How to Get Tested for Mental Illness
Although National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month has ended, this observance continues to remind us about the importance of testing for mental illness. People should not feel shame when they think about being evaluated. Instead, they should feel a sense of hope that a professional can diagnose their problem and give them a treatment plan that improves their quality of life.
Who Can Diagnose Mental Illness?
People who suspect they have a mental illness must get tested by professionals. They should ensure the person they see has the proper education and certifications in their state. Some of the people with the right credentials to diagnose mental illness include:
- Clinical social workers
- Mental health nurse practitioners
- Counselors and therapists with master’s degrees and proper state licenses, such as Licensed Professional Counselors
- Primary care physicians
People can also go to rehabilitation centers like Beach House, which offer comprehensive assessments for substance use disorder and various mental health conditions, along with customized treatment plans. The experienced team at Beach House can determine if people have more than one condition requiring treatment (dual diagnosis). It is not unusual for people to have a dual diagnosis of substance use disorder with a mood disorder or other conditions.
Mental Health Screenings Provide the Answers You Need
People with undiagnosed mental health issues may have no idea why they have so much trouble sleeping, are uncomfortable in crowds, or feel constantly on edge. A mental health or depression screening can help them get the answers they need to move forward.
What Do Mental Health Screenings Look For?
During mental health screenings, trained professionals assess people’s emotional health. They are trying to pinpoint symptoms such as significant changes in sleeping or eating habits, feelings of worthlessness, or anxiety in social situations. These symptoms and several others point to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Doctors ask detailed questions and may ask patients to complete questionnaires for additional information.
How Many People Go Undiagnosed?
It is difficult to pinpoint how many people have undiagnosed mental illnesses in the United States. Less than 50% of US adults with a mental illness got treatment in 2020. That number rises to over 50% for kids between the ages of six and 17.
These numbers don’t include people who feel a stigma attached to mental illness and thus never report their symptoms. Alarmingly, the average delay between the start of mental illness symptoms and the onset of treatment is 11 years.
Mental Health Screenings Lead to Tailored Care
Many things can cause mental illness, such as childhood trauma, life experiences, and heredity, but within those causes lie individual experiences. Someone with PTSD following deployment in a war zone needs a different treatment plan than some with PTSD from childhood abuse.
Mental health screenings set the stage for the customized treatment plans each person needs and deserves.
Get an Accurate Mental Health Screening and Fully Customized Treatment Plan
If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of mental illness, contact Beach House for help. Our highly trained and experienced professionals will give you an accurate mental health screening to get to the root of your symptoms. We offer fully customized treatment plans based on several proven care modalities, so you get the evidence-based care you need.