patient undergoing neuropsychological testing

Preparing Yourself for Neuropsychological Testing

Neuropsychological testing has been around in some form since the 1950s, when brain imaging became possible. This medical service looks at the ways a person’s physical brain and psychology interact with one another. With this type of testing, psychiatrists can better understand and treat patients with disorders such as:

As neuropsychological testing becomes more advanced, it can help people with more disorders and become more commonplace. No matter how common this testing becomes, starting the process can be scary for many people. If you’re about to go through neuropsychological testing, a little extra preparation can help you feel more comfortable.

Know Exactly What Tests Your Doctor Will Do

Because neuropsychology is a diverse and ever-expanding field, there are many types of neuropsychological tests. If psychiatrists suspect a specific disorder, such as dementia, they may run a few specific tests to be sure. However, they may also have you complete many tests for a differential diagnosis.

Depending on your symptoms, medical history, and diagnostic needs, doctors may test your:

  • Memory
  • Language skills
  • Visuospatial skills
  • Intelligence
  • Executive function

Knowing which types of tests your doctor will run can help you feel confident going into the tests. Feel free to ask your neuropsychologist in Florida any questions you have about testing before you go in. You may also ask how long the exams will take, for example.

Emotionally Prepare for Neuropsychological Testing

Medical tests of any kind can be difficult to process emotionally. The issue can be magnified if you feel like your intelligence and cognition are in question. It’s vital to prepare yourself for any possible emotional reactions to the tests and results. A few key points can help you stay calm in the midst of this sometimes-invasive process:

  • The behavioral health professionals want to help you, never judge you
  • There is no such thing as failing a neuropsychological test
  • The results of the exams can help you get the tools you need to live a happier life
  • No matter what the tests say, you’re the same person you were before the appointment started

Perhaps the most important coping mechanism in this process is to remember why you’re doing this.

The Day Before Neuropsychological Testing in Florida

In the hours before your neuropsychological testing, it’s vital for you to take good care of yourself. First and foremost, you should follow any and all directions that your doctor gives you for preparation–even if it contradicts the following advice.

Before the day of your test, be sure to make a list of all the medications you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs you take regularly, and supplements. Be sure to write down the dosages for each medication and how often you take them.

You may also wish to keep a list of questions to ask your doctor. Anytime another question pops into your head, add it to the list. When you’re getting ready for your neuropsychological testing, be sure to bring these lists and:

  • Any glasses, contacts, or hearing aids you use
  • Your photo identification
  • Your insurance card, if applicable

The night before your test, try to get plenty of rest. Being too sleepy during the tests can alter the results. That night, you should also avoid alcohol and other mind-altering substances. In the morning, have a big breakfast if your doctor allows it. Neuropsychological testing can take several hours, and you don’t want to get too hungry.

If you’re looking for neuropsychological testing in Florida, contact a therapy clinic in our Florida directory. Our specially trained staff can walk you through the process and get you the results you need.