Since 2019, the number of people who are battling depression has significantly increased. According to the State of Mental Health in America 2021 report, the percentage of people who have participated in a depression screening went up 62% in the past year. This isn’t just adults, either. That same report revealed 11-17 year olds have the highest incident of suicidal ideation or thoughts of self-harm.
Don’t let this trend continue. If you or someone in your family thinks they might be wrestling with undiagnosed depression, here are three ways that your family doctor can help.
1.) A routine well-check
Believe it or not, having an annual well-check or physical is one of the top ways to identify health issues of all types, including depression. These well-checks can identify depression risk factors such as:
- Stressful life circumstances
- Family history of depression
- Current medications
- Chronic illness or pain
- Hormone imbalance
- Substance abuse
- Healthy lifestyle habits (or lack thereof)
- Irregular blood work results
If you have had the same family doctor for more than five years, he or she may be able to spot even subtle of changes from year to year. If you are currently looking for a family doctor, Your Family Medical has several Lewisville doctors accepting new patients (locations in Benbrook, Bedford, Boyd and Justin as well). We would love to be a part of your care team.
2.) A well-respected referral
One of the tasks that a good family doctor takes very seriously is his or her ability to refer a patient to a highly skilled specialist as needed. This is especially true of mental health referrals.
Once you have your list of potential mental health specialists, narrow the list down to one or two top picks with questions like:
- Does your insurance have any regulations surrounding coverage? (Some insurance companies like to have clients see a counselor 3+ times before approving coverage on a psychiatrist visit.)
- Am I only looking for a good in-network fit? Or am I willing to consider out-of-network options?
- Do you prefer a male or female doctor?
- How far are you willing to travel to your appointment(s)?
- How far out is this specialist currently booking for new patient appointments?
If your family doctor is part of the Your Family Medical general practitioner Lewisville, TX team (locations in Benbrook, Bedford, Boyd and Justin as well), you can trust that he or she has spent time cultivating a list of mental health specialists that are well respected in their field.
3.) Research & Resources
While research and resources are somewhat similar to offering a high-quality referral, they also offer some unique benefits. These tools can help patients have access to accurate, expertly curated answers about their depression. Learning about mental health goes hand in hand with healing.
When you meet with your doctor, he or she can offer you resources and research data specifically targeted for your complaints. However, we’ve also found significant benefits to the following (general) resources:
- SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This free hotline is available to anyone 24/7 to help locate mental health (or substance abuse) services in their area.
- Mental Health America: Online screening tools for depression, anxiety and several other mental health conditions. Please note: these tools are simply meant to guide you towards resources that can offer you qualified help. This is not a formal diagnostic tool.
- ADAA: Anxiety & Depression Association of America offers a plethora of evidence-based educational tips and tools about depression [and anxiety] including webinars, research, blogs, videos, infographics, allies and more.
- Here For Texas: Specifically created to serve the residents of Texas (specifically North Texas) with mental health resources and information, including a provider database, mental health navigation hotline, education and more.
As you can see, you never have to feel like you are going through depression alone. We will figure this out together. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified, caring family doctors who can help you begin the process of caring for your mental health. With 5 convenient Texas locations, we look forward to serving you, neighbor!