Talking to Your Doctor About Mental Health


Dr. McGinn & Dr. Sellers

Talking about mental health is just as important as checking your blood pressure, and one can even affect the other! Let’s explore how prioritizing this discussion during your annual physical can help improve your physical and overall health!

Mental health is closely linked to our physical health and is an integral part of our overall well being. You try to exercise frequently, eat a healthy diet, and get your blood work done regularly, but how often do you take a step back to think about where things stand with your mental health?

Discussing mental health during your annual physical with your doctor is essential for identifying and managing concerns that may be affecting your overall health, even if you don’t have a clinical diagnosis of anxiety or depression.

I thought my annual physical was just to check my blood pressure?

While the basics of any annual physical include talking about blood pressure, recommended health screenings, and blood work, your mental health is a huge part of this as well! There is a close link between mental and physical health, and concerns like chronic stress, low mood, and insomnia have been associated with a host of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues, and chronic pain.

If you go to the doctor to keep your blood pressure in check to prevent heart disease, it’s also important to discuss how your mental health can prevent heart disease as well!

Are you saying I need to see a therapist?

While therapy can be helpful for anyone no matter your current life situation, talking to your doctor about mental health is a good first step. If you are feeling high stress or having difficulty with sleep, your primary care doctor can provide helpful suggestions on how to address these things through lifestyle changes.

In many cases, your doctor can also refer you to a therapist who can help out with optimizing your mental health – even if you don’t qualify for a “clinical” diagnosis of anxiety or depression. Having an extra support can be a huge advantage in navigating life’s bumps and transitions, as well as celebrating when things are going well.

Will my doctor have enough time to talk about this?

It always seems like time is short at the doctor’s office, but this is a priority! Talking about mental health during your physical helps reduce the stigma around these conversations and can help improve your relationship with your PCP so that you feel comfortable seeking help when you need it.

At Radish Health, you will always have time to discuss mental health as part of your comprehensive annual physical. If you’re ready to make the first step, schedule now to speak with your dedicated Radish doctor!

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