Mental illness is a common but debilitating health issue affecting many in the United States. Almost 20% of the population is affected and many remain undiagnosed. Most common mental illnesses include depression, anxiety, panic attacks and bipolar disorder. These are most commonly seen in young adults between the ages of 18-15 and affect women more than men. There is a major shortage of mental health professionals in the United states and often primary care physicians take on the role of mental health providers for their patients.
Most patients prefer to get their psychiatric care from their primary care providers. Often there is a stigma associated with seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist as well taking antidepressant medications. Dr. Bassi at Bassi Clinic has the experience of the past 15 years in evaluating and seeing patients for simple mental health care issues.
The causes of mental illnesses are unknown but genetic predisposition, chemical imbalance in the brain and stress play an important but a major role. Any kind of stress in life such as loss of a loved one, grief, history of physical and emotional abuse, change in family or financial dynamics, or big changes in life can cause or lead to depression. Often depression runs in families and genetics plays a major role. Substance abuse, use of prescription medications, lack of sleep, and chronic pain are major risk factors for depression. If untreated, mental illness can cause significant morbidity, suicide and even death.
Many patients suffer from anxiety. It can present in many ways including palpitations, sweating, dizziness, chest discomfort, chest tightness, stomach cramps, headaches, nausea, vomiting and restlessness. It can increase blood pressure and increase risk of heart disease. It can also lead to poor sleep and fatigue, making it difficult to finish tasks. Patients can also have phobias. It can be a fear to go out, meet people and participate in social events and sports.
These phobias can be debilitating and if left untreated can lead to social isolation and worsening of mental health. Poor quality of life is often noted with uncontrolled anxiety. Patients with mental illnesses tend to have poor health as they do not go for regular checkups, follow ups, health screenings, or seek help for their health concerns. These are made worse in patients who have poor habits such as smoking and substance abuse.
Optimal mental health is key to optimal physical health. Dr. Bassi believes that by managing underlying mental health problems, he can improve the overall health of an individual and the community. Treating mental illnesses can prolong life expectancy as people with mental illness such as depression have shorter life span and increase in morbidity.
Dr. Bassi has managed simple mental health concerns including anxiety and depression for his patients for many years. He treats patients with respect, empathy, and compassion. He encourages patients to draw on social support with their family, friends and support groups. He manages mental illness with a combination of counseling and appropriate medications that are often helpful. Dr. Bassi can make a referral to a psychologist or Psychiatrist as needed. He works with patients closely with regular follow ups with his patients to make sure they are doing well.
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