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Evaluation and Referral

People in emotional distress are often evaluated and treated initially by primary general physicians or by psychotherapists. However, a more complete diagnostic evaluation by a psychiatrist may be warranted in severe depression, anxiety, agitation, or seriously disturbed thinking and behavior. Research has shown that most patients with depression do not receive adequate treatment even after seeing a doctor; and other studies show that most patients with bipolar disorder are improperly diagnosed for an average of 8 years before they finally receive the right medication.