Many individuals are reluctant to visit a psychiatrist; however, that first step of seeking help can bring about a host of positive changes in your life.
The first appointment with Dr. Sidor is often an initial evaluation, or psychiatric consultation, where Dr. Sidor will want to get to know you and what difficulties you are experiencing in order to figure out what your needs and goals are and to come up with a "plan" to help meet them. Due to a variety of factors, psychiatric consultations are often allotted between 90-120 minutes and follow-up visits often last between 30 and 50 minutes. Answering as many questions as possible on the visit forms prior to your appointment will allow you and Dr. Sidor to spend more time together from the beginning to start the healing process.
Before the appointment
- It is helpful to make a list. This will increase the likelihood that you won’t forget to tell Dr. Sidor something important. For example;
- Any symptoms noticed and for how long.
- Any mental or physical health information.
- Any medications taking and their doses (vitamins, herbal products or supplements are important too)
- Consider what your goals of treatment, or your needs, are.
- List of questions or concerns to ask Dr. Sidor as:
- What types of needs do I have?
- Might I have a mental illness?
- Why can't I get over mental illness on my own?
- How do you treat my type of mental illness?
- Will talk therapy help?
- Are there medications that might help?
- How long will treatment take?
- What can I do to help myself?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
- What websites do you recommend?
What to bring to the appointment?
- The list of concern and questions.
- Completed and Signed Forms.
- Release of Information Form(s) for your or your child’s primary care physician.
- Practice Policies Form (Adult Practice Policies Form, Child Practice Policies Form)
- Privacy Policies.
- Academic or behavioral performance information of your child in school (e.g., school testing, IEPs)
- Psychological testing, if applicable.
- Adult Patient Packet, Child Patient Packet.
- Method of Payment. See FEES page.
During your appointment:
First, make sure you tell Dr. Sidor if you have had any adverse physical effects from any prescribed medications, in case medications are needed. Note that there may be several alternatives to meet your needs and medications may not be the best one.
In addition, Dr. Sidor will ask you several questions about your mood, thoughts and behavior, such as:
- When did you first notice symptoms and how you have tried to cope with them?
- What kinds of issues are concerning you, and how are they affecting your life?
- Is there any medical condition you have now or had in the past?
- Have you been to any other mental health professional before?
- What treatment, if any, have you had for mental illness?
- Have family members or friends commented on your mood or behavior?
- Do you have blood relatives with a mental illness?
- What medications, both for medical and psychiatric conditions, or over-the-counter herbs and supplements do you take?
- Do you drink alcohol or use recreational drugs?
- What do you hope to gain from treatment?
Next, with your consent, Dr. Sidor will do his best to communicate with as many people as possible, who may be part of your relationship circle, in order to assure a comprehensive evaluation, with the aim to be best able to help you. He will then proceed to have some tests done, including laboratory, imaging, or psychological, as indicated. Finally, together with you and your loved ones, if possible, he will make a plan, and may recommend a style of talk therapy (psychotherapy), or in some instances, suggest a medication to help with your symptoms.
Then, Dr. Sidor will likely schedule another appointment, so that you can discuss how the treatment plan is going and whether your symptoms have improved. It is very important to ask questions about anything you may not understand, or why you are being prescribed a certain medication or type of therapy. Note that, except for some unusual circumstances, Dr. Sidor rarely prescribes medications after a first appointment.
It is important that you and Dr. Sidor keep track of whether those symptoms are increasing or decreasing on frequency, intensity and duration could be important in determining if the treatment is helping. In addition to clinical assessment, Dr. Sidor uses several tools and collateral information to help track your progress, in a more objective way, and to make sure the plan is working for you. More importantly, you will continuously be encouraged and empowered to work closely with Dr. Sidor, and reach your full potential.