Mental illness is more widespread than is commonly believed, and unfortunately, many people living with mental illness avoid getting the help they need due to stigma. If you are struggling with your mental health, it may be time to consider a psychiatric evaluation.
At Arcara Personalized Psychiatry, we offer personalized psychiatric evaluations that aim to include you in the process as much as possible. We conduct a two-part psychiatric evaluation that helps us create a tailored treatment plan that suits your individual needs.
Psychiatric evaluations help us diagnose behavioral and memory problems and conditions like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. They help us get to know our patients so we can provide a more accurate diagnosis and understand their desired outcomes.
While the term psychiatric evaluation may sound daunting, understand that it is a relatively simple process that gives us a better glimpse into your situation so we can provide the highest quality of care.
In simple terms, a psychiatric evaluation is an assessment that helps paint a picture of a patient’s mental condition. You can liken it to filling out a survey or sitting for an interview, or even a simple conversation. The process typically involves questions about a patient’s symptoms and family history to help create a clear picture of their condition.
Psychiatric evaluations help us diagnose and treat the following conditions:
A key objective of a psychiatric evaluation is to involve the patient in any decisions about treatment. If you have any concerns or preferences, we will discuss them at length and consider them when determining the best treatment options.
As physical health conditions sometimes mirror the symptoms of mental health conditions, it’s important to consider them during an evaluation. Discussing medical history helps us rule out the possibility of underlying conditions like brain cancers, epilepsy, and side effects of a stroke.
A psychiatric evaluation is an essential first step towards improving your mental health. Overall, the goal of our psychiatric evaluation is to:
All of the above factors help us recognize which treatment options may be best for you. Depending on the nature of your symptoms, we may recommend medications or supplements, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, or a combination of treatments.
Our psychiatric evaluations are two-fold, with an initial assessment and a follow-up appointment. The initial psychiatric evaluation typically lasts 45-60 minutes, with some paperwork required. We will ask you to fill out HIPPA forms as well as consent and confidentiality forms. If you prefer, we can email the forms to you to fill out prior to the consultation.
To begin, one of our licensed mental health practitioners will ask you about your mental and physical health history and any symptoms you experience. We will ask you about any previous psychiatric consultations or diagnoses as well. It’s essential to try and be as open and upfront as possible during the evaluation so that we can understand your condition better.
We will also inquire about any current or previous medications and any history of substance use. Knowing your medical history helps us create safe and appropriate treatment plans, especially if further medication is being discussed.
This initial assessment helps us get to know you so we can develop a treatment plan that works for you. As mentioned, we will discuss treatment options that may include medication and psychotherapy. In addition, we encourage all of our clients to maintain a healthy diet and exercise daily.
We have all of our patients return for a follow-up appointment after the initial evaluation. This appointment will last 30 minutes and focuses on further discussing how you are feeling, any challenges you may be struggling with, and how any current medications are working for you.
This follow-up appointment helps us determine which treatments to stick with so you can maintain mental health improvements. If any changes in medication are necessary, we will discuss the implications in full with you so you can make an informed decision about how you wish to proceed.