How to Discuss Anxiety With Your Doctor

1.

Before your appointment, write down important points you'd like to discuss with your doctor. This way you won't forget any relevant information you need to impart. For example, you can include frequency of the anxiety attacks or whether it is chronic generalized anxiety. If any event initialized the anxiety, you should discuss this too.

2.

Write down questions you want to ask. Questions may include treatment options, types of pills available and their side effects and whether anxiety may be caused by underlying diseases (adrenal disorders, for example).

3.

Bring the notepad with the comments and questions to your doctor's office when you go. Also bring a pen or pencil so you can take notes (about treatment options and advice) while you are in the office.

4.

Be honest with your doctor about your symptoms. If you withhold information because you feel uncomfortable talking about it, such as a history of trauma or abuse or a recent death in the family, then you likely will not get the help you need because the doctor will not have the pertinent information.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you have anxiety about going out in public or you have anxiety about medical settings, consider having the discussion over the telephone. Your doctor will probably still want to see you in person, but you'll get much of the necessary conversation out of the way ahead of time.
  • Anxiety can result from many different causes. Anxiety can also affect you in very physical ways. Treating anxiety is important for your overall physical health.
  • Anxiety may be temporary or chronic, subtle or severe. No matter what kind of anxiety you suffer from or the cause, changes in diet and exercise, along with prescription medications, may help. Anxiety is nothing to be embarrassed about; however, some people find it much harder to discuss anxiety or depression with a doctor than other problems (such as colds, fatigue or headache, for example). Preparing for your doctor visit ahead of time may help you communicate better with your doctor so that you get the appropriate treatment.