Preparing for Your First Visit


Before your initial discussion with a provider, it may be helpful to gather key information. Gathering information can save valuable time.


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Essential for the first visit:

  • Current medications
    • List ALL meds, including nonpsychiatric, over-the-counter, birth control and supplements
    • Include tablet size (mg) and number if its psychiatric
  • Past psychiatric treatments
    • List of meds tried in the past with approx date, duration and max daily dosage
      • Pharmacists or past providers can help provide records
    • Benefits or side effects of meds
  • Family History
    • Details about unusual kin can help, even if undiagnosed i.e. legal problems, addictions, impulsive behavior

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Optional for the first visit:

  • History of current episode
    • present symptoms
    • when the problem started and what made it better/worse
  • Past medical history
    • Any medical conditions you have and those from your past
    • Women: menstrual status and date of last period
  • Alcohol and substance use
    • Don’t hide it!


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Source: “Bipolar, Not So Much”

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