The importance of routine medical checkups is ingrained in most people’s minds but unfortunately the same cannot be said for mental health checkups. Part of the reason for this discrepancy is the stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental health. The truth is that regular mental health checkups are just as important as physical health examinations. These appointments are instrumental in diagnosing common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression early on. There are some simple strategies that you can use to get the most out of your appointment with a counsellor or doctor.
Know when to book an appointment
Think you need a mental health checkup from a Melbourne counsellor? There are a few tell-tale signs that your mental health might be compromised.
- Moodiness or general unpleasantness with people around you which might be a sign of impending emotional or mental problems.
- Insomnia or sleeplessness that is not attributed to health issues such as chronic pain or thyroid problems
- Secluding yourself or suddenly shying away from social interactions
- Eating less or more than usual for prolonged periods of time
- Constant feelings of restlessness and anxiety
Educate yourself on mental health
Learning more about mental health and your condition is a great way to understand and complement your treatment. This information is not meant for self-diagnosis but rather to help you ask the right questions. Learning about anxiety or mood disorders can also help to identify triggers and manage symptoms for effectively.
Prepare for your appointment
Keeping a journal or short notes of your feelings, thoughts, questions about your condition and problems with medication is a highly recommended. This helps to get the most important issues addressed during your appointment and guarantees that you do not forget anything. Additionally, making notes of the councillor’s recommendations, date of the next appointment and decisions you make with the practitioner helps you to keep track of your treatment.
Lastly, set both short-term and long-term goals and share them with your councillor. The goals can range from keeping your job to spending more time with your family. This helps the counsellor to judge your expectations and design a treatment regime or offer recommendations that will help you to reach your goals.