Assessments Of Personality And Mental Health
There are various different types of mental health assessments which will typically differ depending on the individual and the clinician present. For example, assessments may include interviews to examine the individual’s mood, thoughts and concerns, physical exams to distinguish between cognitive symptoms and physical symptoms, medical scans including blood or urine samples, MRIs, EEGs or CT scans, and verbal or written tests to identify particular issues and further evaluate the individual’s wellbeing.
The clinician present will begin to identify basic information such as the client’s name, gender, date of birth and marital status, before examining previous referrals that will identify the type of assistance required. Next, the clinician will identify the existing problem, including symptoms and how long they have been experiencing the issue.
Symptoms may include the client’s general appearance, mood and engagement during the session, signs of anxiety or depression, and any cognitive issues including memory, thinking, or speech confusion. In order to gauge a comprehensive understanding of the client, some clinicians may require further insight into their historical and current background. For example:
- Family history including details about the client’s childhood relationships and family members history of substance abuse, legal problems or psychiatric disorders
- Educational background, including the client’s previous academic achievements and any challenges they may have faced
- Employment history and current employment status
- Military service, in particular to identify any highly stressful experience they may have endured and whether this may have had a lasting impact on their level of physical or cognitive functioning
- Mental health history, including any history of abuse, violence, or neglect
- Religious or spiritual beliefs
- Social and recreational activities, including the client’s social network, significant relationships, hobbies, or community involvement
- Environmental or psychosocial factors that may influence the client’s mental health, such as previous discrimination or sexuality issues.
Personality tests may be assessed via a number of methods, such as objective tests (self-report measures) or projective measures (psychoanalytic theories of personality). Objective tests are psychological tests that evaluate individual characteristics and typically involve the administration of questions that are then subsequently calculated and compared against previous standardised scoring mechanisms.
Examples include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Neo Pi-R Test, and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. These tests may measure factors such as individual attitudes (extroverts/introverts), how we perceive (sensing and intuition), how we judge (thinking and feelings), and lifestyle preferences (judging and perceiving)
Who Might Need It?
Mental health assessments are designed to categorise and diagnose mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, postnatal depression, and psychotic illnesses. They may also be used to assess issues at work, school, or home.
Personality tests have a multitude of functions and may be employed by various business organisations in the assessment and identification of potential employers, with the objective of reducing staff turnover rates by selecting candidates who are better suited for the job. Other personality tests may be used to assess levels of psychopathy and may be employed to hire police officers, firefighters, and other security personnel who are required to carry weapons.
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