Thursday, April 18, 2024

How To Talk To A Doctor About Anxiety And Depression

When To Talk To A Doctor About Anxiety

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Depression

If youve been wondering if your anxiety is bad enough to talk to a doctor, it might be worth looking into. Not everyone with anxiety needs medication or therapy but is almost always helpful to try.

Here are some signs that you should talk to someone:

  • If your anxiety is harming your physical well-being. This includes trouble with sleeping, achy muscles, or digestion problems.
  • If your anxiety symptoms have been persistent for at least six months.
  • If your anxiety is affecting more than one aspect of your life. Generalized anxiety is often tied to excessive worry about multiple events.

Have You Used Or Are You Currently Using Recreational Drugs

Oftentimes, people with social anxiety will use recreational drugs as a sort of medication to treat their anxiety disorder. When someone drinks alcohol or abuses other drugs like marijuana or benzodiazepines, it may temporarily relieve some of their anxious feelings. However, drugs are not a long-term effective treatment when they are not prescribed medicine, and they may lead to more severe anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor

One way to get the most out of your visit is by asking questions. Writing a list of questions before the visit can help.

A good starting point is:

  • What are all of my options?
  • Is it normal to feel like this?
  • What is my condition?
  • What do you think are the best options for me?
  • How much better might I feel?
  • When might I feel better?

It is vital that you understand what your doctor tells you. If there is something you do not understand, be sure to speak up. Doctors are very happy to explain things again.

It is best to ask upfront how much the visit will cost you. If you arent eligible for Medicare, you will pay the full cost. If you are eligible, then Medicare covers some or all of the cost.

Your doctor can also refer you to services by psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists. Medicare rebates are available for people who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and have a mental health care plan. These rebates include up to 20 individual and 10 group therapy sessions.

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What Type Of Treatment Would You Like To Learn More About

If youve done your research and youre curious to learn more about certain treatment options for anxiety, do not be afraid to ask and advocate for yourself. Alternative treatment options like transcranial magnetic stimulation , IV ketamine, and Spravato can all help anxiety or co-occurring depression.

Why Do I Always Make The Wrong Decisions

Depression Solution

Life is all about choices. We all have to make decisions at some point and map out our path. Some of our choices are more important and decisive than others and can have a long-term impact. Youve often regretted a decision, wanted to take it back, but have you taken the time to ask yourself, Why do I always make the wrong choices? Reading this article is a good decision.

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Coping Support And Resources

In addition to your prescribed treatment, you may want to join a support group. It can be very helpful to talk with other people who are experiencing symptoms similar to yours. Its good to know that you are not alone. Someone else with similar symptoms can understand what youre going through and offer support and encouragement. Being part of a group can also help you develop new social skills.

Your community will likely have several support groups, either for your specific disorder or for anxiety in general. Check with your medical professionals to learn what resources are available in your area. You might ask your:

  • mental health provider
  • county mental health services agency

You can also participate in support groups online. This may be a good way to start if you have social anxiety disorder or feel uncomfortable in a face-to-face group setting.

Treatment of diagnosed anxiety is often multi-disciplinary. This means you may see one or all of the following medical practitioners:

  • primary care physician

Make This A Major Priority And Not Just An Afterthought

In the busy medical practices, your appointed time with the physician is quite limited. Several patients see the PCP for a brief visit just once a year or even less. And, the primary temptation is to tell a large number of problems into a single meeting. That is not the right approach. If mental health problems are at the end of your list and thus are shared at the end, then very little time is there for your discussion and treatment planning. Instead, discuss the issues and signs at the start.

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How Can It Affect Your Life

Social anxiety disorder prevents you from living your life. Youll avoid situations that most people consider normal. You might even have a hard time understanding how others can handle them so easily.

When you avoid all or most social situations, it affects your personal relationships. It can also lead to:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor social skills that dont improve

Have The Confidence To Be Honest And Open

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Sadly, still many areas of society, having a mental health discussion is still branded with stigma, shame, and misunderstanding. These reasons can make you extremely uncomfortable to see your doctor and start a conversation. If you are struggling to take the first step and begin a conversation with your Doctor here is a tip, read other peoples stories, their journeys on how they reached out for help, and how many people were able to overcome their negative emotions, become positive and how talking increased their clarity and well-being. Reading about other peoples stories will help you build up your self-confidence to talk bravely and openly.

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Can You Ask A Doctor For A Specific Medication

Yes, it never hurts to ask your doctor if they think a specific medication would help you. Explain how you heard of it, and why you think it may help your anxiety. That said, the doctor may decide not to prescribe you that medication.

You should be open to the idea that a medication that youve heard of or that you know works for somebody else may not be the right choice for you.

Have an open discussion with your doctor about the risks, benefits, and potential side effects of any medication youre considering and listen to the doctors suggestions carefully.

Preparing For The Conversation

You can get ready to discuss your feelings with your doctor by thinking through your day-to-day life. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Are you doing things that bring you joy and happiness?
  • Are you enjoying friends and family?
  • Do you feel happiness and joy?
  • Do you have an underlying sense of dread that keeps you from seeing the beauty in life?
  • Are you where you thought you would be at this stage in your life?
  • How do you feel about your life goals for a month from now? Six months from now? A year from now?

Make notes about any changes in your habits, daily routine or situations in which you didnt react the way you normally would.

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Finding The Right Balance

Because depression stems from a chemical imbalance in the brain resulting in decreased serotonin, Dr. Weitzer explains that medications aim to increase levels of this neurotransmitter to help patients find balance.

However, even when patients reach the right dosewhich can require trial and errormedication will not change their triggers or their reactions to those triggers. For this reason, Dr. Weitzer recommends a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy, which seeks to alter a patients behavioral patterns in response to particular stressors.

In addition to medication and talk therapy, complementary treatment options exist that provide more immediate benefits with few, if any, side effects. Dr. Garbely wholly recommends a mindfulness meditation practice as a proven strategy for combating depressive feelings.

Finding The Right Kind Of Doctor For Your Depression

SLU Med Lowers Depression and Anxiety Rates In Its Medical Students ...

To make sure you find a doctor or therapist who will place you on the right track for depression management, use this checklist:

1. Choose someone who can provide the desired services.

2. Make sure that a strong relationship is felt.

3. Find out about the approach to therapy for the client.

4. Find a collaborative plan for your goals.

5. Look for someone who is going to challenge you.

6. Seeking someone with a direct approach to treatment.

7. Expect homework.

In this article, we listed out what kind of doctor do you see for depression.

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Tip #: State Your Concerns As Plainly As You Can

If you describe your symptoms too vaguely, the doctor may look for physical causes, rather than honing in on emotional factors. Instead, use clear statements like I think I might be depressed, or I am experiencing the following symptoms to begin the conversation. The more direct and specific you can be, the easier it will be for your doctor to respond effectively.

Before Signing Up For Online Therapy Ask Yourself The Following Q’s:

As the demand for online therapy grows, so do the niches for getting help online. To get the best suitable treatment possible, its valuable to do some research.

Here are ten questions you can ask when on the hunt for your next online therapist:

  • How qualified is this therapist and how many years of experience do they have?
  • What does this therapist specialize in and do these specializations match my needs?
  • What method does this therapist use for treatments?
  • Does this therapist have an informed consent agreement to sign?
  • Are reviews available of this online therapy platform?
  • How long will we work together?
  • Is homework assigned with this therapists specialization?
  • Is this counselor a licensed professional in my state?
  • What confidentiality measures does this online therapy platform have?
  • How does payment work with this online therapy service?

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And If I Am Having Suicidal Thoughts

Here in the UK you can be sectioned by a doctor if they think you are in danger of hurting yourself or another. So understandably many of us are terrified to admit to suicidal thinking. We want help to make it stop, but we dont want up in a hospital against our will.

Emphasise you have self-destructive thoughts but that you are not going to act on them. You might, for example be asked if you have researched how youd hurt yourself, or made an exact plan. Keep emphasising that no, you do not have a plan.

Of course if you want to go to the hospital, or if you really think you might carry out your suicidal thinking and DO have a plan, be straight with your GP. You can also go straight to the emergency services at a hospital.

Ensure Your Mental Health Providers Are Talking With One Another

Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Cardiac Health

Just like you might have to take important steps in coordinating the follow-up, youll have to take the lead to keep everybody participating in the care connected. Its quite common for a PCP in order to prescribe the medications whilst depression and anxiety therapy is given by the social worker, psychologist, or some other specialist.

For helping to facilitate the communication between the mental health providers, first of all, make sure youve signed the release form hence the therapist and physician might exchange information when protecting the privacy.

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How A Doctor Can Help With Anxiety

When you go to the doctor to get treated for anxiety, they will probably assess your physical health first. Next, they will ask you questions related to anxiety disorders that could be the underlying problem. This includes things like low blood sugar, heart disease, and hyperthyroidism.

They will be able to refer you to a mental health professional who can diagnose you. A mental health professional will look for criteria in the DSM-5 for specific symptoms. They will uncover the root of your anxiety and figure out the best treatment plan for you. This could be medication, therapy, or a combination of the two.

What To Do If You Are In Crisis

If you find yourself in a mental health crisis at any point in time, its important to reach out for help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 to speak with a trained counselor. If you feel that you or someone else is in immediate danger, then you should call 911 or the emergency number where you live.

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What Medications Or Other Treatments Have You Tried

If youve tried medications for your anxiety in the past, its important that you share this information with your doctor. In addition to sharing what medications you have tried, it is also important that you share the dosages that you have prescribed as well as the length of time that you took these medications. Be sure to include any herbal supplements you have been taking, as some supplements such as Ginko Biloba or St. Johns Wort can interact with other medicines and may cause health problems.

Talking About Your Mood

Anxiety Medical Concept. Vector Illustration. Stock Vector ...

Once you tell me that you may be depressed, well talk about how youve been feeling and how long youve felt this way. I may ask you questions like:

  • How youve been feeling physically
  • Whether youre keeping up with your daily routine
  • How well you handle simple disruptions in your routine
  • If there have been any changes in your eating habits
  • Whether youre connecting as usual with family, friends, colleagues and others
  • How your most important relationships are going
  • Whether there have been any changes in your habits
  • If youre questioning your short- or long-term goals

I may also order blood tests to help rule out other causes for your mood change, like an underactive thyroid or vitamin D deficiency.

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Will Everything I Tell My Doctor Be Confidential

In most cases: yes. Your doctor should keep whatever you tell them confidential, and ask your permission before sharing it with anyone else. However, they may need to make an exception if they believe that youre at risk of seriously harming yourself, or someone else. In this case they should still try to tell you first so you know whats going on.

Depending on how big they think the risk is, they could:

  • Not tell anyone, but ask to see you again soon to check how you are, and keep seeing you regularly.
  • Not tell anyone themselves, but ask you to tell other people yourself. For example, they could ask you to volunteer to go to hospital as an inpatient .
  • Tell another health or social care professional, such as a psychiatrist or social worker, and ask for an assessment to see if you can be made to go to hospital under a section of the Mental Health Act . The decision to section someone is very serious and can only be taken jointly by a team of approved mental health professionals .
  • Tell the police but this would only happen if they believe there is a very immediate, serious risk of danger.

If you care for children and are worried about what might happen if you tell your doctor how youre feeling, our pages on parenting with a mental health problem provide more information.

What Is The Process Of Getting Diagnosed With Depression

What Does the Doctor Look for to Make a Depression Diagnosis? A doctor can rule out other conditions that may cause depression with a physical examination, a personal interview, and lab tests. The doctor will also do a complete diagnostic evaluation, discussing any family history of depression or other mental illness.

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Preparing What You Want To Say

A good starting point is to make a list of things you want to talk about. This can be how youve been feeling, what youre struggling with, or questions you want to ask. Writing things down can help you think about how youre feeling and prepare you for the appointment. You can take the list with you so you remember what you want to say, or you can hand it to the GP at your appointment.

You can use docready to build a checklist of what you want to talk about. They have different topics you can choose from to create a list that you can take with you.

You might find it helpful to chat with someone you trust, like a friend or family member, about the appointment. Try practising what you want to talk about and questions you want to ask to help you feel comfortable talking about your mental health in the way you want to.

You could also ask someone you trust to come and wait with you before your appointment. If you want to, they can come into the appointment with you. But talk to them beforehand about how you want them to support you. Remember, there is no pressure to take someone into your appointment – it is up to you.

Sharing your struggles with someone else and letting them help you is not something to feel guilty about. Communication is the key.

What Is Samhsas National Helpline

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SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

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