What to Expect at a Psychiatric Evaluation

Preparing for a psychiatric evaluation may seem daunting. However, people who understand what to expect during a psychiatric evaluation can transform the assessment into a learning experience.

A psychiatric evaluation is performed by a psychiatrist, and is used to diagnose behavioral, developmental, or emotional disorders. The evaluation may be conducted on an adult or child who is dealing with behaviors or feelings that make it difficult to maintain meaningful relationships, or maximize performance and value in their life. In some instances, these behaviors or feelings impact a person’s ability to express himself or herself to others. They may also lead to substance abuse, eating disorders, insomnia, and other health issues. 

There are many warning signs that indicate an individual may require a psychiatric evaluation to assess a mental health disorder. These warning signs include:

  • Social Withdrawal: Loss of interest in activities that an individual previously enjoyed. 
  • Apathy: Lack of motivation to engage in various everyday tasks. 
  • Mood Changes: Sudden shifts in emotions. 
  • Reduced Cognitive Functioning: Inability to concentrate and/or think rationally. 
  • Anxiety: Fears of others and everyday situations.   
  • Substance Abuse: Inappropriate or excessive use of drugs or alcohol, leading to mood changes and/or difficulty coping with emotions.  

Each psychiatric evaluation is different because an individual may experience a variety of different symptoms, but a typical psychiatric evaluation involves the following steps:

  • Symptom Assessment: Involves an evaluation of the physical and psychiatric symptoms that a patient experiences, along with how these symptoms affect a patient’s performance at work and/or school, as well as their relationships with family members, friends, and others.
  • Behavioral Assessment: Involves finding out when a patient performs certain behaviors, how long these behaviors occur, and the conditions under which these behaviors occur.
  • Family History Review: Involves learning about a patient’s family history of behavioral, developmental, and emotional disorders. 
  • Medical History Review: Involves learning about a patient’s medical history, including his or her current and past health and treatments. 
  • Laboratory and/or Imaging Tests: Involves the use of blood tests, genetic testing, radiologic imaging, and other lab and/or imaging tests to determine if a patient is dealing with any medical conditions that are contributing to their mental health disorder.

Each mental health treatment is tailored to a patient and may involve a number of different therapies working together. In certain instances, treating a mental health disorder requires a combination of medication, yoga, nutritional consultation, group therapy, and other therapies. Meanwhile, a patient’s progress is closely monitored throughout a treatment program. 

If you or someone you know believes that he or she is dealing with a mental health disorder, there is no need to wait to schedule a psychiatric evaluation. A psychiatric evaluation from Achieve Medical will help an individual receive expert insights into a behavioral, developmental, or emotional disorder, and also help them find a safe, effective treatment plan by collaborating with our team of professionals.