Talking about your mental health with your doctor can, unfortunately, be excruciatingly awkward. As someone who's been there and who also, in the past, avoided the topic like the plague for ages, I completely understand any discomfort you might feel. But trust me — once you get the ball rolling and open up the conversation, talking about your mental health issues gets easier and easier each time you go in for a visit. I'm guessing that, despite my reassurance, you're probably still pretty nervous about bringing up mental health issues with your doctor without feeling like you need to disintegrate into the examining room table and/or swiftly bolt out of the doctor's office at a moment's notice. That's OK — like I said, it takes practice.
According to Dr. Edo Paz, clinical director at Heartbeat Health and medical adviser for the free primary health care app K Health, when it comes to talking about your mental health with your doctor, there's nothing to be embarrassed about. "Your mental health is part of your overall health: Talking to your doctor about anxiety, depression, or irritability is just like talking about blood pressure or allergies — it’s part of your health," Dr. Paz tells Elite Daily over email.
Once you talk to your doctor, says Paz, they’ll be able to help you identify what seems to be causing you to struggle with your mental health, and they'll also give you a treatment recommendation, which may include medications or a referral to a therapist or psychiatrist.
If you do decide to talk to your doctor in person, though, it can feel pretty nerve-wracking at first, and those feelings are totally valid. Here are four ways to bring up your concerns so that the conversation feels as comfortable as possible for you.