How to Talk to Your Doctor

Cindy Tillory Avatar

There is no “cure-all” pill, that being said you still need to find a way to manage your mental health. for most people with a diagnosis that includes medication management. Be it Nurse Practitioner, Doctor, or Psychiatrist, I find that this advice will still apply no matter what your mental health needs are.

Understand Your Medication Needs

Sexologist, professor, and YouTuber Lindsey Doe, Ph.D. has a Want Will Won’t list. It’s a list that has a set of activities that you want, will, and won’t do. we can adapt it to create our own Want Will Won’t list when it comes to medication what do you want? Yes, you want to feel better, but what are the specifics? Less crying and more energy to do what you love? If that’s true for you then write it down. Now for the will, what’s on the table? What are you willing to do? For me, that has been getting a monthly long-acting injection, because I was willing to put up with needles in exchange for a better quality of my mental health. That’s not for everyone, if you decide on it that’s your choice. lastly, what’s your won’t. What do you not want in your treatment? Any specific side effects come to mind? How about things like nausea, weight gain, or certain sexual side effects? figuring out what you want, will, and won’t in your treatment is a good start.

Make a List of Your Concerns

Now you may be thinking “what are my concerns?” Common concerns include but are not limited to energy levels, sleep habits, eating habits, exercise routines, and stress levels. When a problem arises in my health, I try to put it on my calendar or the notes app on my phone. This is so because when my doctor asks me about one of those main areas, I can just whip out my phone and we can discuss the possible causes.

Communication is Key

Be clear, don’t leave anything up to interpretation on both sides. Doctors exist to answer your medical questions, but they only know what you tell them. Be as clear as you can when it comes to talking to them. I remember the first time I ever asked my doctor a question about my treatment, I was nervous and kind of scared. but in the end what’s the worst that can happen? If they don’t want your input or make you feel bad then they aren’t being a good doctor. Over time I have learned that It’s my body, mind, and spirit. If they are not willing to respect that, they are in the wrong.

Make Sure You Are Heard

This one’s less of something you do, and more of something you need to make sure they do. If talking to your doctor regularly about a specific topic and they are constantly dismissing the issue, consider getting a second opinion with a different doctor. I wasn’t as active in my mental health in the beginning and I know that my mental and physical health suffered from it in my younger years. though I can’t go back and correct my mistake, I can move forward with my mental health and be proactive in my treatment and so can you.

2 responses

  1. Wellness Toolbox: Your Recovery Team – Late-Start

    […] Now that you have that list it’s time to ask a few questions to your supporters to get answers. If you are starting out try asking your doctor, therapist, or nurse practitioner where they went to school, and about their background in medicine or in the case of a therapist, Psychotherapy. These may seem like random questions but you want to evaluate your sources of information. Getting that background information is crucial to that and besides, if you are going to be working together you should know more about them. I also want to note that your doctors, nurse practitioners, and therapists can always change if you feel like you aren’t getting good treatment or are not getting your needs met with them. For more information about how to talk to your doctor or NP consider reading How to Talk to Your Doctor. […]


  2. How to Find Help – Late-Start

    […] out to getting care under your insurance where applicable. If you have trouble talking to your GP I have an article all about that. Also if you live in The UK this may be the only route, aside from emergency services, that would […]


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