Depression affects more than 3 million people in the United States each year. When we think about treatment for depression and other mental health disorders you may assume that only a mental health professional can help you. In reality, your primary care physician plays a much bigger role in treating depression than you might think.
Your primary care provider is your first stop for getting help with depression.
If you think you have symptoms of depression, the first call you should make for help should be to your primary care provider to schedule a comprehensive medical exam. A complete exam is necessary for diagnosis because symptoms of other conditions mimic that of depression. During your appointment, be completely upfront with your providers about how you are feeling. Your provider will likely order blood tests and other medical tests to rule out conditions with depression symptoms such as
- Vitamin deficiency
- Low blood sugar
- Kidney or liver problems
- Calcium or electrolyte abnormalities
Imaging tests may also be ordered to rule out structural brain disease and other neurological problems related to depressive symptoms.
It may take a bit of time and a small battery of tests for your provider to determine if you have depression or another condition causing your depression symptoms but be patient. Your primary care provider wants to ensure you don’t receive a misdiagnosis and that you get the right treatment for your condition.
If your provider does determine a depression diagnosis, this will likely be the point in which they refer you to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional for further treatment. Your primary care provider may then work in combination with your mental health provider to provide you with the best form of treatment.
If you feel you are suffering from depression, don’t wait to get help. Schedule an appointment with your provider at EliteCare now.