What is an Advance Directive?
It is important to review the requirements of the state where you live. Some states allow you to write your own instructions about your care. Other states require you to appoint another person to make health care decisions for you, with your beliefs and wishes in mind.
Reasons to consider having a Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD)
- Creates an opportunity to discuss treatment options with family, friends and providers
- Gives information to providers who may not be familiar with your needs
- Explains who you want to be able to receive your medical information
- Allows you to outline a plan for who cares for children, finances or pets during a crisis
- Describes who should be informed or permitted to visit during treatment
- Informs your providers of any medical conditions you have or medications you are taking
- Conveys what has or has not been effective for you in the past
- Allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions consistent with your beliefs and wishes
Examples of instructions you can include in a PAD:
- When to treat or go to the hospital: I authorize my agent to help me seek help for my mental health if I …
- Knowledge of medication effects: I will take this medication, but not a dosage over…
- Adverse actions: ___ medication makes me overly drowsy and unable to function.
- Trauma concerns: Because of past trauma, it is helpful for me to avoid… Do this instead…
- Setting treatment limits for providers: I want the medication reduced or stopped if I have the following side effects ...