Psychiatric Assessment

A psychiatric evaluation may be necessary if you or your loved one are suffering from any form of mental disorder. This may include a number of emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions. Any mental health test, whether of a child, a teenager, or an adult is performed based on any present behaviors, actions, or environmental issues that may be affecting the mental health of the client being evaluated. A mental health assessment will take into account any physical, social, cognitive, emotional, genetic, and/or educational elements that may be signs of or affecting the mental state of the person.

What Can I Expect from a Psychiatric Evaluation?

Throughout the United States, it is not uncommon for at least 20% of the US population to be clinically diagnosed with some form of mental illness. Oftentimes, it is not the patient themselves, but a family member or friend who may notice behaviors that are uncommon, rebellious, or detrimental to the health of their loved one. These behaviors or issues may include, but are in no way limited to, relationship problems with family or friends, difficulty performing in school or work, insomnia, eating disorders, substance abuse, unhealthy coping measures, or attention/responsiveness issues. If you recognize one or more of these issues in yourself or a loved one, it is important that you seek treatment quickly.

Initial Evaluation

A comprehensive psychiatric evaluation may include a host of common components, however, each evaluation will look different from another. At Freedom Now we prioritize the well-being and treatment for each client that walks through our doors. At Freedom Now a clinical psychiatric assessment may include some or all of the following:

  • Questions regarding the present troubling behaviors (when did they begin, how long have they been going on, what conditions prompt a negative response)
  • Questions regarding symptoms of mental illness (physical and psychiatric symptoms)
  • How the symptoms of the possible condition may affect:
    • Performance at work
    • Performance at school
    • Interactions and relationships with other people
    • Family dynamic
    • Extracurricular activities
  • Questions regarding personal or family history of emotional, behavioral, or developmental disorders
  • Your doctor will ask for a complete medical history
  • Psychological assessments,  speech and language tests, educational assessments, and x-rays and/or blood tests to help better determine what the issue may be.

A mental health assessment such as this can be greatly beneficial to beginning the treatment process. Typically after an evaluation is performed, the working physician or doctor will make a diagnosis and begin working toward a treatment plan involving the client’s family and the staff at Freedom Now.

How Do You Examine a Psychiatric Patient?

It may be helpful for you to think of a psychiatric assessment as a pre-treatment process. Examining a psychiatric patient begins with your doctor sitting down with you and having a discussion regarding your symptoms, concerning behaviors, actions, or habits, and your overall physical and psychological health to get a better idea of what you may be facing. Once the initial conversational assessment is complete, it is common for a physical examination and other assessments to be performed as well.

Physical Assessment:

A physical assessment will include an overview of your medical history, any medications you may be currently taking, and ask questions regarding any mental illness or mental disorders present in your family. After a physical assessment, your doctor may think it best to perform some other tests to determine where the symptoms may be coming from.

Other Evaluations:

Other physical or psychological evaluations that may be required by your doctor can include: blood or urine tests for physical deficiencies, MRIs to test nervous system function, and possibly EEG or CT scans to further determine possible cause.

Another type of assessment you may be asked to complete would be a written questionnaire to or a further verbal test. These tests are usually offered to further help your doctor assess issues you might be facing, such as:

  • Depressive episodes
  • Cognitive functions (thinking, speaking, memory)
  • Daily function activities (dressing, work, school)

These tests can help the doctor determine your mental status in order to begin treatment.

What are the 5 Signs of Mental Illness?

What many doctors look for during a psychiatry test are sure signs of mental health issues or mental disorders. During your evaluation, your doctor will be looking for the common signs of mental illness. Below are a few flags the doctor may notice during mental health testing:

  • If you’ve experienced long-lasting sadness or irritability
  • Fluctuating mood swings (consistent highs and lows)
  • Excessive bouts of anxiety, worry, or panic attacks
  • Habits of seclusion or reduced social interactions
  • Changes in eating patterns or sleeping patterns

If a doctor recognizes one or more of these symptoms along with a history of negative behavioral patterns, a proper diagnosis will be more probable. Regardless of the issues at hand, recognize that there is hope for your recovery and for care and treatment for any disorder.

Do I Need A Psychiatric Evaluation?

It is quite common for every person to experience stress, sadness, changes in mood, and many other types of emotional distress occasionally. It is natural to respond emotionally to certain circumstances in life. However, consistent feelings of sadness, fear, or anxiety can greatly interfere with your day to day, relationships, and/or work or school. Your symptoms can cause your loved ones to be concerned, or you may be concerned for a loved one yourself.

If you are considering looking into receiving a psychiatric assessment for you or a loved one, there are a few things that might help you take the next step.

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following:

  • Irrational or deluded thoughts, hallucinations
  • Depressive episodes, feeling of hopelessness or incessant sadness
  • Frequent mood changes
  • Extreme bouts of fear, worry, or anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Insomnia
  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Feelings of extreme anger or guilt
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks at home, work, or school
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Substance abuse
  • Rebellious behavior or sudden acts of theft, vandalism, or skipping work or school (typically in adolescents)


A mental health assessment with your family practitioner, psychologist, or psychiatrist can help you or a loved one determine whether or not an underlying mental illness is present and begin the treatment process. 

Seeing a doctor for any of the symptoms listed above can be embarrassing or feel daunting, however, the sooner you receive help, the sooner treatment can begin and your symptoms can improve or go away completely.

What Happens after a Psychiatric Assessment?

After your psychiatric assessment, it is more than likely that the psychiatrist or doctor who performed the evaluation will take an active part in your treatment. Your doctor will provide you with the necessary information regarding what type of medications he or she would recommend, begin discussing medication management options, what treatment will most likely look like for you individually, offer options for outpatient or inpatient care (depending on the severity of symptoms), and begin coordinating counseling sessions as a part of your treatment.

Here at Freedom Now we value the lives and the mental health of all our patients. We understand that the journey to healing can be daunting and frustrating as symptoms continue to present themselves. In some cases, it is possible that the condition may get worse before it can get better. Yet, we are here to offer the best clinical mental health and substance abuse treatment available in Boynton Beach, FL. We trust that if you are experiencing any of the difficult, embarrassing, or painful symptoms mentioned above that you wouldn’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Call today to learn more about our mental health treatment options and for more information regarding our psychiatric treatment process.

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