Tips on How to Talk to Therapist about Sex, Substance Abuse, and Depression


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health

General Health

5 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Around 13% of world’s population faces mental health and substance use issues
  • India accounts for 15% of global mental, neural, and substance use problems
  • Take someone along with you if you are embarrassed to talk to therapist

Usually, a trip to the doctor’s office serves the purpose of relieving your health-related worries and anxieties. But if you are about to reveal your intimate and sensitive details like sex life, substance use, and mental health issues to your doctor, it may make your more anxious. People often restrain from doctor visits in such situations as they are too embarrassed to talk to therapist about these sensitive matters. If you too feel the same kind of embarrassment while revealing your personal details to your therapist, note that you are not alone in this situation.

Health issues like mental health problems and substance use disorders affect 13% of the world’s population [1]. And India accounts for almost 15% of the global mental, neurological, and substance use burden. Besides, there is a treatment gap of around 80% in India [3]. Moreover, many mental health disorders remain under-reported [4]. Talking to your doctor about sensitive topics can be difficult but it is important to get proper medical care. Read on for effective tips on how to talk to therapist something embarrassing.

Additional Read: Cervical CancerSpeak to Therapist

How to talk to your doctor about sexual problems? 

Many people feel shy to discuss their sex life. However, a doctor will ask you direct questions which you need to answer even if you feel uncomfortable. Remember that the doctor is asking these for your benefit and will not judge your condition based on your answers. You may need to tell your sexual history including risky behavior and substance use for your doctor to evaluate the risk of STIs. Besides, mention if there are any changes in your libido and arousal, and whether you are having any problem in reaching orgasm. For your question regarding, These details help your doctor understand your hormone levels, health conditions, and prescribe medications. Talk to your doctor about safe sex to prevent AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Signs of mental disorders

How to talk to your doctor about drug addiction? 

Your doctor may ask you about alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use.  Should you tell your doctor you drink as a minor? Yes, your doctor may help you without letting your parents or family know. Tell your doctor every detail including the cravings, quantity, and frequency. Recollect how many drinks, pills, or cigarettes you consumed in the past week and your decision to quit them. Your doctor will help you by prescribing medications or connecting you to support groups that help with drug addiction problems and solutions.

How to talk to therapist about depression? 

Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders are common among adolescents and young adults [5]. A lot of people are opening up and are recognizing the importance of mental health. Your doctor is likely to ask you about your mood, sleep timings, interests, guilt feeling, and changes in appetite, energy, and concentration. These are the common symptoms to tell your doctor about depression. You may also be asked if you get any suicidal thoughts. Although these questions seem probing and intimate, they help your doctor analyze and diagnose various mental health issues and related conditions.

Symptoms such as anxiety and depression can also indicate medical conditions related to the thyroid, lungs, and heart. You should describe every physical symptoms which will help your doctor make the correct diagnosis.

Tips to talk about sensitive health issues with your doctor 

Doctors do not share your information without your agreement. Exceptions include cases of child abuse or diseases that need further diagnosis. They are trained to handle such sensitive issues and deal with patients every day. The specialist doctors will make you feel comfortable. If you are thinking about how to tell your therapist something embarrassing, take note of the following tips:

  • Talk to the doctor over a call or make an appointment so that the doctor arranges a private setting 
  • Find a doctor with whom you feel comfortable sharing your sensitive health issues or ask your family or friends to suggest one 
  • Make a list of your symptoms and problems before you visit the clinic. Rehearse if needed 
  • Take someone along with you to speak on your behalf 
  • Seek an appointment with a male or female professional as per your convenience 
  • Consider changing the doctor or take an appointment at a different clinic if your existing doctor does not help
Additional Read: Social Media and Mental Health Disorders

Doctors deal with patients with sensitive health issues daily. They are trained to handle such issues and provide medical help without judging or making you feel uncomfortable. Get rid of that ‘why can’t I open to my therapist’ thought by consulting doctors online on Bajaj Finserv Health. Talk with professional medical practitioners including gynecologists, psychiatrists, and therapists on the platform, and prioritize your health above everything else!

Published on 27 Apr 2022Last updated on 8 Dec 2022

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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