How soon is an appropriate time to make a diagnosis for a mental illness?

I've been seeing a therapist for a couple of weeks now, and he still either doesn't know what's wrong with me, or doesn't want to tell me. How soon after seeing a therapist should they have some idea of what the problem is?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    How open and honest have you been with your therapist? How much experience does he or she have in the field? What does his/her colleagues think of his/her experience and/or methods? Are you seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist? One will sit, listen to what you have to say, ask questions about what you said and try to help you "fix" whats wrong or how to deal with it. The other will ask a few questions, probably administer some med.s then when you return at a later date, ask how you feel and if there is any change that you have notice since you started taking the med.s. One deals with behavior the other deals with body chemicals. If you have been closed off, lying or are in denial, then it wont work until you open up, are honest and not in denial. Then again the therapist could just be incompetent and you need to look for another one.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In most hospitals, the evaluation period (where doctors, nurses, and therapists try to work out a mental health diagnosis) lasts AT LEAST two weeks. Since your therapist isn't watching you 24/7, I'm not that concerned yet. If he doesn't have ANY idea within another 2-3 weeks, you might want to consider seeing someone else. Also, you can always start seeing another therapist NOW if you don't want to chance the other one not being able to figure things out.

    Source(s): My mom's a psychiatric charge nurse, and I have been hospitalized for severe depression.
  • 1 decade ago

    It really depends. Some mental health issues are more easily diagnosed that others. For example "depression" may actually be an anxiety disorder, or actually be "depressive" with anxiety features. Unless you walk into his/her office menacing with a chainsaw, personality disorders take working with a client for a longer term before one can arrive at a diagnosis. So if you are comfortable with your therapist, be patient.

    And it is OK to ask the therapist what your diagnosis is . . . that is one of your rights. But the biggest thing is to "be patient".

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Maybe there is nothing wrong with you, or maybe the therapist wants to know enough about you before making a diagnosis. It is not a therapist's way to just make snap diagnoses. They want to be sure about something before they diagnosis it. Good luck!

    Merry Christmas!!!

    Source(s): me - master's student in clinical psychology
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  • 0_0
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Well it depends wt type of mental llness you have. Sometimes if its chemical embalance then the test results should arrive in 2 - 3 days, but if its some kind of a hammroage in your brain etc and you got an Xray done the results should come in imediatly but it may take time to tell which treatment u should be put on.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Ask him, and trust me on this if you had a BIG psychological problem he could tell in the first thirty minutes. A full "Work-up", which is what he is likely doing, takes time to perform. A diagnosis is a different thing and really applies only if you are pathological.

    Relax and ask.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My doctor knew within an hour. I was home within 2 hours on xanax.

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