What to Expect at First Psychiatrist Appointment?

June 7, 2023

Psychiatrists are board-certified, trained mental healthcare Doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and behavioral disorders.

In general, a psychiatric consultation is not a one-day story. It may take one or more sessions to conclude the diagnosis and treatment plans. But the first session is always an introduction and eye-opener to both the Doctor and the patient. And the ultimate focus of the first psychiatric appointment is evaluation.

This article elaborates as to what to expect at first Psychiatrist appointment and clears all your doubts unasked. With no further delay, let’s jump into the article.

Diagnosis at the First Psychiatrist Appointment

A Psychiatrist, in the first appointment, tries deep diagnosing the patient’s problem up to the root. And it requires a big set of back-to-back questions and answers. Listed below are the major questions or aspects which a Psychiatrist wants to know.

  • What is the current problem?
  • Have you identified any symptoms?
  • How did you conclude that you have a problem?
  • From when are experiencing this problem?
  • Have you undergone any treatments in the past for the same problem?
  • Are you on medication at the moment?
  • How did you manage the problem so far?
  • Psychiatric interview about:
  • Social life – Work, Friends, Neighbours
  • Personal history – Behavior, Previous life-threatening problems, relationship status, health concerns, habits, hobbies
  • Family history – Previous psychiatric disorders, genetic diseases, behavior
  • In-house lab tests or assessments:
  • Blood (pathological) test
  • Speech or language test
  • Behavioral assessment
  • Radiology assessments
  • Psychological assessments
  • Did anyone refer you to me?

Can I Expect Medications at the End of the Session?

The prime reason alcohol/drug addicts or depressed individuals seek a psychiatrist is medication. Because only a Psychiatrist can prescribe medicines for their mental illness and not a Psychologist.

Albeit, none of the Psychiatrists wants to prescribe it in the first session or the appointment. Because it requires a detailed diagnosis and interpretation of the problem. And the immediate need for medication varies from one patient to another. Also, depends on the patient’s history and current well-being.

Psychiatrist’s General Expectations For the First Appointment

To make the evaluation or the diagnosis easier, a psychiatrist would want you (the patient) to get prepared. When you’re well prepared as per the psychiatrist’s expectations, getting a clear picture in the first session is simple and quick.

Checklist for the first appointment with a psychiatrist:

  • Come out of the fear, hesitation, or acceptance of the problem.
  • You need to answer many questions and interviews.
  • You cannot expect the first session to get over quickly. It may take at least 1.5 to 2 hours on average.
  • Better come with a partner or a family member and not alone.
  • You should have a ready list of symptoms that you feel are important and relatable.
  • A list of questions to ask the Psychiatrist.
  • Carry with you the previous medical files, reports, documents, prescriptions, etc.

Action Plans That You Can Expect

  • Possible treatment plans
  • Appointment for the second session
  • Refer to a Psychologist
  • In-patient treatment program benefits
  • Medication options if necessary
  • Level of care needed for the underlying problem

Finding the best Psychiatrist!

We know how daunting it is to find a psychiatrist near your home or city. Hence, we’re here to help you! Read the blog on How to Choose a Good Psychiatrist.

At Naveen Psychiatric Hospital, we have the best psychiatrist in Coimbatore with decades of experience handling various mental illnesses and disorders.


By now, you know what exactly does a psychiatrist do, how you have to prepare yourself, what not to and what to expect at first Psychiatrist appointment.

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