What is Psychiatric Evaluation?
When you need to understand your mental health and are looking for a diagnosis, make an appointment for a full psychiatric evaluation. A complete psychiatric evaluation gives you an excellent picture of your mental health needs. While necessary for treatment, and the first stage of your treatment process, psychiatric evaluations are also a fascinating journey of self-discovery.
Your psychiatrist can conduct a psychiatric evaluation for you, or you can seek evaluation from other sources such as your professional counselor, nurse, or occupational therapist. Your psychologist or social worker can also conduct your evaluation. The evaluation consists of a collection of social-biographical information in which you’ll provide details about your professional and personal life, and your growth and development throughout your life, both mental and physical. This information is added to direct observations of your time spent in the assessment process, plus a series of psychological tests geared to your specific concerns and questions.
The purpose of a psychiatric evaluation is a professional diagnosis of your mental condition. Your psychiatric team, through the evaluation process, will help you select the best tests for your needs.
Diagnosing Mental Health
Once your professional or professionals have administered your psychiatric evaluation, they will analyze the results and review both the results and their professional diagnosis with you. With it can feel like a journey of self-discovery, this can also be a terrifying experience, particularly at the moment you’re diagnosed.
It’s key to remember on your mental health journey that a proper diagnosis is the first step to understanding the illness you have, choosing the right treatment, and returning to a fuller, healthier you after completing treatment.
The most common types of mental health diagnoses are the following: major depression, autism, anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, dementia, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These mental illnesses affect your day-to-day life in a variety of ways. After reviewing your concerns with your doctor, whether they be mental or emotional or a combination of the two, your doctor will select the appropriate assessments to help determine your mental condition.
After assessment, your doctor will arrive at your diagnosis and guide you through the “next steps” process to treat your mental health properly. Think of your diagnosis as a breath of fresh air, the parachute opening after a long leap: you’re finally ready, with help, to catch yourself mid-fall.
Treating Mental Health
The most effective treatment is a combination of psychotherapy and medication. A variety of psychotherapy options are available, tailored to meet your specific needs. The basic therapeutic approaches are: psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, humanistic therapy, behavior therapy, and holistic therapy. Your mental health treatment might also include support groups, a self-help plan, case management, or hospitalization, depending on the severity of your particular mental illness. Much of therapy consists of the right mental approach to draw out your mental and emotional needs, thus treating them. Therapies, such as those above, consist of mental exercises, behavior analysis, interpersonal analysis, and a big picture approach, taking all aspects into consideration.
Medication itself is never a cure for mental illness. It’s used for symptom management; proper mental health treatment is a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
Your psychiatrist, or counselor, or psychologist, or any other qualified professional you choose to work with, will carefully guide you through the diagnosis/treatment process. With an appropriate professional or professional team at your back, the worry is removed from the process, and you’re able to relax and understand your mental health and specific mental health needs. Once you’ve been evaluated and diagnoses, you’re on your way to proper, individualized treatment, and a full recovery. There’s hope here.