You may be wondering, “Can I see my family doctor about my mental health?” You should know that your primary care physician can refer you to a psychiatrist if you feel that you need help with your emotional or mental health issues. However, your family doctor may not immediately grant your request. Often, doctors prescribe medication first and refer you to a specialist only after your condition does not improve. While therapy and holistic approaches may be effective for some conditions, they are not always sufficient in treating mental disorders.
In order to get a proper diagnosis, your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your current symptoms. Make a list of all your symptoms and bring it to the appointment. Make sure to bring any relevant documents with you. If possible, write down your thoughts so that you can bring them up at the appointment. Moreover, make sure to bring up recent life events that may have affected your mental health. If your depression has been present for weeks or months, it may be time to see a psychiatrist or therapist.
Behavioral health providers treat psychiatric conditions and substance use disorders. In most cases, your PCP will not refer you to a psychiatrist unless you are experiencing symptoms that are difficult to treat. These conditions are often co-morbid with primary health concerns, such as heart disease, diabetes, or obesity. If you are suffering from one of these conditions, your family physician can help you get the appropriate treatment and medication.