A psychiatric evaluation is a 30-to-90-minute appointment with a psychiatrist to diagnose mental health issues and determine if prescription medication is right for you.
Psychiatrists and psychologists work hand-in-hand to provide patients with a holistic view of mental healthcare. Many mental health professionals believe that you can’t treat mental disorders without either psychiatry or psychology.
Psychiatry simply treats a biological condition; whereas, psychology treats behavioral issues and negative thought patterns. Psychiatrists use prescription medications to treat such issues, and online therapists use talk therapy to change negative thought and behavioral patterns.
Some psychiatrists are also psychologists, but psychologists don’t have a medical degree, so they can’t write prescriptions. Psychiatrists are essentially medical doctors that specialize in mental health.
While some medical doctors (such as primary care physicians) can write prescriptions, not all specialize in mental health issues. Some nurse practitioners can also write prescriptions, too.
The main benefits of a psychiatric evaluation include:
Most of your time during an initial psychiatric evaluation is spent filling out questionnaires and answering oral questions. Your doctor will use this time to determine if medication is right for you — and diagnose any major mental illnesses.
During this question-and-answer period, your psychiatrist will also take note of how you respond to certain questions and assess your overall mental state.
Most of the questions will revolve around your current lifestyle, medical history, family history, and mental health concerns. Most psych evaluations take 30-to-90 minutes to complete.