Self-Advocate for Your Mental Health: How to Talk to Doctors

When you have concerns about your mental health, talking with a doctor is an important step in reclaiming your wellbeing. This can be easier said than done. Use these tips for talking to a doctor about your mental health so you can be a strong self-advocate for your quality life.

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Your Mental Health

  1. Think differently about stigma. Mental health stigma can prevent people from seeking help. Don’t let the fear of others’ thoughts keep you from doing what is best for you. Remember that stigma arises from misinformation and a lack of understanding. Just because some people are ignorant about mental health doesn’t mean that you should suffer because of it. Reaching out for help can improve your life, and nothing you do or do not do will affect the lives of people who stigmatize.
  2. Prepare. Make a list of your mental illness symptoms and what is going well, and take it to the appointment. This will help you and your doctor hone in on what to do.
  3. Take notes. Jot down your doctor’s thoughts and suggestions so you can reflect on them later. You don’t have to make any decisions during your brief appointment. Gather information and look up articles about it later so you can decide what does and does not fit you.

Working with a doctor is an important part of your journey toward optimum mental health. By advocating for yourself and communicating, you put yourself in charge of your wellbeing.

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2022, July 11). Self-Advocate for Your Mental Health: How to Talk to Doctors, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Last Updated: July 13, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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