Psychiatric Evaluation

Is Distress, Disorganization Or Mood Swings Causing You To Wonder If You Or Your Child Need A Psychiatric Evaluation?

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Are you prone to waves of prolonged hopelessness, panic attacks or significant mood swings? Do you have a hard time staying present and connected to the people around you? Perhaps you struggle to focus, complete tasks or stay organized, and you’re wondering if undiagnosed ADHD might be the cause. Or maybe a pattern of highs and lows in energy and/or mood is starting to seriously impact your life. Are you struggling to get past a traumatic experience and vacillating between feeling anxious and depressed? Do you often feel irritable, sad or highly stressed, even when it seems that things are going okay? Do you wish you could understand what you’re feeling and why and experience relief from distress?

Or, maybe you are worried about your child or teenager’s emotional, behavioral or academic wellbeing. Is your child suddenly acting out, struggling in school or withdrawing? Perhaps he or she has lost interest in activities that were once enjoyed. Or maybe your child or teen has an uneven school performance, often seems distracted and off-task or is falling behind his or her peers. You may be starting to worry that something is really wrong and want answers so you can get your child the help he or she needs to feel successful, happy and whole.

You Are Not Alone

If you’re struggling to understand what’s going on for you or your child and considering a psychiatric evaluation, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans experience depression, anxiety and ADHD and struggle through other significant emotional, learning, attention and psychological issues. And, many suffer in silence for years before seeking a mental health evaluation or getting tested for learning or attention disorders. However, gathering information and seeking support can make a significant difference in how you or your child feels and functions.

The good news is that there is help and hope. A psychiatric assessment can provide you with the information needed to make positive and productive changes in your or your child’s life. At Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry, our staff psychiatrist can review symptoms, discuss diagnosis and map out a treatment plan that best addresses your or your child’s symptoms, needs, history, and therapy goals.

A Psychiatric Evaluation Can Provide You With Information, Insight And A Plan For Relief

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Psychiatric evaluations at the Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry are efficient, comprehensive and directed to meet your specific needs. Our staff psychiatrists, Dr. Joseph McNally or Chandni Parikh, C-PNP, MSN will guide you through the one-hour evaluation and subsequent follow-up processes. You will be provided with information, education and the support and guidance needed to make informed decisions for you or your child.

Your psych evaluation will consist of gaining an understanding of your personal history, your family of origin’s medical and mental health history and presenting problems, as well as an overall review of your symptoms. Everything from eating and sleeping patterns, relationships and productivity issues will also be discussed. Once Dr. McNally has a comprehensive picture of what you’re experiencing, he can make a diagnosis and create a treatment plan. If therapy is recommended, he can refer you to one of our in-house therapists, Andrea Barr, LCPC or Dr. Michael Gara, Psy.D. He can also work in collaboration with your current therapist if you are already in therapy. He may discuss the role medication could play in helping to alleviate or mitigate symptoms. If you both agree that medication could be helpful, you can learn about medication options, possible side effects, benefits and risks in order to make an informed decision.

The psych evaluation process for children and teenagers is similar, although these evaluations are typically conducted through two stages of interviews. Usually, Dr. McNally will meet with your child or teen first and then invite you to join. In order to get the full picture, it’s important to hear directly from both the child and parent. Also, if there is evidence that your child may be struggling with a learning or attention disorder, he may ask that teachers or other people in your child’s life provide feedback if needed. By getting all relevant information, he can ensure that your child’s treatment plan is inclusive and best designed to support him or her in all environments and areas of life.

A psychiatric evaluation at the Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry can help you get to the bottom of what is causing you or your child distress. And, a treatment plan devised to best address and support specific concerns, symptoms and needs can provide relief, growth and balance. You can understand your options and utilize the support and guidance of an experienced, skilled and compassionate psychiatrist and team of mental health professionals.

You still may have questions or concerns about psychiatric assessments…

Does a diagnosis mean that my child or I will need to go on medication?

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A diagnosis does not necessarily mean that you or your child will need medication. What a proper diagnosis will do, however, is open the door to a range of treatment options, which could include medication. There is a lot that can be done to mitigate symptoms that does not include the use of medication, although medication in combination with therapy has been proven a very effective form of treatment for some people. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. We’re here to help you make an informed decision and monitor progress, potential side effects and dosage should you choose medication.

I’m worried that an evaluation will lead to a diagnosis and that my child will be labeled as different.

A diagnosis can help you, your child and your child’s therapist understand what your child is dealing with. It also allows us to create an effective treatment plan designed to improve the quality of your child’s life. Life truly can feel easier, rather than constantly overwhelming for your child. Although, in some cases, it can be helpful to get teachers or other people in your child’s life to weigh in, we adhere to strict standards of confidentiality. No one will be informed of your child’s diagnosis or even that he or she was here unless you choose to share that information.

I’m afraid I’ll find out that there is something really wrong with me and that nothing will help.

In the evaluation process, we take the time to break down your target symptoms, help you understand what is occurring and devise a strategy to best address your concerns. There is always help and hope, and gaining clarity and taking an approach designed specifically for you can truly yield effective results. By making informed choices, you can improve the quality of your life and experience relief. Furthermore, you will not be alone in the process. Our highly qualified and compassionate team will be there to guide and support you along the way.

Get The Information And Support Needed For Relief

You don’t have to navigate this challenging time on your own. We invite you to call 847-440-2281 to schedule an evaluation and/or for a brief phone consultation. We’re happy to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about psychiatric evaluations and our practice.

© 2021 The Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry