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A Psychological Evaluation Isn’t A Bad Thing


Some symptoms of mental illness can be downright terrifying. Many of us experience delusions or false beliefs that make us feel unsafe, and if you do not know what your diagnosis is, your practitioner may refer you for a psychological evaluation. Upon hearing the words “psychological evaluation,” you may be fearful. However, this diagnostic testing can be an eye-opener and help you on your road to mental health recovery.

What is a psychological evaluation?

You may not know what it means to have your mental health evaluated. It’s important to understand what a psychological evaluation is before you go in for one. A psychological evaluation is a method of assessing a person‘s behavior, cognitive skills, and anything that deviates from the “norm.” If you are having symptoms that are worrisome, you go to your general practitioner and they don’t know how to diagnose you, you will likely be referred to a psychologist for evaluation for further testing.

Is it “bad”?

When someone is evaluating your psychological state, you can feel vulnerable or even frightened. However, the person on the other end of the evaluation is a licensed medical professional and a trained mental health clinician. Getting a psych evaluation is not a bad thing; it can be insightful and help the person being evaluated figure out how to treat their symptoms. When you have an accurate treatment plan, finding ways to live a healthier life are much more attainable. Think about it: if you don’t know what your symptoms are indicative of, you are basically operating in the dark. A psych evaluation can help you determine what the best course of treatment is and help improve your quality of life while living with mental illness.

For children, a psych evaluation can be helpful if they are having trouble learning in the classroom. For example, children who have ADHD often struggle to retain information in a school because of their symptoms. If they are perpetually interrupting the teacher or finding they’re easily distracted, it’s difficult for these kids to learn in a way that makes sense to them. If you’re unsure if your child has ADHD, getting a psychological evaluation done can clarify if they, in fact, have this diagnosis. If you previously had the perception that a psych evaluation was “bad,” in this instance it is not a negative thing but in fact quite a positive one. When you recognize what a person’s diagnosis is, whether that is your diagnosis or your child’s, the next step is to find a way to work with that label and get the right treatment.

Treatment plans vary and change.

A psychological evaluation is the first step. After that, the hard work begins. It’s time to face what you’re struggling with and get help. You can create a treatment plan with your therapist or psychologist and start to get on the road to recovery. That plan may involve medication and therapy, or solely counseling. It might include going to group therapy or seeing an individual therapist. It may consist of going to a hospitalization program. It depends on what your diagnosis is and what your specific needs are.

Online therapy or in-person treatment?

Will you see a therapist in your local area, or will you consider working with an online counselor? If you have insurance, working with a therapist in your area can be feasible. An online therapist is often affordable and offers flexible treatment options. For people with social anxiety, sometimes going to therapy in an office can cause them more angst. Working with an online therapist can be a safe option that helps them feel like they are getting the help they need and is comfortable for them. Online therapy can help with anything from your love life to career choices. With regard to mental illness, many diagnoses benefit from online therapy. Think about what works best for you after receiving the results from psychological evaluation, and get the help that you need. You deserve to walk the path to wellness at your speed.

Getty image by noipornpan.

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