A comprehensive history is necessary
for professionals to make an accurate assessment of any problem. This screening form helps your mental health provider assess
past and present family and relationship problems, educational issues, as well as work and financial difficulties. It assesses
everyday stressors that may impact daily life and the important emotional and spiritual supports available to the
family or individual.
A history of previous treatment for
mental health problems and a list of past and present medications is helpful to your clinician, who needs to know what
treatments have or have not been beneficial. General health problems may affect your mental state and an extensive checklist
family history is an extremely important section of the comprehensive history. We now know that depression, anxiety, bipolar
disorder, attention deficit disorder, and drug and alcohol abuse are to some extent hereditary. In other words, they can be
passed on from one generation to the next, much like diabetes or heart disease. This makes obtaining a good family history
essential for appropriate mental health diagnosis and treatment.
If you are unsure about the presence of conditions like depression
or drug and alcohol abuse in the family, talk to your relatives. Dig a little. While it may be hard for some relatives to
discuss, it is important for your treatment. At the same time it may enable them to recognize a treatable mental health condition
in themselves or another family member.
People with mental health conditions may have legal problems. The legal history will help the treating clinician determine
the severity of the problem and the effect the conditions have on your life.