Patient Evaluation: Logistics

Observing, asking questions, and taking blood pressure don’t go far enough when a mental health professional has a new patient.  As a result, many can be diagnosed with psychiatric conditions where none exist, and prescribed medicine unnecessarily.  Let’s take a look at other assessments worthy to include.

Ongoing Discussions About Healthier Food Selections

Sodium may be the culprit for mood swings and depression because the patient is consuming unhealthy amounts of processed foods, soda, junk food, beef, and pork products.  The patient suffering from anger management issues will especially have difficulties because the foods are aggravating the condition.  Sugars can be another problem.  In children who may have developed a sudden personality change, fruit juices (ex. orange, pineapple, cranberry) may be too sweet for developing brains.  In some adults, brain chemistry cannot support certain sugars which can result with their experiencing symptoms associated with psychiatric difficulties.

The patient with sleeping difficulties and headaches may need look no further than their morning beverage to find the source of their problems. Caffeine is found in coffee and tea and nurtures a host of body ailments.* All of us have blood vessels throughout our bodies. After caffeine consumption, vessels become compressed making it difficult for blood flow. This pressure causes headaches, upper and lower backaches, pinched nerve and bunion flare-ups. Also, a patient may inform the clinician they have panic attacks because of nervousness and heart palpitations confronting them on a regular basis. These symptoms could originate from caffeine.

Daily consumption of 4 – 5 tall glasses of water is an  important ritual to flush out impurities which may have backed up in the system.

B-12 Vitamin Supplements

Even if caffeine overconsumption isn’t a problem for the patient experiencing nervousness, they can anticipate symptom reduction from daily B-12 usage because the vitamin regulates the nervous system.  Helping the body’s metabolism during weight loss programs, and maintaining the smaller body frame, is an added benefit when including B-12.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI can indicate whether a patient is suffering from tumors and other abnormalities which could be either masking as a psychiatric condition, or creating lesser mental health difficulties (bottom-up causation).  For the patient who was already prescribed medicine, it’s no wonder pills aren’t working.

Blood testing

This assessment can tell a mental health worker if a sexually transmitted disease (ex. syphilis) is causing symptoms associated with schizophrenia, or other psychiatric difficulties.


When additional assessments are exhausted before the clinician writes out prescriptions, many patients can forego side affects which medications deliver.

*Caffeine is also found in soda and cocoa (chocolate) products.


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