Q: What are some of the first steps you take to know what’s bothering the patient?
A: When you first come in to see a psychiatrist, what will usually happen is you’ll have what’s called a chief complaint. So you’ll come in with whatever is the most important thing to you that’s bothering you or that you’re seeking help for.
After that, there will be quite a lengthy interview. Your psychiatrist will gather quite a bit of information from you: medical information, information about exactly what is affecting your quality of life, what things are troubling you the most and causing you the most interruption of your functioning. They will also look into other medical factors, for example, an anxiety disorder or depression, that could be bothering you. The number one thing is to rule out anything medical that would be going on that could possibly be making you feel that way, and it kind of just depends what the specific problem is that you’re coming in for.