Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- including complex trauma (cPTSD) -- is debilitating, breaking down the body through anxiety and stress, and it poses a significant suicide risk in sufferers. MyPTSD seeks to help and inform those who are directly or indirectly affected by these conditions through peer-to-peer support and educational resources.

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Questions To Ask The Psychiatrist

Discussion in 'Therapy' started by anthony, Dec 22, 2009.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Master of none!


    Here is a generic list of questions for family members to ask the psychiatrist. Allow a long enough appointment to ask these questions (a 15 minute appointment will usually not be sufficient; try for a 30 minute or longer appointment). Alter the questions according to your needs, and have a paper and pen handy to write down all pertinent information:
    1. What is your diagnosis? What is the nature of this illness from a medical point of view?
    2. What is known about the cause of this particular illness?
    3. How certain are you of this diagnosis? If you are not certain, what other possibilities do you consider most likely and why?
    4. Did the physical examination include a neurological exam? If so, how extensive was it, and what were the results?
    5. Are there any additional tests or exams that you would recommend at this point?
    6. Would you advise an independent opinion from another psychiatrist at this point?
    7. What program of treatment do you think could be most helpful? How will it be helpful?
    8. Will this program involve services by other specialists ( i.e. neurologist, psychologist, allied health professionals. )? If so, who will be responsible for coordinating these services?
    9. Who will be able to answer my questions at times when you are not available?
    10. What kind of therapy do you plan to use, and what will be the contribution of the psychiatrist to the overall program of treatment?
    11. What do you expect this program to accomplish? About how long will it take, and how frequently will you and the other specialists be seeing the patient?
    12. What will be the best evidence that the patient is responding to the program, and how soon will it be before these appear?
    13. What do you see as the family's role in this program of treatment? In particular, how much access will the family have to the individuals who are providing the treatment?
    14. If your current evaluation is a preliminary one, how soon will it be before you will be able to provide a more definite evaluation of the patient's illness?
    15. What medication do you propose to use? (Ask for name and dosage level and write it down.) What is the biological effect of this medication, and what do you expect it to accomplish? What are the risks associated with the medication? How soon will we be able to tell if the medication is effective, and how will we know?
    16. Are there other medications that might be appropriate? If so, why do you prefer the one you have chosen?
    17. Are you currently treating other patients with this illness? (Psychiatrists vary in their level of experience with severe or long-term mental illnesses, and it is helpful to know how involved the psychiatrist is with treatment of the kind of problem your relative has.)
    18. When are the best times and what are the most dependable ways for getting in touch with you?
    19. How do you monitor medications and what symptoms indicate that they should be raised, lowered or changed?
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  3. Brontie

    Brontie Well-Known Member

    Seriously, what psych-doc is going to sit and let us ask them all those questions? They don’t give you a straight answer as it is. They always turn the question back to you asking you what you think. Frustrating at time.
  4. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    Use psychology to beat psychology!
    Brontie and PerfectEmpire like this.
  5. Muse

    Muse I'm a VIP

    Thank you, Anthony, I plan on using some of these when I go to see the best Trauma Psychiatrist in town next week. I have to see the P.A. first to be screened and then I see the Dr.

    I plan on asking most of these, then, at the 2nd or 3rd apts.

    This list may be accomplished in stages over a month or so of appointments, and that is likely the best way to be thorough.
  6. Abbi

    Abbi Active Member

    That would be wonderful if it worked like that practically in the real world.
  7. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    There is nothing wrong with you questioning your doctors... they may not like it because most have the God syndrome, but you are the patient and have a right to ask them questions.

    Would you have time to ask them all in one sitting? Not likely... but if they want to put you on medication, then you could ask them all the medication questions in that session.
  8. Muse

    Muse I'm a VIP

    Abbi, have you had a bad experience with psychiatrists? I have, but I've also learned over the years how to size up Dr.'s and to look for good ones. Plus, nobody's forcing me to go. It's for me. If a Dr of any kind doesn't treat me with the respect I deserve (I'm paying them) or if I don't feel they are taking my question seriously, I dump them like that. I don't waste my time on those types. They may know how to practice medicine, but they don't understand me, and that is part and parcel of taking good care of my health as a whole person. I had one Dr argue with me about a minor diagnosis. He was right and I was wrong, as I discovered years later, but the fact that he wouldn't even listen to me was the problem, not the diagnosis.
    anthony likes this.
  9. BloomInWinter

    BloomInWinter Transitioning to Single Parenthood
    Premium Member

    I'm grateful I'm as relatively functioning as I am, because I 'don't qualify' for seeing our psychiatrist.

    We have ONE psychiatrist within a 1 1/2 hour drive. He's not taking any new patients unless they are *actively* suicidal or *actively* homicidal.

    Our lovely US healthcare system doesn't allow us to go to 'out of area' providers without a referral from our GP, who loses his/her 'bonus' if there are 'too many referrals' to 'specialists' and alas, the Psychiatrist is considered a 'specialist'...

    So, $20 co-pay to GP to ask for referral. $20 'intake' fee to mental health facility to see if 'qualification' for seeing the psychiatrist is appropriate. If so, then appointment 6 weeks - 3 months later is made. ...then $20 co-pay for that, $20 - $40 co-pay per med per month if medicated.

    Yeah, we've got the BEST healthcare system in the WORLD!!!

    The sad thing is? I have what's considered 'the best' INSURANCE in my lovely failed State of Illinois....

    In other words, if you're mentally ill in Illinois, doesn't matter if you have health insurance or not...make up your own treatment plan.

  10. Muse

    Muse I'm a VIP

    Wow, we are lucky in the Pacific North West area. We have several in our state and are allowed to travel all over the state if we want to the providers we want. Sorry to hear this is the case there for people in Il.
    BloomInWinter likes this.
  11. BloomInWinter

    BloomInWinter Transitioning to Single Parenthood
    Premium Member

    If someone is in a major urban area, I suspect it's fine. Just...most of our state is not urban.
  12. Muse

    Muse I'm a VIP

    Yes, that makes sense. Do you want to stay where you're at? I love the country, but I see the benefits of access to more resources. For treatments that are cutting edge, it may be necessary to access those benefits. In my case, I may want to try the eye thing (EDMR?). This may mean driving 2.5 hours over the Cascade Mts to Seattle. I'm willing to do it if it's really helpful. But I read something Anthony posted in the articles that if they don't do it correctly, it can actually make PTSD worse. I'd like to learn more, so I'll search the articles some more before giving it a talk at the Doc's, if and when I get in. :)
    You are doing really well in using this site and on your own and with support but if a planned move in the future is an option, maybe for the sake of your healing journey, it should be made into a goal. What do you think? I hate to think you are left without options. Doesn't seem ideal at all to have suffered so much and then not be in a place where treatment options are plentiful. Did you try contacting the Veteran's office, as Anthony mentioned?

    Bless you, and I'm sorry if I am not helpful with these comments. I really try to be, but I know you already know so much already. ((((Bloomin))))

    OXOXOX Muse
    BloomInWinter likes this.
  13. BloomInWinter

    BloomInWinter Transitioning to Single Parenthood
    Premium Member

    Thanks, Muse! I'm not a vet, but I am a public servant. I'm ruling nothing out for my future but....can 't bear to cross the street without Anxiety issues right now.

    I do think we need to be more demanding of our agencies...writing letters, commenting on their websites...if the psychiatrist isn't given enough time or small enough caseload to hear our questions, we also need to complain to the decision makers.

    ...and ask questions until we get the help that heals.
  14. Mybosstheenemy

    Mybosstheenemy New Member

    Over here our insurance companies are the ones who decide if you need treatment or not if you get injured at work!!

    Its like asking a rottweiller to mind your steaks.
    BloomInWinter likes this.
  15. hamburg114

    hamburg114 New Member


    Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.

    Tks again and pls keep posting.
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