Doctor’s offices aren’t designed for comfort. There you are, sitting on a paper-covered table and wearing a paper gown, and your physician looks all comfy in the lab-coat-and stethoscope get-up. It’s no wonder some people have trouble bringing up sensitive subjects like a potential alcohol problem.
That said, alcohol abuse is a very serious issue, and if you think you might be having a problem you do need to speak to your health care provider. There are ways to approach this that can help the discussion go a bit more smoothly.
5 Tips for Talking to Your Doctor About a Potential Alcohol Problem
- Don’t go it alone! Bring a friend or family member that you trust. A companion can provide moral support, of course, but it’s also good to have a second pair of ears. Your person can take notes, as well, which can help things feel a little less overwhelming afterwards.
- Write out your questions beforehand. Be specific, too. Many health care professionals recommend questions such as: Do you think I have a problem? Have you helped with this issue before? Are there any tests that can check for potential damage? Where can I go for treatment? Use examples from your life. “The other day I had a cocktail at lunch and two glasses of wine with dinner. This isn’t that unusual for me. Do you think I might have a problem?” This is more helpful than a vague question. The more information your give your doctor, the more he or she can help you.
- Ask for clarification. Sometimes it can seem like physicians and patients speak two different languages. If you don’t understand something, ask about it. You can request more information, too, and even a different doctor if necessary.
- Don’t be embarrassed! Trite as it sounds, you are not the first person to ask about this issue. People at any age can have trouble with alcohol. All races and economic levels are affected. The fact that you’re sitting there in that snazzy paper gown means that you’re on the right track.
- Explore other ways of communication. Not everybody is comfortable with a face-to-face discussion. If it’s really not your scene, check if your health care provider is willing to use email. Some do. If not, find one that does. This is your health and your life. You take priority here. Use whatever method you need to in order to get the conversational ball rolling.
Remember, making the appointment is the first step! If you feel like you have a problem with alcohol, don’t hesitate. Don’t wait and see if things get better. A few minutes in a paper gown just might help you get on the road to better health.
AlcoholTreatment.net Can Provide You With the Help You Need
If you are having trouble but don’t know how to approach your doctor or feel that your office visit was unproductive, contact us at Alcoholtreatment.net. Our counselors can help you deal with your concerns.