Psychiatric Evaluations

Psychiatric Evaluations

What is a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation?

A comprehensive psychiatric evaluation may be needed to diagnose emotional, behavioral, or developmental disorders. An evaluation of a child, adolescent, or adult is made based on behaviors present and in relation to physical, genetic, environmental, social, cognitive (thinking), emotional, and educational parts that may be affected as a result of these behaviors.

Who is evaluated?

Many times, families, spouses, teachers, or friends are the first to suspect that their loved one is challenged by feelings, behaviors, or environmental conditions that cause him or her to act disruptive, rebellious, or sad. This may include problems with relationships with friends or family members, work, school, sleeping, eating, substance abuse, emotional expression, development, coping, attentiveness, and responsiveness. It's important for families who suspect a problem in any of these areas to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment for mental health disorders is available.



What is involved in a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation?

These are the most common parts of a comprehensive, diagnostic psychiatric evaluation. But, each evaluation is different, as each person's symptoms and behaviors are different.
Evaluation may include:

  • Description of behaviors (like when do the behaviors happen, how long does the behavior last, what are the conditions in which the behaviors most often happen)
  • Description of symptoms (physical and psychiatric symptoms)
  • Effects of behaviors or symptoms related to:
    • Work performance
    • School performance
    • Relationships and interactions with others (like spouse, coworkers, family members, or neighbors)
    • Family involvement
    • Activity involvement
  • Psychiatric interview
  • Personal and family history of emotional, behavioral, or developmental disorders
  • Complete medical history, including description of the person's overall physical health, list of any other illnesses or conditions present, and any current treatments
  • Lab tests, in some cases (may be used to determine if an underlying medical condition is present), including:
    • Blood panel and urine toxicology test
    • Radiology studies to look for abnormalities, particularly in the brain structures
    • Educational assessments
    • Speech and language assessments
    • Psychological assessments