When we feel physically sick, it is far easier to visit a medical professional and seek assistance than when our mental state is in question. Our body will often display quite noticeable signs if it is unwell, but when we are feeling low, or easily irritated, or finding it difficult to get out of bed, we can be tentative about looking further into the matter, especially with the negative connotations placed on mental illnesses by society.
Holding off from receiving a diagnosis can be terribly dangerous, however, as you will be unable to receive the appropriate treatment, strategies and education to manage your condition. In this blog, Team Med explore how you can go about getting a diagnosis for a mental illness.
The best place to begin is finding the resolve to realise there is not only an issue with your mental health, but accept that there is nothing to be ashamed of when searching for assistance. In fact, this course of action is actually better for you and the people that care about you moving forward.
Next, consult a doctor or mental health professional. They will conduct a assessment that will revolve around your thoughts, moods and behaviours in relation to your life history, generally from the use of interviews, questionnaires and referral to manuals classifying specific illnesses. It is also likely that, should you require a physical exam, it will be only to check whether anything physical is causing your symptoms. This may include tests on your thyroid function, or to detect any drug or alcohol abuse.
A referral for further consultation with a specialist, such as a psychiatrist, may be required for a psychological evaluation. This will then lead to a reviewal of all information gathered using established diagnostic terms and resources. It will then be explained what the diagnosis/diagnoses are, as it is very common for people to have multiple mental illnesses.
By seeking out and receiving a diagnosis, you can immediately get started on implementing treatments and tailored strategies to your life that can greatly assist in reducing the impacts of mental illness. It will also provide some closure and even a sense of hope, as you will no longer be struggling with a lack of information, and actually be set on a path with people committed to helping you.