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What is a mental health assessment?

A mental health assessment is usually carried out by your doctor in the office. The doctor evaluates how you are doing overall in your level of functioning. There are many things that are taken into account, such as your ability to think clearly, your memory, your hygiene, your mood and your behavior. The doctor will ask about your family and friends and your social support system. Sometimes, the doctor will order blood or other lab tests.
A mental health assessment can be an important part of a medical examination, especially if you are experiencing symptoms related to mental health, such as feelings of depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive behaviors. During a mental health assessment, your doctor is likely to ask you detailed questions about your symptoms, when they began and how frequent and severe they are. If you have been keeping a symptom diary, you and your doctor might review it during a mental health assessment.

During a mental health assessment your doctor might also ask you questions about any physical symptoms you are having, as well as your medical and mental health history. You might also be asked about whether you take any medications as well as your use of alcohol and other recreational drugs.

Your doctor might also take note of your general appearance, how well-groomed you are and how well you seem to be able to take care of yourself. All of these observations and questions can help your doctor determine the status of your mental health, and whether you need further evaluation or treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.