Mental Wellness For Life

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  3. Psychiatric Assessment

Psychiatric Assessment

The first step in working together includes a comprehensive assessment of the symptoms you are experiencing, your biopsychosocial and medical history, and your goals for treatment. After the assessment, we will create an individualized and evidence-based treatment plan that may include therapeutic strategies, medication recommendations, or lifestyle changes.
When treatment begins, the most important thing for me is to get to know you. I want you to feel comfortable with working with me in a collaborative way where we make decisions together. Our sessions will feel more like a conversation and to understand what brought you in to see me.
We will spend the first part of the session exploring “why now”? What was your path before coming and what led you to coming in to speak with me? I want to know what your goals are, what your hopes are for this session and for working together. We will go over symptoms such as feeling down, hard to get out of bed, tired, overwhelmed, anxious. We rule out what factors could be from stress going on in life, genetics or family history, and stressors in your life.
We will spend the last portion of the session on understanding what options there are for treatment.

How long does it take to do a psychiatric evaluation?

The duration of a psychiatric evaluation varies from one person to another. The amount of information needed helps to determine the amount of time the assessment takes. Typically, a psychiatric evaluation lasts for 30 to 60 minutes.

Mental Health in the United States

Psychiatric evaluation is a valuable tool in identifying mental disorders. It can help with better diagnosis and also aid proper treatment. Sadly, mental illnesses are more common than many people think. According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 Americans has some form of mental health diagnosis.

Top 3 Mental Disorders in the U.S.

  • Anxiety disorders, which affect 48 million people
  • Major depression, which affects 17.7 million people
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which affects 9 million people

Psychiatrist or PNPs vs. Psychologist: What are the Differences?

Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs) are medical professionals who have received advanced, specialized training in psychiatry. They diagnose and treat mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Both a psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse practitioner can prescribe medications to treat a mental disorder. They can also use other treatment methods, such as talk therapy and ECT. The main difference between the two professions is that psychologists typically focus solely on therapy and cannot prescribe medications.

Psychiatrist vs. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: What are the Differences?

Both Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners perform the following tasks: 

  • Diagnose and treat common acute psychiatric problems
  • Provide individual, group, and family psychotherapy
  • Prescribe and manage medications
  • Educate clients on wellness practices
  • Check the patient’s medical state and refer to a medical specialist if necessary
  • Work with healthcare team to provide comprehensive support for clients 
Both roles treat the following disorders and illnesses:
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorder
  • Gender dysphoria 
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/Attention deficit disorder
  • Substance abuse 
  • Trauma, PTSD, adjustment disorders
  • Schizophrenia 
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Panic disorders
The primary difference between a psychiatrist and a psychiatric nurse practitioner is the level of schooling they have received. A psychiatrist must earn a medical degree (MD or DO), while a psychiatric nurse practitioner must earn a master of science in nursing degree.