How Do Doctors Diagnose And Treat Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are serious issues that many people suffer with, but they are a lot harder to diagnose than standard types of health issues. In fact, it can take time for a doctor to truly find the right diagnosis and treatment plan for a person with these issues. If you are tired of struggling with major depression and anxiety, making an appointment with a doctor will be the first step in finding ways to fight and beat these common emotional disorders. Here are three things you should know about diagnosing and treating depression.

The Best Test Involves A List Of Questions

When people have health issues that are causing pain or other problems, doctors can run a lot of different tests to find out what is causing the symptoms the person is having. Unfortunately, there really are no good tests doctors can run to diagnose and determine what type of mental illness a person has. Because of this, doctors rely almost completely on a series of questions the person must answer. These questions will relate to the following issues:

  • The types of feelings you have – For example, are you sad, mad, or irritated?
  • The frequency of the feelings – Do these feelings happen weekly, daily, or constantly?
  • The severity of the feelings – Do you make bad decisions because of these, or do you feel suicidal?
  • Changes in your personality – Do you suddenly have no energy or motivation in life, or do you no longer enjoy activities that once were pleasurable to you?
  • Changes in sleep habits – Are these feelings causing you to lose sleep, or is sleep the only thing you ever want to do?

By answering all the questions your doctor asks you, he or she may be able to determine what type of mental illness you are struggling from. This could be depression, bipolar, or some other type of issue. The forms doctors use for this purpose help guide them to the right diagnosis.

Treatment Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

The unique challenge of treating a person with depression or anxiety is determining how to treat them. Every person's case is slightly different, and each person reacts differently to medications and other forms of treatment. Because of this, you should understand that there is not a pill available that is an automatic guarantee of relief. It will take trial and error, and you will need to be patient as your doctor tries to help you locate the right medication and the right dosage.

Treatment Often Works Best When Combined With Other Forms Of Treatment

The third thing to understand about treating depression and anxiety is that you will have a better chance of success if you are willing to use other forms of treatment to help you find relief. Here are some of the options your doctor might suggest trying as additional ways to feel better:

  • Start exercising – Exercising is not only good for your heart and weight, but it can also offer positive effects on your mind. One reason for this is exercise encourages the brain to release endorphins, which are chemicals that provide happy feelings and thoughts.
  • Learn yoga – Learning how to relax, breathe, and stretch are all parts of yoga, and this activity can help you clear your brain. This can help you feel less fearful, stressful, and anxious.
  • Soak in sunlight – Sunlight is full of Vitamin D, which is essential for your mood.

Visiting a counselor on a regular basis is another helpful treatment method, but there are so many others, and your doctor can discuss these with you. To learn more about treating depression, visit a medical clinic today. 

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