How To Prepare continued...
medicines can cause changes in your ability to think, reason, and remember. Be
sure to tell your doctor about all the nonprescription and prescription
medicines you take.
Talk with your doctor about any concerns you
have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what
the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test,
fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
Health professionals often do a brief
mental health assessment during regular checkups. If you are having symptoms of
a mental health problem, your doctor may do a more complete assessment or refer
you to another doctor, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
mental health assessment includes an interview with a doctor and may also
involve a physical exam and written or verbal tests.
During the interview, your doctor pays
attention to how you look, how you move, what type of mood you seem
to be in, and how you behave. You will be asked to talk about your symptoms and
complaints. Be as detailed as possible. If you have kept a diary or journal of
your symptoms, share this with your doctor.
Your doctor may ask
you questions to check how well you think, reason, and remember (your cognitive
functioning). He or she may ask you questions to find out how you think, how
you feel about life, and whether you are likely to commit suicide.
A mental health assessment may
include a physical exam. Your doctor will review your past medical history, as
well as that of your family members, and the medicines you currently
Your doctor may test your reflexes, balance, and senses,
such as hearing, taste, sight, smell, and touch.
The mental health assessment sometimes
includes lab tests on a blood or urine sample. If a nervous system problem is
suspected, tests such as
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
electroencephalogram (EEG), or
computed tomography (CT) may be done. Lab tests to
detect other problems may include
thyroid function tests,
electrolyte levels, or toxicology screening (to look
for drug or alcohol problems).
Written or verbal tests