• C. Mead L.C.S.W., L.C.P.C.

Why your first stop needs to be to your family doctor.

Serious talk, if you feel like you're experiencing any kind of mental health symptoms or problems, your first appointment really needs to be to your primary care physician if you have one. If you don't have one, definately use the many available resources to get one fairly soon. Here's the reason why. Depression, anxiety, distress, or mental health problems can also often include a number of symptoms including various physical symptoms some more significant than others. For example if you've been feeling depressed it's not uncommon to also experience physical symptoms like headaches, tiredness, fatigue, insomnia, back/neck pain, or even digestive problems. So you might you have symptoms like these and think that's maybe a depression or anxiety symptom. You might just be right but, there's also another possibility. You may have some sort of unknown-to-you physical condition that has been causing your mental health symptoms. Sounds odd but, you may have things reversed entirely as certain medical conditions can sometimes cause depression, anxiety, mood disturbances, or any number of other symptoms.

I have seen multiple patients in hospital inpatient psychiatry units, that had endocrine imbalance conditions or thyroid malfunctions, degenerative brain conditions, or even uninary tract infections that had either entirely caused their severe mood or mental health symptoms or seriously exacerbated less severe pre-existing conditions. Only a doctor can rule out various possible medical conditions. Especially for older adults, urinary tract infections are important rule out because they can cause significant mental status changes if gone unchecked. I know personally there are times when I thought I was experiencing odd random anxiety, but it actually was my high blood pressure that I could feel in my chest. So you need to know exactly what your dealing will. Many conditions have quite a range of manifestations and one thing can look like something else without closer inspection. Sometimes these things are a little more nuanced than you may think, so let the Doctor check it out. Before begining therapy, you should have a medical evaulation to rule out a physical condition. No need to worry or assume the worst but, otherwise you may have gone to the wrong specialist.