Diagnosing a mental illness can be complicated. Usually, a diagnosis is made by an experienced psychiatrist and other health professionals. Aside from their observations, the person’s medical history and recent life events are also taken into consideration. Medical professionals typically want to talk with family and friends to get a better idea of the person’s mental condition.
Mental illness and substance abuse are closely linked. Roughly half of people struggling with addiction also have a mental health problem. This is why it’s so important that the mental illness is diagnosed and treated during an inpatient drug rehab in Arizona. Otherwise, it will creep back up and sabotage a healthy recovery.
A physical exam is done to rule out health conditions that could be causing problems, such as thyroid disease or a neurological issue. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms, as well as any medications or supplements you’re taking. It’s possible that symptoms of depression or anxiety are attributed to a physical problem.
Mental Health History
Your doctor will want to know about your mental health history. How long have you had your symptoms? Have you received treatment for them? If so, how long ago was this treatment? Your doctor will also want to know your family background. Some research shows that mental illness runs in families.
Your personal history can also shed light on the symptoms you’re experiencing. Are you married? Did you serve in the military? Did you suffer any traumatic events in your childhood? Even if you are not aware, things from your past could be causing symptoms of depression, anxiety or PTSD.
During a mental evaluation, you will be asked various questions about your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Some tests have multiple choice or numbered responses. Others ask that you write down your responses. Each test has a different method of scoring, which your doctor will use to evaluate your current mental health status.
It’s also important that your cognitive thinking is checked. Your doctor will make sure that you can think clearly, recall information and focus your attention appropriately. This information helps the doctor assess how well you are able to function in your job, relationships and responsibilities.
As scary as a mental illness diagnosis can be, these disorders are treatable. If you require treatment for a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder, be sure to choose a treatment center like The River Source that works with dual diagnosis patients.