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Psychiatric Medication Evaluations

What is a Psychiatric Evaluation?

A psychiatric evaluation is, in its simplest terms, an evaluation designed to diagnose emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions or disorders.

The initial evaluation will explore many aspects including developmental history, medical history, family history, social and environmental influences, academic/work concerns, and emotional and cognitive (thinking) strengths and weaknesses.

Each psychiatric APRN has their own system for the initial evaluation and an absolute diagnosis may not be made in the first visit.

Depending on who is being evaluated – child, adolescent, or adult – there are different components involved in the psychiatric evaluation.

While every meeting is different, as we ensure that your history and current needs are taken into account for you, as an individual, you can expect the structure to be similar to the example below:

Structure of the Psychiatric Evaluation

While this is dependent on the individual psychiatrist and his or her expertise, the following are topics that will likely be covered in a psychiatric evaluation prior to making a clinical formulation and recommendation.

  • Individual History
  • History of the Problem
  • Family History
  • Substance Use
  • Developmental History
  • Medical History
  • Social History
  • Mental Status

In some cases, a psychiatric evaluation may be recommended by your therapist or physician. They likely recommended an evaluation based on your report of symptoms and their knowledge of what may help. Please know, appointments with a psychiatric APRN can be informative and supportive, and you can discuss any concerns or fears you have about starting a medication. You do not need to start a medication right away, and can talk about your options. Our providers believe in well rounded, holistic care, and if we cannot find a medication or treatment plan that feels right for you, we will refer you to trusted colleagues we believe can help.

Psychiatric evaluations can be helpful for:

  • Evaluating symptoms of depression that have changed or increased
  • Discussing panic attacks and/or new symptoms of anxiety
  • Evaluating symptoms of OCD or immense worry
  • Evaluating symptoms that may relate to ADHD, including difficulty focusing
  • Discussing symptoms of insomnia
  • Reviewing symptoms of postpartum anxiety and depression and discussing the best treatment options for you