Speaking With Your Doctor About A Mental Health Concern

It's estimated that as many as one in every five Americans will suffer from a mental illness. For many in this population, their mental health concerns go unaddressed because they are too ashamed to speak up. Many people find it difficult to share their concerns with family and friends, but also their primary physician.

While somewhat of an uncomfortable subject, your primary physician will play a pivotal role in getting you the treatment you need:

Don't Research

While an informed patient is generally a good thing, in terms of mental health concerns research can sometimes hinder your ability to be honest with your physician. Based on your symptoms, if your research suggests that you have a mental health concern that you fear, you might not be completely forthcoming with your physician.

Being dishonest won't get you the type of treatment you need. Avoid performing any research prior to your appointment. When you talk with your physician you want to give the most raw and accurate account of how you're feeling. Leave the researching up to your physician.

Make A Focused Appointment

It's also a good idea to make this conversation the focus of your appointment. While it won't exactly harm anything, you don't want to spring this conversation in the middle of your annual exam. If your physician isn't expecting this conversation it could make the situation somewhat uncomfortable.

When you call and make your appointment be clear about your reason for coming in. With a focused appointment your physician will already know what to expect before entering in the room. This will offer the physician time to prepare and this can make the atmosphere less uncomfortable when both you and the doctor are aware of your concern.

Take Ownership

After you have expressed your concerns with your physician it's important that you take ownership of the situation. Not ownership of the crisis itself, but your treatment going forward. After you have disclosed this information, your physician will likely refer you to a therapist. This is the point when much of the responsibility shifts to you.

You have to take ownership of your end of the deal. Working through a mental health concern isn't a one-man sport, it takes a team. Your therapist and yourself make up that team. Make certain you are doing your part for the most effective outcome.

Talking with your physician about your mental health concerns doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience. Prepare yourself for the conversation, be honest and everything else will fall into place. To learn more, contact a company like Cancer Lifeline with any questions you have.