I’m moving at the end of the month. It is hard to be mentally ill when the majority support system is far away. Because I am moving, I have to leave my current doctor.

So, how do you go about telling the person who manages your medication that you will no longer be his or her patient? Just be up front and give them plenty of notice. Patients come and go and they understand. When you two part ways, he or she will understand.  Also, give notice so that your psych doctor can write out prescriptions for several months to cover you until you find a new doctor.

Get your doctor’s card and info so your new doctor has it. Sign a release of your records for the new psychiatrist you find. It makes it easier in the long run if you have already given permission for information to be shared. Follow up on final appointments and thank your doctor for their care.

Next up, you MUST find a new psych doctor where you will be living. This will require some time and research. Trying to find a doctor who seems like a good fit and takes your health insurance can be maddening. Trust me. But keep plugging along and you will find a couple options. Find out their background – credentials, what they specialize in, availability. Then, as soon as possible, try to set up an appointment. This is critical because sometimes it can take 2 or 3 months to get in.

Once again, don’t judge this doctor on your first visit. Remember he isn’t your therapist or your best friend, he’s there to make the best choices when it comes to treating your mental illness.

Parting ways with a psychiatrist you trust can be scary, but sometimes life leaves you no choice. Believe me when I tell you that there are many suitable and smart doctors out there. You just have to find one.