What is a Psychiatric Evaluation & Medication Management?
As many as 20 percent of American adults, or nearly 44 million people, and another 20 percent of children, will experience a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year, according to Mental Health America. These disorders may include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, psychosis, substance abuse, and schizophrenia.
Many of these mental health disorders can be treated or managed with the help of a licensed medical or mental health professional. This treatment often starts with a psychiatric evaluation.
What happens during a psychiatric evaluation?
You might think of a psychiatric evaluation as “pre-therapy.” During a psychiatric evaluation, your doctor will sit down and talk with you about your symptoms, concerns, and overall health. This will help them get a better idea of your mental-health needs. This will help determine the possible causes of your emotional distress, and what treatment may be best.
** Dr. Smith retired in 2019. We thank him for his many years of service.**
Some of the things you can expect during a psychiatric evaluation include:
- Questions from the doctor based on what you tell them, what they see, and what they read in your medical chart
- Filling out questionnaires or other forms about your family history, physical and mental health history, and lifestyle
- Taking cognitive tests, such as memory tests, which can help find possible causes of your symptoms
- Development of a medication plan, referral to another provider for additional treatment, such as a therapist for talk therapy, or a neuropsychiatrist for cognitive treatment.
Do I need a psychiatric evaluation?
Everyone experiences stress, sadness, mood swings, and other types of emotional distress on occasion. Sometimes, however, negative feelings and other symptoms can interfere with your daily life, your relationships, or your work. Your loved ones may be concerned for you. Alternatively, you may be concerned about your loved one’s symptoms or behavior.
Here are some signs that a psychiatric evaluation can help you or your loved one:
- Confused thinking, delusions, or hallucinations
- Persistent feelings of depression, sadness, irritability, or hopelessness
- Extreme highs or lows in mood
- Excessive fears, worries, or anxieties
- Withdrawal from socializing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Strong feelings of anger or guilt
- Trouble completing daily tasks, work, or school assignments
- Suicidal thoughts
- Misusing drugs or alcohol
- Excessive or unusual rebellion, theft, vandalism, or skipping school in children or teens
An evaluation with your family doctor, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist can help determine whether you or your loved one might have a mental problem that needs treatment.
Seeing a doctor for mental-health symptoms can feel scary or embarrassing. However, scientists have found that the sooner you get help, the more likely your symptoms will improve or even go away.
What is medication management?
If you take medication for a mental health disorder, then your prescriber will also provide medication management. This may sound intimidating, but it simply means creating a plan together to determine the best medication, and how to take it.
Starting medication management with your provider may involve:
- Discussing your health needs, your treatment options, and the best medication
- Choosing a medication based on potential benefits and side effects
- Determining the best starting dose and schedule for the medication
- Receiving education and information about the medication, how it works, and what to expect
- Developing a treatment plan, including a trial period to observe the medication’s effectiveness and side effects
- Scheduling follow-up visits with your prescriber
- Creating a plan for changing the dose or tapering off the medication, if necessary
The appropriate medication can help many individuals find relief from their symptoms. Medication management is one of the services provided at MindPath Care Centers.
How can I get a psychiatric evaluation and medication management?
Contact us at 919-929-9610, to schedule a consultation.
In some cases, your psychiatric evaluation or medication management might be done online! MindPath Care Center now offers access to psychiatric treatment via telehealth through your smartphone or tablet.
Telehealth allows you to schedule and manage routine follow-ups and stay in touch with your provider. After registering, you can connect with your practitioner with any questions or concerns about medication refills, dosages, or side effects.
If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health symptoms, help is available.
At MindPath Care Centers, we believe that each person has a right to compassionate, thorough, personalized care. Since 1994, we have made your empowerment our priority, and are committed to providing the resources and knowledge you need to thrive.
Providing individual, patient-centered care, including evaluations and medication management, not only benefits the individual, but strengthens our families and communities. MindPath is committed to being an accessible, comfortable, safe place to receive mental health care from over 150 experienced, professional associates. This diverse network allows our experts to collaborate to provide the best care possible.
If you have struggled with your mental health, we can help you determine the best treatment method for your needs. Call now to be matched with a specialist near you. Take your first step to living to your full potential!