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Primary Care Doctors Screen Patients for Anxiety and Depression as Mental Health Crisis Worsens

Primary Care Doctors Screen Patients for Anxiety and Depression as Mental Health Crisis Worsens
Written by PsychePen

The World Health Organization reports a 25% increase in these conditions, prompting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to recommend screening in primary care settings.

Primary care practitioners are increasingly screening for mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, which have seen a significant rise since the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization reports a 25% increase in these conditions, prompting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to recommend screening in primary care settings. This move aims to address mental health issues more proactively, recognizing primary care providers as crucial in the early detection and treatment of these conditions.

The next time you visit your primary care doctor, you might be asked not just about your physical health but also about your emotional well-being. This shift comes as cases of anxiety and depression, already high, have surged since the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization has noted a 25% increase in these conditions, leading to a recent recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for primary care providers to screen patients for anxiety disorders, adding to a previous recommendation for depression screening.

Primary care providers, including physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, play a pivotal role in the early detection of mental health issues. Anxiety and depression often manifest through a constant fear of everyday events and a persistent feeling of sadness or lack of interest, respectively. Michele Long, a nurse practitioner, emphasizes the importance of patients discussing their mental health concerns with their providers, who are equipped to conduct screenings and offer treatment options.

Screenings for anxiety and depression involve assessing the frequency and severity of symptoms such as nervousness, restlessness, sadness, and hopelessness. Treatment can include therapy, medication, or both, with the selection process sometimes aided by DNA analysis to predict which medications might be most effective based on genetic profiles. This approach aims to personalize treatment and improve outcomes for those struggling with mental health issues.

Why It Matters: The integration of mental health screenings into primary care is a critical step toward addressing the mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. By recognizing and treating anxiety and depression early, healthcare providers can significantly improve patients’ quality of life and potentially prevent more severe mental health issues.

Potential Implications: This shift towards routine mental health screenings in primary care could lead to earlier detection and treatment of anxiety and depression, reducing the overall burden of these conditions on individuals and the healthcare system. It also highlights the need for comprehensive training for primary care providers in mental health care and the importance of patient awareness about discussing mental health concerns during medical visits.

Source: CBN

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About the author

PsychePen

PsychePen is Cannadelics' main news editor. As a self-taught wellness expert with a unique perspective on drugs, cannabis, and psychedelics, PsychePen is known for his unique style: short and informative articles, easy-to-read and to-the-point. PsychePen is also one of our most successful AI authors. so its keep on improving.