A mental health assessment gives your doctor an overall picture of how well you feel emotionally and how well you are able to think, reason, and remember (cognitive functioning). Your doctor will ask you questions and examine you. You might answer some of the doctor's questions in writing. Your doctor will pay attention to how you look and your mood, behavior, thinking, reasoning, memory, and ability to express yourself. Your doctor will also ask questions about how you get along with other people, including your family and friends. Sometimes the assessment includes lab tests, such as blood or urine tests.
When you think of mood disorders, depression and bipolar disorder likely come to mind first. That's because these are common, severe illnesses and leading causes of disability. Depression and bipolar disorder can be emotionally crippling, making it difficult to live life to its fullest. What you may not know is that two milder versions of these mood disorders can also take a toll, and can go undiagnosed. These are called dysthymic disorder and cyclothymic disorder.
Check the mental health of a person who has been hospitalized or arrested for a crime, such as drunken driving or physical abuse.
How To Prepare
If you are having a mental health assessment because you have specific symptoms, you may be asked to keep a diary or journal for a few days before your appointment. For some assessments, you may be asked to bring a family member or friend with you, someone who can describe your symptoms from their view.
If your child is being checked for behavior problems, you may be asked to keep a diary or journal of how he or she acts for a couple of days. Your child's teacher may need to answer questions about how your child acts at school.