so that you can make the most of your appointment

Take a trusted family member or friend along, if possible, to help remember the details. In addition, someone who has known you for a long time may be able to ask helpful questions or share important information with the mental health provider.

Some basic questions to ask your mental health provider include:

  • What exactly is narcissistic personality disorder?
  • Could I have other mental health conditions?
  • What is the goal of treatment?
  • What treatments are most likely to be effective for me?
  • How much do you expect my quality of life may improve with treatment?
  • How frequently will I need therapy sessions, and for how long?
  • Would family or group therapy be helpful in my case?
  • Are there medications that can help?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed materials that I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask questions at any time during your appointment.

What to expect from your mental health provider

The mental health provider is likely to ask you many questions to gain an understanding of your symptoms and how they're affecting your life. He or she may ask:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When do these symptoms occur, and how long do they last?
  • How do your symptoms affect your life, including school, work and personal relationships?
  • How do you feel — and act — when others seem to criticize or reject you?
  • Do you have any close personal relationships? If not, how do you explain that lack?
  • What are your major accomplishments?
  • What are your major goals for the future?
  • How do you feel when someone needs your help?
  • How do you feel when someone expresses difficult feelings, such as fear or sadness, to you?
  • How would you describe your childhood, including your relationship with your parents?
  • Have any of your close relatives been diagnosed with a mental health problem, such as a personality disorder?
  • Have you been treated for any other mental health problems? If yes, what treatments were most effective?
  • Do you use alcohol or illegal drugs? How often?
  • Are you currently being treated for any other medical conditions?
Nov. 18, 2014

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