The most important questions for the Psychiatrist to ask the patient

The most important questions for the Psychiatrist to ask the patient

The most important questions for the Psychiatrist to ask the patient : Visiting a psychiatrist for the first time might be confusing and triggers anxiety for patients, but being prepared for what the psychiatrist would ask them might help a lot in the feeling of mental disorder and contribute in the quick treatment for them.

The psychiatrist asks his questions and pauses after each question, to give the patient his time to prepare himself by the answer.

The first question/ about Family Health History:

The psychiatrist starts his first sessions with his patient by asking about the family’s health and psychological history, starting with this question gives the psychiatrist many indicators and triggers many feelings from the patient, which makes the psychiatrist put his decisions for the treatment. In addition, this question paves a way for good relationship between the psychiatrist and the patient so the patient feels close and comfort to the doctor, which makes him continue his remaining sessions without pausing.

Accordingly, the patient has to prepare himself for this question and prepare a list of psychiatric treatments and sedatives that may have taken before, remembering the affected family members or have different psychological conditions, copies of old records of old visits to a former psychiatrist, and any previous disease.

The second question/ Why did you come?

It is obvious after asking and getting close that the psychiatrist moves to ask about the reason for the patient’s presence to see the psychiatrist, the question may be asked in several different formulas, such as:
“So what brings you today?”
“Tell me your reason for being here/”
“Nice to come. How are you today?”
“How can I help you?”

The psychiatrist keens to maintain the patients calm and balance, and keeps away from everything that irritates the patient, such as the open-ended questions that makes the patient does not know from where to start and how to start his answer.

The psychiatrist expects different forms of answers, as the patient might cry directly after the question, might be silent for a long time, might feel embarrassed, in any case, the psychiatrist directs the patient to the answer so that he considers that each answer is correct and there is no wrong way to answer.

The third question/ the date of the beginning of the trauma:

– The psychiatrist paves the way for the patient to reach the main question about the beginning of his hurt, and if the psychiatrist succeeds at the beginning of his treatment sessions, this question will not be a problem for the patient to ask him comfortably.
This question raises sensitive issues in the patient, especially if the psychological problem is the result of abuse or some painful accident.
Sometimes this question is painful for the patient, so he does not feel comfortable while answering and does not want to sharing words. The psychiatrist realizes this through the patient’s emotions, and takes other methods to calm the patient and control his emotions.

Question 4/ Have you ever tried to harm yourself?

The psychiatrist has to entice the patient to answer the fundamental questions. He used to ask the issue as if it is a routine occurrence that all patients would have, for example:

“The next question that I will ask you now is a question that I ask all the patients that I see for the first time because it is an important question that must be asked.”
Have you had any thoughts of harming yourself?

By referring to the patient that is a routine question, you as a psychiatrist say that you realized that it might seem a bit strange question that some patients face, but you ask it because you are professional and care about their safety, this will increase the patient’s confidence and reassurance towards the psychiatrist.

The fifth question/ as if it is a routine question:

One of the skills that the psychiatrist uses in asking questions to the patient is the question that seems like a routine, this type of question is very useful, it can be defined as the question that is occurred by an indication of an equal and similar situation to the patient’s condition and that the response will be in the affirmative.

Example: The presence of hallucinations in the population is very common. For example, a question to ask about auditory hallucinations in someone with mental symptoms might be:
“You told me you have been feeling a bit disruptive lately and are having a hard time keeping track of your thoughts. You have also told me that some people worry you. Did you get it right?”
Patient: “Yes, that’s right.”

Well. I have actually seen quite a few people with similar problems. “People with these types of problems often have unusual things that happen to them. Have this kind of thing ever happened to you?”

Patient: “Like?”

“Well, people often describe hearing voices. Voices that other people just can’t seem to hear”

In this case, this method of question has a great benefit in that most of the patient’s answers are positive and the rate of wrong answers is very small, which helps the psychiatrist to surround the problem and treat the patient.

Why is this type of question effective? Because he tells the patient that his problem is not unique, that he is not alone and that it is part of the routine practice that many do. Psychologically, as a general rule, you find that people like to feel that they are part of society and that they are not exceptions.

However, it may not be helpful for this type of question to drop and resolve harmful behavior, for example in substance abuse such as:

“It’s very normal for people with addictions to struggle to remain vigilant”

The sixth question / what are the treatment options

The psychiatrist participates with his patient in developing a plan for the future in the treatment, and discusses with him the various treatment options, there is no doubt that the psychiatrist has determined the appropriate types of treatment for the situation in front of him in advance, and participation is only to reassure the patient and part of his psychological treatment.


To conclude, meeting with a patient having mental disorders is not an easy thing for a psychiatrist. The topics overlap and overlap and the psychiatrist has to analyze and question the patient in a pleasant, easy way for the same patient.

Often in the first session, it becomes clear if there is harmony or not. If the patient does not improve with a psychiatrist, it is okay to look for another counselor’s opinion.


prepared by Dr. Fatin Mirza

You must be logged in to post a comment.