You’re probably already aware that psychiatric evaluations are used for medical purposes. It’s an integral part of a patient’s journey to recovery from mental health problems and conditions.
However, psychiatric evaluations are also needed for other purposes, such as legal and forensic purposes. Read on to learn more about how psychiatric assessments are used in different contexts.
Clinical and Medical Purposes
It’s normal not to feel our best now and then. However, if a slump lasts for months or even years, it’s time to consult with a mental health professional.
While the term psychiatric evaluation makes the process seem intimidating, it mainly involves talking. A psychiatrist will ask you about your life at home, school, or work, as well as your family, friends, experiences, lifestyle, and feelings. They will also conduct tests to ascertain your condition.
Here are some uses of psychiatric evaluations:
Diagnosing A Mental Health Condition
Before you start your path to recovery, your psychiatrist will first have to confirm your condition. Results from the psychiatric evaluation will guide your treatment plan. Your evaluation will detail your symptoms and behaviors, so your psychiatrist will know how to address them.
Ruling Out Conditions That Might Cause Symptoms
Figuring out the correct diagnosis can be difficult, especially when there are many disorders associated with your symptoms. For instance, some people believe that they have depression when they actually have bipolar disorder. In this case, a psychiatric evaluation aims to follow a step-by-step process to consider all the possibilities. Your psychiatrist will narrow down the options to the closest match with your symptoms.
Planning For Initial And Subsequent Treatment Options
Once your doctor determines your condition, you can then start to employ mental health treatments. Your psychiatrist will involve you in planning for your treatment. Since your health is on the line, you also have to be proactive in selecting the appropriate program for you.
Determining Long-Term Problems That Might Exist In The Future
A psychiatric evaluation will tell if your mental health problem is short-term or chronic. If it is likely to occur or recur over a long period, your psychiatrist will foresee what specific issues you may encounter in the future. Then, they will help you learn how to manage your condition and its symptoms, so you can lead a good quality life.
Updating Previous Treatment Plan
If it has been a while since you received a psychiatric evaluation, you will benefit from undergoing one again. A diagnosis for a mental condition in one stage of life doesn’t necessarily follow you for the rest of your life. A mental health condition you had in your 20s doesn’t have to be the same condition you have in your 50s.
Similarly, treatment plans for mental health issues need to be adjusted sometimes. Consult with a psychiatrist again if your ongoing treatment is no longer adequate for you. They will determine the adjustments you need to make to address your condition better.
Aside from medical and clinical uses, patients can also use psychiatric evaluations as forensic evidence. The legal system usually calls on psychiatrists to conduct an assessment of a person’s well-being. Psychiatrists can also testify if a person has been receiving treatment for their disorder.
For instance, child custody can be decided based on the parent’s capacity to provide child support. Even if they have a mental health problem, a parent can have custody if they are taking appropriate steps to manage their condition.
Psychiatrists are also asked to determine a person’s competence to take part in legal proceedings. Psychiatric evaluations help ascertain whether a person can:
- Participate in criminal investigations
- Attend hearings
- Receive civil punishment
A psychiatric evaluation can also be used for medico-legal purposes. One instance where this is needed is when determining the amount of compensation for work-related stress. Psychiatrists can evaluate the extent of psychological harm done to a victim. Then, the claimant can file their psychiatric assessment as evidence in civil litigation.
Medico-legal assessments are also utilized in child safety and protection services. Psychiatrists can provide essential information about the psychological impact of abuse in children. Their evaluations may also be used to decide whether the child can live in foster or alternative care.
Psychiatric Evaluations in New York City, NY, and Southbury, CT
Psy-Visions believe that you are more than just a diagnosis. We treat all of our patients with the dignity and respect they deserve.
If you’re looking to be evaluated by a psychiatrist for any reason, search no further than Dr. Mark Stracks. He specializes in treating patients with:
- Complex medical conditions
- Addiction issues
- Chronic pain
- Developmental disorders
Our clinics are located conveniently in New York City, NY, or Southbury, CT. We also offer telepsychiatry sessions. For inquiries about our services, you may call us at (718) 887-2918 for our New York office or (203) 405-1745 for our Connecticut office. To book a consultation, you may request an appointment online. We look forward to giving you the care you need.