You typed in your Google search: “Virtual Psychiatrist Near Me,” decided to book an appointment with a Psychiatrist and now you’re a bit overwhelmed or anxious about what to expect. If this is your first experience speaking to a psychiatrist or mental health professional online, the best way to ease your nerves is to get prepared ahead of time.
Prepping for an Online Psychiatrist Appointment
Prior to grabbing your laptop for your online Psychiatrist appointment, it’s essential to sit down and allocate some time to reflect on your thoughts and goals. To ensure you address everything that’s on your mind, create a list outlining questions you’d like to ask your virtual psychiatrist, along with what you’re feeling on an emotional level.
It’s important to record as many details as possible, such as what triggers you, how you react in these situations and ways in which your life has been impacted as a result. Whether you’re struggling to quell burst of anger, feeling isolated, are burdened by racy, uncomfortable thoughts or scrolling through social media feeds causes you to feel like your life is “off-track” compared to others, document emotions, how often you’re experiencing them and whether or not you’ve tried any self-help techniques like meditation.
Additionally, it will be important to tell your psychiatrist about your previous medication trials, any history of psychiatric hospitalizations, and any significant family history of mental illness.
Steer Clear of Labels
While the internet can be a tremendous resource in many facets of our lives, it can also, at times, be detrimental to our mental state. It goes hand-in-hand with something as harmless as Googling our symptoms when feeling under the weather. The results usually contain a myriad of possible ailments or infections that are severe in nature – when, in reality, it’s just a minor cold.
The same applies to your feelings to triggers – avoid labeling yourself. Your online (but still local) Psychiatrist has the medical expertise necessary to provide an adequate diagnosis, and the last thing you want to do is negatively influence their assessment. It’s also important to remember that you aren’t defined by a label.
What matters most is getting to the core of why certain feelings are manifesting and understanding how the experiences surrounding them are affecting your life. And that’s why you booked your online Psychiatrist appointment, right? To lean on their specialized knowledge and familiarity with the human psyche.
Why It’s Helpful to Prepare a List for Your Virtual Psychiatrist
By taking the time to break down your feelings and all the details surrounding where they arise in your daily life, it’ll help provide the doctor with a very clear picture of what you’re coping with. Trying to come up with these particulars on-the-spot during your virtual appointment is nearly impossible to do.
During your online psychiatrist appointment, you may uncover areas you forgot to write down – and that’s perfectly okay. The reason therapy is so effective is because it’s a journey that happens over time. And through your conversations, it’s likely a memory or specific moment may surface that you never connected to what you’re currently feeling. That’s the beauty of therapy. It’s important to keep in mind that your first few visits serve as a way to lay the foundation for future appointments.
Steps to Take After Your First Virtual Psychiatrist Appointment
While the discussion with your Psychiatrist is still fresh in your mind, consider writing down some additional notes after your appointment. Maybe there are areas you’d like to chat about more in-depth during future online sessions. Or, maybe there are certain feelings you didn’t have the opportunity to address, but would certainly like to bring up in your next virtual visit.
It’s also important to reflect upon how you feel about your connection with the mental health care provider post-appointment. After all, trust is a large piece of the healing process. Just like people, psychiatrists come with their own unique personalities, as well as areas they may specialize in. The goal is to find a professional you naturally jive with. Learn more about our team and get in touch with the experienced, knowledgeable professionals at Hudson Psychiatric Associates. With offices in Hoboken and Paramus, we’re open for either in-person or virtual appointments.