Talking about mental illness can be hard. There is a stigma that surrounds mental health and mental illness. It can prevent people from getting the support and help they need. But mental illness is a common problem. In fact, about 1 in 5 people will experience some sort of mental illness in their lifetime. So, don't be afraid to reach out for help. Your family doctor is a good place to start.
- Loss of appetite.
- Thinking negative thoughts about yourself.
- Frequently feeling anxious or worrying a lot.
- Irritability or moodiness.
- Having trouble concentrating.
- Not enjoying life as much as you used to.
- Finding day-to-day life difficult (getting out of bed, going to work, etc.).
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Seeing or hearing things that aren't there.
- Ask you questions about your thoughts and feelings that might help you better understand what you are going through.
- Give you reassurance that you aren't "crazy" but have a medical problem.
- Tell you what kinds of support are available, such as counselling.
- Offer you medicine, if it's appropriate.
- Recommend lifestyle changes that can help improve your mental health, such as exercise.
- Refer you to a specialist, if they think that would be more helpful.
- See you at follow-up appointments to monitor how you are doing and how you are responding to treatment.
- Your symptoms. These could be physical, mental, emotional, or behavioural changes that you've noticed in your life.
- How your mood affects your everyday life.
- Key personal information, such as traumatic events in your past, or current stressful situations you are facing.
- Your medical information, such as other physical or mental conditions you currently have. Also write down all medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter medicine and herbal supplements.
- Questions You Want to Ask Your Doctor.
During Your Appointment
That's why it's important for you to write things down before you go into your appointment. It may also be a good idea to write down what your doctor says during the appointment so you don't forget it later.
Or bring a friend or family member to the appointment with you. You might have to take steps that you normally wouldn't. You might have to ask other people to help you get the help you need. That is okay. The most important thing is that you get help.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What type of mental health problem might I have?
- Why can't I get over this problem on my own?
- How do you treat this type of problem?
- Will counselling or psychotherapy help?
- Are there medicines that could help?
- How long will treatment take?
- What can I do at home to help myself?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material on my condition that I can have?