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What are Mental Health Diagnostic Assessments and What are They Like?

What are Mental Health Diagnostic Assessments and What are They Like?

  • Posted at Oct 26, 2021
  • Written by Rebecca

Are you worried that you or a loved one may be living with a mental health issue? If so, you’re not alone. There are millions of Americans diagnosed with mental health issues every year. In fact, 1 of every 25 American citizens is living with a mental health issue. And, for every person affected, there is help available through various means of professional treatment and therapy services, including the help offered at Yellowbrick. Before a person can get professional help for mental health issues, a diagnosis must be made through a mental health assessment. But, what can one expect from mental health diagnostic assessments?

Why Are Mental Health Diagnostic Assessments Important?

Getting a mental health assessment isn’t something you should be worried or have anxiety about. It’s a simple process that allows mental health treatment specialists to understand what treatments may best help you or a loved one affected by mental health issues. It can also help mental health professionals identify other mental health issues that may affect the course of treatment or require additional services.

Some of the things you can expect during a mental health assessment can include:

  • giving the physician and mental health specialist staff information about medical and mental health history in order to assist with the mental health diagnosis process
  • determine the difference between physical and mental health symptoms you may be experiencing
  • discover the prevalence of comorbid mental health or physical health issues that may impact one another
  • determine debilitating symptoms and side effects of mental health behaviors or previously tried treatments

What Can I Do Before an Assessment to Make the Process Easier?

Those who are contemplating getting a mental health assessment done, whether they want a diagnosis or to see how the professionals can help, can do a few things to make the process easier. It’s good to understand what to expect so you know what will be asked of you during the assessment process. Some of the things you can do to prepare for a mental health assessment may include:

  • going over your medical and mental health history
  • listing your mental health symptoms
  • determining the feelings or behaviors that you’re experiencing that are debilitating to daily life
  • identifying triggers of mental health symptoms and how long you experience these symptoms
  • determining when these symptoms started and if there was anything specific that brought them on
  • identifying any of the medications you are currently taking and listing any treatments or medications you may have tried in the past

The Process of a Mental Health Assessment

During the mental health assessment process, you can expect three things: an interview, an examination, and testing. Then, once these are complete, you can expect your mental health specialist team to explain any treatments they may think can help. And, point you in the direction of getting the help you need. The three steps of a mental health assessment include:

Interview: This is the discussion you’ll have with a doctor and team of mental health experts about the symptoms you’re experiencing, your medical history, and treatments you’re currently using or have used. It’s important to answer any questions you’re asked with complete honesty so that all information is accurate so that your team is able to make a successful diagnosis.

Examination: Physical examinations are often conducted to rule out any physical ailments which may be posing as mental health issues. Some physical issues can present themselves with similar symptoms as mental health issues. So, examining the physical state of the body can help to determine if what you’re experiencing may be due to underlying physical health issues.

Testing: In order to pinpoint issues that people are experiencing, various medical tests may be conducted. These tests can help to determine the underlying causes and reasons for experiencing various mental health issues. Some medical tests which may accompany the mental health evaluation process include blood tests, urine tests, MRIs, EEGs, and CT scans.

Getting a Mental Health Evaluation at Yellowbrick

Here at Yellowbrick, we believe that an accurate mental health diagnosis is crucial to developing the best and most successful personalized treatment plans possible. Find out more about what to expect during the assessment process right from our website. And, schedule your initial consultation with our staff of mental health experts today.

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