Should I Have Contact With The Doctor Who Is Treating My Family Member For An Anxiety Disorder?

Dr. Szymanski answers the question: 'Contacting My Relative's Anxiety Doctor?'

— -- Question: Should I have contact with the doctor who is treating my family member for an anxiety disorder?

Answer: I actually think involvement by a family member is extremely important. The trick is to make sure that the therapist or psychiatrist or doctor, and the person with the anxiety disorder, is the one making the decisions about it -- you just don't want to barge your way in. At the same time, to not offer yourself as available can be problematic. A therapist, or a psychiatrist or doctor, is going to be spending, you know, an hour a week with them. You're going to be spending the rest of the week with them.

So if you can get yourself invited into sessions, you find out about what the anxiety disorder is, you find out what the treatment looks like -- things that you might be doing that might be inadvertently backfiring or getting in the way of treatment, and what alternatives could be. So you, yourself get educated about the anxiety disorder and treatment.

It's also possible that you could give information to the therapist or doctor about your family member's struggles in a way that they don't recognize as a struggle, or they may not think is a struggle, or they're just forgetting to tell the doctor.

But again, it's important that you leave the family member with the anxiety disorder and the therapist, kind of, in charge of how often you come in and what way you come in. But again, you can be very supportive and very encouraging and keeping them in treatment, which is important in them addressing their anxiety disorder effectively.

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