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How To Talk To Your Doctor About Anxiety And Depression

What Your Gp Can Help You With

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Depression

If you speak to your GP about your mental health concerns, they can:

ask questions about your feelings and thoughts that may help you better understand what you are going through and what support is available

offer your medication if it’s appropriate and/or free talking therapies

recommend simple lifestyle changes that can improve your mental health

invite you back for another appointment in a few weeks’ time to see how you’re doing. They may refer you to a specialist if they think that would be more helpful.


If you feel very worried about your mental health or are considering taking your own life, you should talk to someone. You can call your GP surgery and arrange to speak to someone immediately, or alternatively the Samaritans offer completely confidential emotional support 24 hours per day:

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You Have Little Or No Energy Most Of The Time

When youre struggling psychologically, your body feels it, too. Depression can drain your energy quickly, and you might find yourself feeling fatigued on most days. Moving slowly, forgoing exercise and longing just to lie down are all common with depression.

You might lack the energy to upkeep your household or care for children or pets, and even small tasks like showering can feel like insurmountable chores.

The Setting Of Achievable Goals

Do you want your symptoms and issues to be be gone immediately after talking with your Doctor or after seeing a psychologist for the first time and after one counselling session?

If yes, then, you are starting your recovery journey with the wrong mindset. Decide what you want to achieve from this appointment by undertaking some research to see how long it generally takes from diagnoses, staying the course with a treatment plan to achieving your desired outcomes. Reading about actual cases of people who have gone through something similar will help set your mindset and expectations.

When you have realistic expectations and goals, you will better informed and will become more confident to take the first step and how treatment outcomes can be long-lasting.

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How To Talk To Your Doctor About Anxiety

Many people struggle with some degree of anxiety from time to time and to a point, that can be healthy. Worry is part of what makes us human, but our bodies can only handle so much stress being in constant fight or flight mode.

When you notice this intense worry affecting your day-to-day life and decisions, its time to seek help.

How To Explain Anxiety To Your Doctor

Talking With Your Doctor About Stress

Fear and Anxiety are probably one of the most basic emotions that we all have experienced at least once in our lives. The response to an unfavorable condition is noticed not just in humans, but in animals as well. It might be short-lived as in an anxiety before delivering a speech or when sitting in a rollercoaster ride or even before an exam or it could be more long-term as regards our work and professional life or personal life.

Certain situations which impact are daily life such as a new job, moving to a new place, going for an interview, decisions of marriage or divorce, fear of losing someone or even being diagnosed with a disease these situations can be a constant reason for worry and potential causes of long-term anxiety.

Everyday life habits like stress at work or studies, family pressures and money problems can contribute to anxiety. Although anxiety is an unpleasant reaction, it is not a dangerous one. Just like our other emotions, fear, anxiety and panic are a part of our bodys normal reactions.

Anxiety can also be triggered by what you eat. Having an excess of caffeine or sugary foods in the diet to even street drugs, alcohol and certain medications for your mental or physical disorders can make you feel out of track.

Read Also: How To Treat Someone With Anxiety

Bringing It Up: 13 Tips For Talking With Your Physician About Depression

Perhaps youre troubled by lingering sadness or hopelessness, or youre noticing changes in sleeping or eating habits, a lack of energy, trouble concentrating or a loss of interest in activities you used to find pleasurable. These symptoms may indicate depression or a related illness. But how do you know for sure?

Talking with a doctor about whats bothering you is the most direct route to determining whats wrong and taking action to remedy the problem. But for many people, the prospect of discussing a mental health problem with a doctor is almost as scary as the problem itself. This article contains 13 tips to help you prepare for the conversation, and for what comes next.

What Are The Causes For Anxiety

Both hereditary and environmental factors determine the way in which our body reacts.

  • Genetic And Hereditary Just like we inherit certain physical and behavioral traits from our parents, anxiety and panic are also can be inherited.
  • Temperament Persons having a specific type of temperament are bound to react in a particular way.
  • Stress This factor is known to bring out the worst in some people. It is also associated with depression and anxiety in people.
  • Learning From A Previous Bad Experience Instils fear in the mind of the person. When faced with a similar episode in future, the person experiences anxiety and panic.
  • Related to Thoughts About a Situation When a person has been constantly warned about some bad situation, it instils fear towards that particular situation.
  • Amygdala A component of our brain is responsible for recognizing frightful conditions.
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    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.

    Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms, including how long you’ve had them, when they started, and how they were treated. Theyâll ask about the way you feel, including whether you have any symptoms of depression such as:

    • Sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day
    • Loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable
    • Major change in weight or appetite
    • Insomnia or excessive sleep almost every day
    • Physical restlessness or sense of being run-down that others can notice
    • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
    • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day
    • Problems with concentration or making decisions almost every day
    • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plan, or suicide attempt

    Select Which Doctor To Trust

    Talking With Your Doctor About Your Medication | Psychosis, Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression

    For several patients, PCP or primary care physician offers regular health care and does coordinate the care that is delivered by some specialists. PCPs are general practitioners, internists, or family practitioners. Some patients might be in regular contact & have a familiar r/p with the specialists like an OB/GYN or obstetrician/gynecologist, endocrinologist, or cardiologist. These physicians are qualified as well to respond to concerns like depression and anxiety. In some cases, a patient might just schedule an appointment with a mental health physician like a psychiatrist.

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    How Do I Ask My Doctor For Anxiety Medication

    Is excessive fear, worry, or anxiety affecting your daily life? You are likely suffering from an anxiety disorder.

    Help is out there. Many people are relieved to learn that you dont need to see an expensive psychiatrist to receive mental health help.

    Primary care doctors are able to treat many common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Initiating a conversation about starting anxiety medication can be nerve-wracking, but theres no need to be intimidated. Remember the doctor is there to help you.

    In this article well go over how to ask your doctor for anti-anxiety medication so you can feel prepared to get the help you need.

    What A Mental Health Professional Looks For

    Your mental health professional can diagnose you by evaluating your symptoms on specific criteria in the DSM-5, including whether:

    • Youve experienced significant life changes recently
    • Youve had anxiety and worry for at least six months
    • Youve had trouble control your worries
    • Your anxiety involves at least three of the most common symptoms of anxiety
    • Your symptoms cause significant impairment in your everyday life
    • Your symptoms are better explained by a different mental condition

    Your mental health professional will work with you to uncover the root of your anxiety, make a diagnosis whether its generalized anxiety disorder or another anxiety disorder and find the best treatment for your unique symptoms.

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    Ask Why They Recommend A Specific Medication And If Other Options Are Available

    Some doctors may have a specific medication they start most of their anxiety patients on because they feel it has the highest effectiveness with the fewest side effects.

    Other doctors may take a variety of factors into consideration before recommending a specific medication.

    Always ask your doctor why they recommend the medication they did and if other options might be more appropriate for you.

    Talk To A Doctor About How You’re Feeling

    Depression Infographic

    Get a medical checkup. Ask to see a doctor or nurse who can screen you for depression.

    The doctor or nurse may also check to see if you have another health condition that can cause depression or make it worse. If you have one of these health conditions, its important to get treatment right away.

    What about cost?

    Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover screening for depression. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screened at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to find out more.

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    How Can Depression Symptoms Lead To A Depression Diagnosis

    To be diagnosed with major depression, you must have at least five of the symptoms listed above with at least one of the first two nearly daily for at least 2 weeks.

    Depression symptoms can last weeks, months, or sometimes years. They can affect personality and interfere with social relationships and work habits, potentially making it difficult for others to have empathy for you. Some symptoms are so disabling that they interfere significantly with your ability to function. In very severe cases, people with depression may be unable to eat, maintain their hygiene, or even get out of bed.

    Episodes may happen only once in a lifetime or may be recurrent, chronic, or longstanding. In some cases, they seem to last forever. Symptoms may appear to be precipitated by life crises. At other times, they may seem to happen at random.

    Clinical depression commonly goes along with other medical illnesses such as heart disease or cancer and worsens the prognosis for these illnesses.

    Tip #: Do A Little Homework

    Just by visiting this site, youve taken a big step toward preparing yourself for what lies ahead. Here, you can read about the most common symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and substance abuse, and about the established treatment approaches for each. You can sample some of the diagnostic tools healthcare providers use to diagnose these conditions. And youll even find a worksheet that, along with this article, can help you to organize your thoughts and anticipate questions that might arise during your conversation.

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    How Can I Help The Doctor Make A Proper Diagnosis

    Before your appointment, write down your concerns about depression and specific symptoms of depression you might have. Itâs also helpful to get an in-depth family history from relatives before meeting with your doctor. This information can help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis and ensure effective treatment. Before your visit, think about and write down:

    • Your mental and physical health concerns
    • Symptoms you’ve noticed

    Special Concerns For Teens

    How to Talk to Your Doctor About Depression

    Maybe you’re developing later or earlier than your friends and want to know what’s going on. There might be times you feel more depressed or angry than you used to. New sexual feelings and behaviors can be confusing, too. Topics you never had to think about before, such as sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, may suddenly be on your radar.

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    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.

    Talking About Your Mental Health Medication

    It is common for a doctor or psychiatrist to prescribe medication for a mental health condition. Different types of mental health medications treat different types of mental illness, including:

    • antidepressant medications
    • antipsychotic medications
    • mood stabilising medications.

    If you have been prescribed medication it is important that you understand how to take it, why you are taking it and what to do if you have unexpected or serious side effects.

    Before starting any new medication , let your doctor know about any other medication, therapies or complementary medicines you are already taking this will make sure you avoid potential problems from mixing these medications.

    Speak to your doctor if you experience unwanted side effects from the medication.It may be that by adjusting the type or dosage of medication your side effects will reduce or stop.

    Speak to your doctor before ceasing your medication. The dosage for some medications must be cut back gradually as it can be dangerous to suddenly stop taking them.

    If you are particularly concerned and cannot reach your doctor, call the NPS Medicines Line on 1300 633 424 or the Adverse Medicines Events Line on 1300 134 237 for advice.

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    Facing Addiction In America: The Surgeon General’s Report On Alcohol Drugs And Health

    This executive summary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health addresses alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drug misuse in the United States. Chapters of the report cover neurobiology, prevention, treatment, recovery, health systems integration, and recommendations for the future.

    Things To Tell Your Doctor

    How to Talk to Your Doctor About Depression

    This information will help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis of your condition.

    • Make a list of your symptoms and when they began. Note when your symptoms occur, how they affect your life, and when theyre better or worse.
    • Write down any major stresses in your life, as well as any traumas youve experienced, both past and present.
    • Write down all of your health conditions: mental and physical.
    • Make a list of all medications and supplements youre taking. Include how much you take and how often.

    List any other substances you use or consume, such as:

    • coffee

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