Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to a psychiatrist.
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you or your family has noticed, and for how long.
- Write down key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any current, major stressors.
- Make a list of your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions with which you've been diagnosed. Also write down the names of any medications or supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who has known you for a long time may be able to ask questions or share information with the doctor that you don't remember to bring up.
- Write down the questions you want to be sure to ask your doctor so that you can make the most of your appointment.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out.
For schizoid personality disorder, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- How could treatment help me?
- What types of treatments are likely to be effective for me?
- Are there medications that can help?
- If you're recommending medications, what are the possible side effects?
- How much can I expect my symptoms to improve with treatment?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- What are the problems or symptoms that concern you?
- How much do these symptoms bother you?
- Have you noticed that your symptoms get worse in certain situations? If yes, what are those situations, and how do you handle them?
- Do you have close friends or family? If no, does it bother you?
- How would you describe yourself?
- Do you frequently choose to do things by yourself?
- Do you confide in anyone who is not in your immediate family?
- What do you prefer to do in your free time?
- Have you ever thought about harming yourself or others? Have you ever actually done so?
- Have your family members or friends expressed concern about your behavior?
- Have any of your close relatives been diagnosed with or treated for mental illness?
- Do you drink alcohol or use drugs? If so, how often?
What you can do in the meantime
While you're waiting for your appointment, it may be helpful to ask friends or family members if they have felt concerned about your behavior. You'll also want to find out about your family's medical history, including any history of mental illness. If you have fantasies about hurting yourself or someone else, go to an emergency room or call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
- Schizoid personality disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed July 13, 2010.
- Skodol AE, et al. Specific personality disorders. In: Hales RE, et al., eds. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed July 13, 2010.
- Blais MA, et al. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, et al. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208922830-3/1022719999/1657/387.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-04743-2..50041-X--cesec11_990. Accessed July 13, 2010.
- Silk KR. Personality disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 13, 2010.
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- Thylstrup BT, et al. "I am not complaining" — Ambivalence construct in schizoid personality disorder. American Journal of Psychotherapy. 2009;63:147.
- Skodol AE, et al. Positive childhood experiences: Resilience and recovery from personality disorder in early adulthood. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2007;68:1102.