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Thinking About What You Need to Discuss Ahead of Time Can Make Your Visit More Productive

Initiating a conversation with your doctor about depression or anxiety is not always the easiest thing to do. If you prepare ahead of time and know what you would like to discuss, you have a better chance of having your questions answered and your condition properly diagnosed. This means you'll be on your way to effective treatment.

To make the most of your visit, be specific about your symptoms and provide your doctor with other information that he or she would find useful. This is also the best time to ask questions. To make this easier, look at the questions below, answer the ones you can on a sheet of paper or in a notebook, and ask your doctor about the others:

1. The symptoms I am experiencing are:
2. I've had these symptoms since:
3. Other medicines I am currently taking are (prescription, over-the-counter and vitamins/nutritional supplements):
4. Other things your doctor may need to know:
5. What type of medicine is used to treat this condition?
6. How does it work?
7. What about side effects?
8. Can therapy or support groups help?

Remember that it's important to be open and honest with your doctor during the initial visit as well as the follow-up visits. Ask questions and express your thoughts. Give feedback about how your treatment is going, how you are feeling, whether you've been having side effects (be specific as to what they are), and whether you've been taking your medicine regularly.  


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