Frequently Asked Questions
Coming to a psychiatrist is often a new and difficult experience for people. Some of the questions below may help in that process.
What should I bring to the evaluation?
Bring a list of all medications you are taking and any medical records you think may be important for the evaulation.
For children and adolescents please bring any copies of psycho-educational testing done with in the past five years and a list medications your child is taking
Should my family come with me to the appointment?
- Most adults come to their appointments by themselves. Sometimes it is more comfortable to bring a supportive family member along. This is up to you. Individual exams are fine for most problems that bring you to the office.
Sometimes, however, it is helpful or even necessary to talk to someone who knows you well. We will arrange that if needed.
What is a psychiatric exam?
- A psychiatric exam is basically an interview between you and the psychiatrist who sees you as a patient. Your concerns, current symptoms, medical and psychiatric history, medication, past and present and family/social history are discussed.
What kinds of tests do you order?
- There are no definitive blood tests, X-rays, CT Scans, MRI Scans or PET/SPECT Scans to confirm or rule out a psychiatric diagnosis. However, tests are sometimes ordered to eliminate other causes of your symptoms. Many medical conditions have symptoms that mimic psychiatric conditions, so some tests may be ordered to rule them out.
- Some medication treatment for psychiatric conditions require periodic monitoring through blood tests EKGs, blood pressure and weight measurements. This will be discussed before treatment begins.
How will my child be evaluated?
- Your child’s evaluation begins with an interview with you. It is best to have both parents present when ever possible. Separate interviews can be arranged if necessary. This interview covers your the same topics as in a general psychiatric interview as well as preganacy and development.
- Next, your child or adolescent will be seen in the office without you present. The nature of this interview varies, depending upon the age of the patient. Children under twelve often feel more comfortable drawing or playing games when talking while teenagers usually prefer to talk more directly.
- After this we will meet again to discuss the direction of treatment which may include any combination of psychotherapy and/or medications, educational testing and/or laboratory tests or referrals when appropriate. Older children sometimes like involved in the decisions, too. In those cases they meet with us.