We value every person who comes to us for help, and we have the psychiatric expertise from our providers to bring it all together into a specialized treatment plan. That being said, we understand you might be nervous before receiving any form of psychiatric care.

To accomplish quality, compassionate mental health care at Clarity Clinic, our team first needs to understand the root causes of your condition. This process starts with an initial evaluation with a member of the psychiatry team at one of our Chicago locations.

Read the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist here.

What is a psychiatric evaluation?

A psychiatric diagnostic evaluation is a structured interview a psychiatrist or a certified physician assistant (PA-C) conducts to determine the extent and severity of your symptoms. Your provider will start with getting a history of your mental and physical health. This generally includes the onset of symptoms, treatments you have previously tried, what you have already found to be helpful, and what you feel you need help with currently. The provider will ask about your family history of psychiatric disorders and what medications and other substances you currently take. All those factors contribute to making an accurate diagnosis.

Overall, the idea is to get a complete picture of what symptoms are affecting you, any distress that may be present, and the next steps needed for your treatment plan. An evaluation helps determines which specific conditions are present and require attention. We understand that seeking mental health care can be challenging, but we here at Clarity Clinic have a team of compassionate professionals by your side to help guide you through the process.

Can two psychiatric disorders be present at the same time?

The short answer is yes. Two or more psychiatric disorders can present symptoms at the same time, and it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a severe but isolated symptom and a fully separate condition.

Anxiety is an excellent example because those suffering from depression often display anxiety symptoms but they may not meet the specific requirements for an anxiety disorder. Certain mental health conditions are sometimes coupled together more often than others. By analyzing the symptoms that are affecting you, we can be confident when we are dealing with one, two, or more conditions.

How long does an initial evaluation usually last?

An evaluation typically lasts about one hour. The goal is to find out within a reasonable certainty what we can do to help you, whether it be medication (pharmacotherapy), psychotherapy, or a combination of both.

What happens after the evaluation?

After the initial consultation is complete, the treatment planning can move along with the rest of our team, including licensed therapists and psychiatric support staff.

If you had brought in a child for an evaluation the next steps are similar to an adult. The main difference being adults’ and children’s brains are developmentally separate. As such they require specific, appropriate treatments based on age and mental capacities.

Also, an evaluation for a child involves different thresholds than an evaluation for an adolescent/teenager. The reason is that, at a certain point, children and teenagers become categorically different in their mental capabilities.

Each requires particular care, but the goals are the same: an accurate diagnosis to give yourself, or your child/adolescent/teenager, the best chance of improved mental wellness and clarity.

Where to get a psychiatric evaluation in Chicago

If you need an initial psychiatric evaluation in Illinois, our clinic can conduct the consultation in Chicago, Evanston, Arlington Heights, and Mokena. If there is not a clinic near you, or if you would prefer a virtual consultation, we also offer online telehealth options for our psychiatry services.

We strive to make our mental health care comprehensive and accessible no matter your condition. You deserve compassionate treatment with dignity in an atmosphere that promotes wellness and clarity. The journey will not be easy, but you will always be heard and respected at Clarity Clinic.