Our Center is pleased to offer psychiatric services, which include evaluation, diagnosis, and medication management.
Dr. Nicole A. Pearl is a psychiatric physician at our Center, having completed her medical training in New York and Miami. Dr. Pearl is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, and is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the Southeast Florida Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology.
Dr. Pearl also provides psychotherapy in addition to psychiatric evaluation and medication management. As a D.O. — Doctor of Osteopathy — Dr. Pearl uses a holistic (“whole person”) approach to understanding and treating psychiatric problems and disorders.
Evaluation & Diagnosis
A psychiatric evaluation is an interview process conducted by a psychiatric physician to determine the nature of the presenting problem and to make a preliminary diagnosis. The psychiatrist will focus on several specific areas of concern, including:
- Presenting symptoms
- Severity of the condition or problem
- History of the condition or problem
- Personal, family and medical history
- Prior treatment experiences
- Mental status evaluation (including mood and emotional state, speech and thought patterns, memory, concentration and attention, and levels of judgment and insight)
- Treatment recommendations
Medication Evaluation & Management
An assessment to determine the need and possible benefits of psychiatric medication may be conducted as part of the evaluation and diagnosis of the patient. Psychopharmacology is the scientific study of the use of medications in treating the full range of mental and emotional problems and disorders.
Dr. Pearl explains that there are five areas of concern during this evaluation process:
- Somatic (body) Symptoms – Less energy, increased fatigue, changes in sleep and appetite.
- Cognitive Symptoms – Decreased concentration and processing speed, taking longer to perform usual tasks, memory deficits.
- Emotional – Mood changes (which can include feeling sad, worried, irritable, euphoric, angry) as well as less enjoyment of or interest in usual activities/hobbies.
- Social/Interpersonal – Avoidance of friends, decreased tolerance of others, increased time alone.
- Professional – Increase in missed days of work, decrease in job performance and efficiency, indifference toward poor work performance.
The decision to begin psychopharmacologic treatment should also be based on the severity of these symptoms and the degree to which they impact the individual’s life. However, if difficulties exist in all of the above categories, the individual would most likely benefit from a trial of psychotropic medication.