A sophisticated differential diagnosis is of the utmost importance in mental health treatment:
- Differential diagnosis: A systematic approach to evaluating a patient’s medical, psychiatric, and psychological history and the presenting symptoms to identify underlying causes. A differential diagnosis helps in sorting out and addressing any and all contributing factors.
- Advanced clinical evaluation: Dr. Shnaps performs an advanced clinical evaluation based on extensive observations and interviews over time, combined with (when necessary) additional tests.
- The goal: To establish a clear, complete, and accurate diagnosis and determine the relative weight that medical and psychological components contribute to the symptoms.
- Individualized treatment plan: An advanced clinical evaluation is a key to developing a custom treatment plan that accurately targets all underlying issues. The evaluation helps determine the choice of treatment – medication, psychotherapy, or both.
A sound diagnosis, although requiring more time to develop, helps ensure that the patient receives the right treatment. It is especially important in treating young patients who tend to have clusters of symptoms attributable to different diagnoses, as co morbidity (the coexistence of two or more diagnoses; for example, Mood Disorder combined with an Attention Disorder) is the rule rather than the exception.
Intensive Combined Treatment: Substantial Benefits
Intensive Combined treatment delivers substantial benefits, with one provider delivering all aspects of treatment:
- Diagnostic precision: A psychiatrist who is seeing a patient regularly for therapy, in addition to prescribing medications (when needed), is in the best position to develop in-depth insight into all aspects of the patient’s symptoms.
- Improved medication management: Working closely with a patient in Intensive Combined treatment, the doctor is able to withhold the introduction of medications, while closely monitoring the patient’s response to therapy alone. If medications prove necessary, the Intensive Combined approach allows for close medical monitoring and safe dose modifications to the minimum necessary.
- Evolving treatment: Intensive Combined therapy allows for an ongoing assessment of the patient and for timely modifications to medications and therapies.
Dr. Shnaps, who is trained in all disciplines of mental health, delivers a dynamic treatment plan customized to the individual needs of each patient that is able to evolve with any changes in symptoms. Young and adult patients alike benefit from the best treatment combination available for their unique and changing needs.