There is always a first step in the process of understanding an emotional or behavioral problem and figuring out ways of solving or treating it. When you call and schedule your first appointment with Dr. Harden it will be for what is called a psychiatric evaluation. The psychiatric evaluation lays the cornerstone for the work the doctor and patient will be doing together.
This first appointment will usually be spent asking and answering lots of questions. Dr. Harden will ask for information including a description of the main problem, how long it has been going on, the kinds of difficulties it has caused and the kinds of treatments that have already been tried (along with their results). More information will be researched about the patient’s past medical history. This will include finding out about ongoing medical problems, ongoing medicines, current or past problems with alcohol or drugs, past surgeries. etc..
Relevant data about biologic relatives and their emotional and physical health will be explored. Important information about the patient’s growing up, their current family relationships, their employment, their education and their recreational activities will be explored. Current emotions and related psychiatric symptoms will be discussed. Ultimately the possible or likely psychiatric diagnosis will be discussed as well as advisable treatments and their risks and benefits.
The evaluation has immense importance for a patient’s ongoing psychiatric treatment. Sometimes patients wish to have a psychiatric evaluation completed and the formal report (typed and formatted for other people to better understand the significance of the results) sent to another person or professional. These formal documents are called psychiatric reports.