Neuropsychology on the Road

A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who is trained to recognize issues related to brain function in addition to psychiatric concerns and illness. A neuropsychologist is not a neurologist and in my area, was also not easy to find.

I’ve been in counseling for a couple of years now. I’ve had three different counselors in that time, met regularly with one of my pastors, and have seen at least one psychiatrist (not to mention my PCP). In all of this, I was never given a full-fledged diagnosis. One of my counselors became concerned about my — actually, I don’t really even know what, and she recommended that I see a neuropsychologist for evaluation.

A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who is trained to recognize issues related to brain function in addition to psychiatric concerns and illness. A neuropsychologist is not a neurologist and in my area, was also not easy to find.

The neuropsychological evaluation consisted of multiple tests that were tailored to the issues I indicated I wanted tested — such as memory. The test took about five hours one day. Some of it was written, some computerized, some verbal. I found it fairly pleasant and in no way anxiety-inducing as tests often are. I was tired when it was all finished, but I never felt under pressure or uncomfortable while there.

I’ve brought my children with me to every appointment I’ve had here — with the exception of the evaluation day, and it has never been a problem.

I received the finalized results and diagnoses about four weeks later, after some additional information was sent from my other health providers — otherwise, this would have taken two weeks. A ten page document, the information provided was far more thorough than I had expected including details about IQ and intelligence, motor function, as well as psychiatric and counseling recommendations. There were observations about my posture, demeanor, and tone of voice. She apparently noticed things that I had no idea she was paying any attention to.

On another note, I’ve brought my children with me to every appointment I’ve had here — with the exception of the evaluation day, and it has never been a problem. At one appointment the kids sprawled out across the floor of the doctor’s office with coloring books and colored pencils and stickers. Not only was she accommodating, but she was happy to have them. This did a lot to make me feel at ease there.

In contrast, the psychiatrist I’m supposed to be seeing (today actually) is not so child-friendly. I hate it there — even though there is plenty of space for us, and she probably knows what she's talking about.