Psychiatric Evaluations Altamonte Springs, FL
A psychiatric evaluation may sound scary for those facing one, but there is nothing to fear. The brain is an organ. It can become sick and require treatment like any other organ in the body. The purpose of the psychiatric evaluation is to start you or your loved one on the road to the mental health and happiness you deserve.
Here at Florida Psychiatric Associates, we help people struggling with mental health conditions through compassion and customized care. If you or someone you love needs a psychiatric evaluation, we are here to help. We will guide you through every step of the process. Call us at (407) 960-5633 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
What is a Psychiatric Evaluation
Though society has gotten more comfortable talking about mental illness, parts of the stigma still exist. The mental illness still contributes to worsening symptoms or people not seeking help at all. Our team at Florida Psychiatric Associates strives to weaken this stigma and help people undergo the treatment they need. The evaluation is a diagnostic tool and the first part of the psychiatric treatment process. During the evaluation, a psychiatrist gathers information from the patient to determine the most effective form of treatment for mental illness. Receiving a psychiatric evaluation is like getting examined by a podiatrist for problems with the feet, seeing an ophthalmologist for problems with the eyes, or a gastroenterologist for pain in the stomach. Psychiatrists are mental health specialists who work to find out what condition is limiting them mentally or cognitively.
“During the evaluation, a psychiatrist gathers information from the patient to determine the most effective form of treatment for mental illness.”
Reasons to Seek a Psychiatric Evaluation
An estimated 1 in 5 of U.S. adults develop a mental illness at some point each year. These illnesses include mood and anxiety disorders, cognitive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many other ailments. In many cases, these ailments are due an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. A psychiatric evaluation can help if any of the following symptoms are interfering with one’s ability to function:
- Mood swings
- Being plagued by disturbing intrusive thoughts daily
- Panic Attacks
- Hearing voices or seeing things that are not there
- Suicidal ideation
- Problems with maintaining concentration affecting work, school or relationships
- Grief and loss
It is important to note that these symptoms may not seem too severe at the moment. However, the symptoms will get worse over time without treatment. The bottom line is that if a person’s emotional or mental symptoms impair their basic functioning, they should seek psychiatric evaluation immediately. If they still feel functional, but these symptoms appear to be getting worse, we recommend seeking psychiatric help. Research shows chances of making a full recovery are more likely the sooner someone receives treatment. If someone is in immediate danger of harming themselves or another person, call emergency services.
“The bottom line is that if a person’s emotional or mental symptoms impair their basic functioning, they should seek psychiatric evaluation immediately.”
Benefits of Psychiatric Evaluation
A psychiatric evaluation gives patients the chance to discuss their history and symptoms with the doctor. If the diagnosis includes a mood or anxiety disorder, the doctor may provide a stabilizing prescription that will help manage the symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening. Once the patient and the doctor know what they are dealing with, they can decide on a treatment plan.
Often the treatment combines psychotherapy with medication. More importantly, the doctor will help the patient realize this illness is not their fault. This is an illness or disorder, they and many other people have that we can help to customize treatment. The doctor will assure the patient they are not alone in suffering this disorder and that their condition will improve with treatment.
“More importantly, the doctor will help the patient realize this illness is not their fault.”
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The Initial Consultation
The process typically starts with a comprehensive evaluation. The doctor will want to know the patient’s medical history, family history of mental illness, and any current stressors in the patient’s life. The doctor may order tests to rule out other possibilities such as thyroid and hormone issues that can mimic mental illness. The psychiatrist will want to know how long the patient has had symptoms and how they affect their daily life.
Patients must tell their doctor about all prescription drugs they are taking, how much alcohol they drink, and any illegal drug use. Alcohol and illicit drug use can make mental illness worse or mimic mental illness symptoms. Also, the doctor will have to make sure that any prescriptions given do not pose a risk of harmful drug interactions. If substance abuse is an issue, the patient may be referred to a substance abuse program as part of their treatment.
Sharing such personal information with a stranger can feel intimidating, but patients should know that this doctor is trying to help. Complete openness and honesty is an essential part of getting the right diagnosis. All of this information is confidential and for the sole purpose of getting to the root cause of the illness while finding the most appropriate treatment plan.
“The doctor will want to know the patient’s medical history, family history of mental illness, and any current stressors in the patient’s life.”
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
The number of follow-up appointments and designated doctor depends on the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan. The patient must stay in touch and have a regular meeting schedule with the psychiatrist to manage any medications. For psychotherapy, the general recommendation is If substance abuse treatment is recommended, free community resources include Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous that any person can attend.
Therapists and support groups are often resources where those dealing with mental illness learn healthy coping methods. While medication can make a patient feel better, they may not change any maladaptive behaviors that may have contributed to their disorder. However, therapists can use proven methods such as cognitive behavioral treatment to help patients overcome eating disorders, drug abuse, anxiety, depression, and more. Meeting with a support group of people who have also struggled with an ailment similar to the patient can offer great insight by sharing positive ways they have dealt with and overcome their challenges.
“Therapists and support groups are often resources where those dealing with mental illness learn healthy coping methods.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How expensive is a psychiatric evaluation?
A. Cost varies widely. If you have insurance, check with them first. For those struggling financially or who are uninsured, there are often community programs that can help.
Q. If I have a loved one with a substance abuse disorder, how can I help them?
A. First, try and find out what type of insurance they have and what services it covers. Yes, some drug and alcohol treatment can be expensive, but some kind of community support is often available. The largest challenge with a substance abuse disorder is getting the addicted person to agree to seek help. Let them know you are here to help when they are ready.
Q. What else can a person with a mental illness do to decrease their symptoms?
A. Living a healthy lifestyle, healthy food, exercise, and sleep is key. Healthy self-care will support the effectiveness of the medication and positive lifestyle changes made. Often breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and a host of similar activities will help combat anxiety and depression.
Q. Can I drink alcohol if I am taking psychiatric medication?
A. The answer to this depends on your condition and what your doctor has prescribed. Psychiatric medications and alcohol often do not mix and tend to be discouraged. However, sometimes a moderate amount or the occasional drink is safe. It is vital that patients discuss this subject with their doctor.
Q. How do I get ready for a psychiatric evaluation?
A. As with any doctor’s appointment, have all your prescription and relevant health information with you. Relax and be honest. This information is confidential and will be used to help the doctor restore your mental health.
Change Is Possible – Call Us Today
Life isn’t always easy. Are you struggling? Are you looking for a highly personalized and professional approach tailored to your individual needs? Instead of waiting around, call us today. You should know that there is hope for a better tomorrow.
Call Us Today
If you or a loved one is struggling emotionally in a way that is interfering with normal daily life, a psychiatric evaluation is the first step to regaining a healthy mental state. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can heal. Call us today 407-960-5633 to learn more or make an appointment.
Helpful Related Links
- American Psychiatric Association (APA). Mental Health Topics. 2021
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- Florida Psychiatric Associates was established in 2003.
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