Psychiatric and Substance Diagnosis Questions and Answers
Calming Goat Addiction Medicine Group offer psychiatric and substance diagnosis in Los Angeles, CA. Our doctors can help you live a better quality of life. For more information call us or request an appointment online.
Substance use disorders are commonly associated with mental illnesses: people with a mental illness are twice as likely to have a substance use disorder, and approximately 1 in 5 people with a mental illness have a comorbid substance use problem. When treating these problems, it is essential to incorporate treatment together. If these disorders are comorbid (existing simultaneously), it is known as a dual diagnosis, as two problems are being identified at the same time. This approach has proven to be highly successful, with a positive promotion of propitious prognoses.
What is a psychiatric & substance use diagnosis?
A psychiatric and substance use diagnosis is a dual-diagnosis of both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. It is rare to see people use drugs in a vacuum, that is, separated from outside events or influences. A “dual diagnosis” might be happening where a drug use disorder is co-occurring with a mental disorder. Usually attempts at self-medicating mental disturbances like insomnia becomes a drug abuse issue in itself. A psychiatric evaluation considers if unrecognized psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression or other mental disorders are causing or exacerbating the drug use problem with which a person is struggling. Substance use disorders are mental health disorders. These two types of health disorders are characterized by abnormal thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Again, it is not enough to detox. It is usually the case that an individual is missing out on addressing other issues that are impacting their overall recovery health.
What happens in a psychiatric evaluation?
A psychiatric evaluation can be considered a form of “pre-therapy.” During a psychiatric evaluation, a mental health physician will sit down and talk with the patient about their symptoms, concerns, and overall health. This will help them get a better idea of their mental health needs and will also help determine the possible causes of the patient’s emotional distress, as well as what treatment would work best in their situation. Typically, after drug use stops it is easier to understand if a mental disorder exists. Once recognized, addressing these problems with psychotherapy, medications or both can restore normalcy and again prevent relapse.
Some things that can be expected during a psychiatric evaluation include:
- Questions from the doctor based on what the patient tells them, what they see, and what they read in the patient’s medical chart
- Filling out questionnaires or other forms about lifestyle factors, physical and mental health history, and family history
- Taking cognitive tests, such as memory tests, which can help determine the possible causes of a patient’s symptoms
- Development of a medication plan
- Referral to another provider for additional treatment
Why would someone need a psych evaluation?
People need psychiatric evaluations for different reasons. A psychiatric evaluation may be needed when a person is experiencing:
- Confused thinking, delusions, or hallucinations
- Persistent feelings of depression, sadness, irritability, hopelessness
- Extreme highs or lows in mood
- Excessive fears, worries, or anxieties
- Withdrawal from socializing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Strong feelings of anger or guilt
- Trouble completing daily tasks, work, or assignments
- Suicidal thoughts
- Misusing drugs or alcohol
- Excessive or unusual rebellion, theft, vandalism or participation in other criminal activities
At Calming Goat Addiction Medicine Group, our board-certified addiction medicine doctors are dedicated to helping you on the road to recovery so you can live a more fulfilling quality of life. We understand the inherent connection between psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders and seek to harmonize both for a deep understanding of personal development. Call us today to book an appointment for psychiatric and substance abuse diagnoses, or simply visit our clinic conveniently located at 6801 Park Terrace #530b, Los Angeles, CA 90045. We look forward to serving you!