While some forms of depression can be linked to stress, trauma, loss and other life events, research has found differences - like lower serotonin levels - in the brains of those with clinical depression.
“Though we exist in the age of information, mental illness remains a stigmatized and misunderstood group of diagnoses,” said Vanna Binning, MD, CHI St. Alexius Health Primary Care Provider. “The pandemic has served to amplify the number of individuals suffering from the increased stress and anxiety that comes from leaving your house and going to work every day with the fear of exposure. The good news is that you can always talk to your primary care provider as a first step towards better mental health. One of the first things I offer to patients struggling with anxiety and depression is medical evaluation to ensure that there is not something physical causing the distress.”
Depression can be as deadly as a heart attack, and chronic anxiety has long term health consequences. “I reassure patients that I approach their mental health with the same concern that I would with hypertension or diabetes. And like blood pressure and blood sugar, anxiety and depression respond well to early intervention, so make that call today,” Dr. Binning said.
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