The Psychiatric Assessment For Addiction : Why Come Prepared?
If you are thinking about finding out about addiction or suboxone treatment, here is what you need to know for the psychiatric assessment . When you visit your Psychiatrist, your psychiatric assessment will take between 45 minutes and 2 hours. The more you prepare before seeing your doctor, the better the results you will get.
It is important to be honest during the interview. I certainly understand patients lying to their physician and I actually expect it to happen. The psychiatric assessment for addiction covers particularly sensitive information. You should know the law has more strict rules for medical record release of psychiatric records. There are severe financial consequences for breaching confidentiality and mental health staff are well aware of this. I usually ask my patients to tell me if they are not prepared to discuss a topic rather than misinforming me. Lying can lead to an incorrect diagnosis and treatment, wasted sessions, and higher cost out of your pocket.
If only doctors would ask all the questions during a psychiatric assessment… We all know that doctors are pressed for time seeing patients. Unfortunately for many patients, this means only the highlights of the psychiatric assessment are covered and many questions are simply skipped. A complete psychatric assessment could take up to three or four hours. I’ve found that 1 ½ hours with a prepared patient will do a good job. Anything under an hour, and items will be skipped. There is simply too much information. This is where you can help. By reviewing a psychiatric assessment before seeing your doctor, you can help avoid important topics from being overlooked.
The Most Important Item of a Psychiatric Assessment
An accurate time line of you addiction and other symptoms is the most important item of a psychiatric assessment . Some people call it a good history. When I’ve had a psychiatric resident of a therapist who can give me a clear history of a person’s illness, it is wonderful. The diagnosis becomes obvious. I’ve found it rare for most patients to be able to give a good history. What ends up happening is the doctor or therapist cuts them off during questioning and redirects the conversation. After a while the patient becomes irritable and thinks the professional doesn’t care. If the doctor lets the patient go on, they will not get all the information.
You as a patient or family member can help by thinking about the history of the problem prior to attending the psychiatric assessment. I always ask these questions to all my patients. You would be amazed that people really need to concentrate to answer the questions. Many don’t know. Asking these questions to yourself will help:
- When did the problem first begin?
- When was the last time you were well?
- What symptoms came first?
- What order did they come next?
- Did anything make the problem better or worse?
Setting Goals For Your Psychiatric Assessment
When patients go to the psychiatrist, many just “want to get better.” One really needs to be specific when thinking about what they mean “getting better.” It could mean having an improved mood. It could mean being able to keep a job. How about getting a good night’s rest? It is important to set some goals in you mind before seeing the doctor.
If you decide what you want to see improved, you will be more likely to stay in treatment. Some feel what their doctor wants is not what they want in treatment. Be very, very specific with you thoughts about goals of treatment. Tell your doctor what you want and review the goals in a month. You can always make more goals so don’t worry about running out of them.
You don’t want to end up in the position after the initial psychiatric assessment that your doctor says you are doing better and that you disagree. There should be little disagreement. Set a specific goal and measure it. Here are a few examples of specific psychiatric assessment goal setting.
- I will sleep through the night at least 5 days per week by the end of the month.
- I will not have suicidal thoughts for a period of one week
- I will not have cried (for no specific reason) for 5 days
- I will not have used any heroin for 30 days.
- I will keep one job for 6 continuous months
- When I feel the urge to fight with my spouse, I will ask them for a break from the conversation and go outside for ten minutes and take a walk.
These can be measured and will be clear to everyone when they are achieved. Setting goals does not have to be complicated. However, not setting good goals will lead to treatment dissatisfaction and just hopping to another doctor.
In part 2 of Psychiatric Assessment for Addiction and Suboxone Treatment I will cover more specific questions your doctor will ask and allow you to become more familiar with them before your appointment. Being prepared for your visit helps you spend more time going over the important stuff with your doctor: the things you want better and how to get there.
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Here are more resources for psychiatric assessment for addiction and suboxone treatment :
- Psychiatric assessment – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – A psychiatric assessment, or psychological screening, is a process of way of gathering information about a person within a psychiatric (or mental health) service, with the purpose of making a diagnosis. The assessment is usually the first stage of a treatment process, but psychiatric assessments may also be used for various legal purposes. The assessment includes social and biographical information, direct observations, and data from specific psychological tests.
- Practice parameter for the psychiatric assessment and management of – DeMaso DR, Martini DR, Cahen LA, Bukstein O, Walter HJ, Benson S, Chrisman A, Farchione T, Hamilton J, Keable H, Kinlan J, Schoettle U, Siegel M, Stock S, Ptakowski KK, Medicus J, AACAP Work Group on Quality Issues. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2009 Feb;48(2):213-33. This is the current release of the guideline.
- The Psychiatric view of ME/CFS. What is it? – The psychiatric assessment should be systematic… It is our experience that