HealthFit’s approach to mental health
HealthFit doctors and providers are the first line of care for our patients’ mental health and the specific issues they may be facing. These include depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. As primary care providers, we have the opportunity to identify mental health problems early and intervene accordingly.
Primary care providers now provide over half of mental health treatments in the United States.
We work with all of our patients, from the youngest to the oldest, to ensure they achieve optimal physical and mental health. This may involve helping patients make lifestyle changes that can help improve their mental health condition. HealthFit providers work in partnership with mental health providers and may refer out for individuals with mental health issues requiring a specialist’s care.
Jump to a topic:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Substance addiction.
- Eating disorders.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Depression is a mood disorder of persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities a person once enjoyed. Depression is sometimes called major depressive disorder or clinical depression. Depression affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves.
Depression isn’t a sign of personal weakness or something one can snap out of. Depression may require long-term treatment, but even the most severe cases can be successfully treated. We recognize the unique problems depression can present for teens and young adults, who may experience a cascade of problems if the underlying depression is not diagnosed and treated.
Most individuals are treated with medications, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling or talk therapy), or a combination of the two. In addition to talk therapy and prescription medications, our providers and physicians may recommend several lifestyles changes.
Occasionally experiencing anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders experience frequent, intense and persistent fear about everyday situations. Anxiety sufferers will often experience panic attacks, which are the sudden feeling of impending danger accompanied by rapid heart rate, shortness of breath and/or dizziness that peaks within a few minutes. Symptoms of a panic attack vary and can resemble other serious health conditions, so it is important for people experiencing a panic attack to be evaluated by a medical provider.
As with depression, we often see adolescents and young adults with anxiety disorders, so we are especially attuned to helping our young patients who are experiencing these issues. Anxiety can be treated with psychotherapy, medication or a combination of the two. We will refer our patients to the proper professional if they need the care of a mental health specialist.
Anxiety suffers, like those with depression, are encouraged to implement an exercise routine. Studies have found that regular aerobic exercise can decrease overall levels of tension, improve sleep and self-esteem, and elevate and stabilize a person’s mood.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders diagnosed in children. Children with ADHD may act without thinking, be hyperactive, and/or have trouble focusing their attention.
There are three subtypes of ADHD:
- Predominately inattentive. Sometimes referred to as attention deficit disorder (ADD), predominately inattentive means the child displays an inability to focus.
- Predominately hyperactive-impulsive. The child shows a pattern of hyperactive behaviors including interrupting and the inability to sit still.
- Combined is a mix of inattentive symptoms and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.
There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, but rather the diagnosis is a multi-step process. The first step is to have a medical exam.
ADHD is not just a childhood condition. While typically diagnosed in childhood, ADHD can continue into adulthood. There is no cure for ADHD at this time, but early intervention can make a big difference. Treatment typically involves medications and behavioral therapy.
Substance addiction refers to the harmful use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol as well as prescription and illicit drugs. Substance addiction, often referred to as substance abuse, negatively affects the well-being of millions of Americans. Depending on the severity of the addiction, HealthFit may begin treatment or refer the patient to a mental health provider who specializes in substance abuse.
Eating disorders are a serious mental health condition related to one’s eating behaviors. Most people with eating disorders hyper focus on their weight, body shape and food intake, leading to dangerous eating behaviors. These behaviors significantly reduce a person’s ability to receive appropriate nutrition. Eating disorders can cause serious injury to one’s digestive system, heart and bones, and can lead to other diseases.
The three most common types of eating disorders are:
- Binge-eating disorder.
Eating disorders typically develop during the teen and young adult years. Depending on the severity of the eating disorder, HealthFit may treat the patient or refer him or her to a mental health provider who specializes in treating eating disorders. We work in tandem with each patient’s mental health provider to develop a nutritional plan that compliments their therapy objectives.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a mental health disorder that can develop after experiencing a shocking or life-threatening event, including combat, a natural disaster, sexual assault or even a car accident.
PTSD has had many names throughout the years: “shell shock” during World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II. Despite being associated with military combat, PTSD can happen to anyone.
Typical treatment of PTSD includes psychotherapy, medication or a combination of the two.
Take the next steps at HealthFit
If you are experiencing any mental health issues, you’re first visit should be to your primary care physician for a checkup. Depending on what that reveals, your doctor may begin treatment at HealthFit or refer you to a mental health professional.
If you are currently experiencing suicidal thoughts, seek immediate help by calling 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.