A psychological assessment is essential for mental health treatment. It’s important for someone to know what kind of mental disorder they’re dealing with. Once an accurate diagnosis is made, then a treatment plan will begin.
If you or someone you know may need a psychological assessment, go to New Waters Recovery and find out more about how you can get one for a mental health disorder diagnosis. The sooner you get one done, the better things can move along for your treatment process so you can live a fulfilling life despite dealing with a mental disorder.
Let’s take a look now at what you need to know about psychological assessments.
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Preparation is key
Before an assessment is done, you’ll want to make preparations. The assessment needs to be as accurate as possible. For this reason, you will need to gather as much information as you can remember.
This includes the thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that you have been experiencing. You may want to mention some traumatic or upsetting events such as the passing of a loved one. You may also discuss the symptoms you may be having on a regular basis.
It’s also a good idea to mention how long these symptoms last. An accurate diagnosis based on what you’re experiencing can help pinpoint the mental disorder you may have. From there, a treatment plan will be tailored to your needs.
If you are experiencing substance abuse as well, you’ll need a treatment plan for disorders that are co-occurring.
Understanding the purpose of a psychological assessment
A psychological assessment will give professionals the opportunity to diagnose you with a mental disorder. They will make a determination to see which one you may experience. Again, you will need to accurately describe the symptoms you’re experiencing.
A psychological assessment may be provided of your own free will. Another reason may be due to suggestions by a family member, employer, or someone of importance. They may spot something that may be concerning and want you to get a closer look at it.
This can be due to the fact that a person may be exhibiting behaviors and symptoms at home, work, or even at school. If it’s for a child, there is a mental health assessment specially designed for them. Whether it’s for a child or adult, a mental health assessment will assess your mental well-being.
Physical evaluations will be done by a medical professional. A mental health professional will handle the mental and emotional assessment. From there, you will be able to find out what you are actually dealing with.
The assessment: The step-by-step process
Here’s how a mental health assessment is performed in a step-by-step process:
Interview with your physician
A medical or mental health professional will interview you about your mental health symptoms. While they do this, they will be paying attention to small details. This will include your mood, how you speak, your appearance, and so on.
They will be subtle about looking for symptoms you may currently be experiencing. They will also ask you questions about your personal life, work history, family life, social situations, and more. They will also ask questions about traumatic experiences you have gone through in your life.
This will be in-depth and will include a series of questions that you will be asked. Again, you will need to answer these questions honestly and accurately. This will pinpoint exactly the kind of mental disorder you may have.
You may be asked questions that may upset you. Keep in mind that it’s not easy for a professional to diagnose you with a mental disorder. So the process may be a little longer than normal.
A medical doctor will perform a physical examination. They will also check to see if you are taking any medications and look at your medical history. They will examine any physical causes that may trigger the way you might be feeling at the moment.
Additional medical tests may be done to pinpoint any medical issues that you may have. These can include urine and blood tests. You may also be tested for levels of electrolytes, thyroid functions, and more.
There may be specialized assessments that you’ll need to undergo for specific mental disorders. If there is an assessment done for a child, it will be based on age. Part of the assessment can be asking the child to express their feelings, draw pictures that will indicate them, and also look at images and talk about how it makes them feel.
Some of these symptoms may not be part of a mental disorder. It may be a sign of a serious medical condition such as a brain tumor. Developmental issues can also be diagnosed, especially in children experiencing symptoms that may mimic mental disorders.
Post assessment options
If a mental disorder has been confirmed, it’s important that a mental health professional draw up a treatment plan for you. At this point, you will need to undergo regular therapy sessions.
You will also be prescribed medications that will treat the symptoms of your mental disorder. Alternative medications may be available upon your request. If you have been diagnosed with a drug addiction, a separate treatment plan will be needed.
You will need to take care of both disorders at the same time rather than focus on just one. If no mental disorder is found, then it can be a health-related issue that your doctor will be able to treat for you.
A mental health assessment will be key in determining which disorder you’re experiencing. Once a disorder is confirmed, you’ll want to make sure you are being treated properly. The good news is that you can be able to live your life the way you want.
As long as you’re receiving the best care, you can live well while managing your mental disorder. The sooner you get an assessment done, the better you’ll feel and move along with the process.