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The Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation

The study of mental health and illness has changed drastically for the better. In recent years mental illness was not linked to physical wellbeing and treatments were largely experimental. Within the last twenty years a growing body of evidence has consistently demonstrated that mental health is an essential component for overall wellness. Discoveries made by the mental health community have proven that treatment can effectively manage mental health disorders and give people back their lives. In order to develop effective treatment plans a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation is often the first step.

What is a Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation?

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Standardized mental health evaluations have been developed throughout the years to gain insight to symptoms, genetics, hereditary factors, and societal influences. These testing components are key factors when diagnosing mental illnesses so that treatment plans can be designed with accuracy for a more successful recovery. 

The comprehensive psychiatric evaluation is a specific test designed to determine crucial factors to establish a baseline level of wellness in the mental health of a patient at the time of evaluation. This evaluation consists of taking the history of the patient beginning with childhood to include pertinent information that might be helpful in determining the causes or triggers to certain behaviors and beliefs. 

Testing focuses upon present behaviors and beliefs, physical and genetic and/or hereditary factors, and environmental factors. Social and cognitive thinking that may affect behaviors are important to note, as well as emotional wellness. The following life aspects are included within the scope of a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation.

  • Troubling behaviors or behavior changes
  • Physical symptoms that are not normal
  • Changes in routine
  • Descriptions of how the troubling behaviors have affected family, school and/or occupation
  • Family history of medical and psychological wellness
  • Medical history and testing
  • Bloodwork
  • Education background
  • Psychiatric Interview

How To Know If You Need A Psychiatric Evaluation

We all know when we do not feel well physically. When this happens, we schedule an appointment with our doctor and receive a check up by a medical professional. However, many people feel that they can handle mental health crises on their own, or don’t know where to turn for help. In many cases mental illness is ignored and thought to be something we can take care of ourselves to feel better. 

However, mental health is just as important as physical health. Common signs that indicate when you might need a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation include:

  • Changes in eating habits
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Feeling avoidant behavior when uncomfortable
  • Relationship problems
  • Irrational thinking
  • Excessive emotional reactions
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Unrealistic or extreme fears
  • Substance abuse 
  • Extreme Sadness
  • Disturbing behavior

What to Expect During a Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation

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A psychiatric evaluation is almost exactly like getting a physical exam, but it primarily focuses on your mental health. The mental health professional will ask a series of introductory questions to help make you more comfortable answering more personal queries further into the process. As you move further through the evaluation process, additional assessments and tests, including a physical exam, will be performed in order to help provide a more accurate diagnosis. 

After initial sessions with a mental health professional, you can work with the provider who performed the assessment or get a referral for treatment. Establishing a connection is a key factor in building trust with someone you can talk to truthfully. The mental health professional will be key in determining whether to go forward with the complete comprehensive psychiatric evaluation to begin your journey to a diagnosis with your mental health.

This process can seem lengthy and be stressful. But staying diligent and answering the questions as honestly as you can will help you get to the root of your symptoms.  Scheduling appointments and taking time from your work or school can be difficult but keep working at it. Using a journal can be helpful to write down ideas, thoughts, and problems you are encountering during this initial period of seeking help. 

Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation Questions

Family, friends, and coworkers are often concerned when they see someone close to them struggling. There is often fear of the unknown and, for many people, mental illness is a topic they know little about. Fortunately, there are questions that can be asked that can help you or your loved ones make informed and educated decisions.

These are commonly asked questions asked when comprehensive psychiatric evaluation is being considered:

  • What is wrong with my spouse, family member, or loved one?
  • Are they abnormal?
  • Did I do something wrong in my relationship with them to cause this?
  • Do they need to go to the hospital?
  • Will they need treatment?
  • Will they “outgrow” or stop doing these behaviors at some point?
  • Is this just “a phase” they are going through?
  • How can I help them get better? 
  • What will treatment cost?
  • Where do we go for help?
  • What does this diagnosis mean?
  • How can my family become involved?

All of these questions are perfectly normal. Using a journal to write down questions can be a wonderful way to be organized and thorough in your journey for wellness. Taking the time to write and express is a healthy coping mechanism, but it can also help your treatment provider gain insight into subtler, less obvious signs of certain mental health concerns. 

Psychiatric Evaluations In Dallas, TX 

When you are struggling with a mental health disorder, getting a psychiatric evaluation can help inform your treatment. It can be scary for some to admit that they need help with their mental health, but seeking shows you are making your wellbeing a priority.

If you believe you need help, or your family and friends are urging you to seek help, ARM Dallas offers professional and caring support that can help you in your quest to seek evaluation of your symptoms. Call us 214-943-5010 or contact us today to find out more about your treatment options. 

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