Understanding Common Mental Health Conditions: Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD – Riverside Health System

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For help in finding a physician, making appointments and general information call Riverside Nurse.
We all feel a little down from time to time. Maybe you’re stressed about the holidays or a big work project that’s coming up. Or perhaps a lengthy to-do list is making you feel so overwhelmed you can’t concentrate on anything. 
But what if those symptoms last longer than a day or two? You may want to consider talking to someone about your mental health – and that’s nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that nearly one in five adults live with a mental illness. 
“People don’t hesitate to call the doctor if they have a fever or are hurt, but mental health can be very difficult for some individuals to talk about,” shares Dria Vernon, M.D., a family medicine provider with Riverside Eastern Shore Family Medicine. “Mental health illnesses are very real and do affect many aspects of life – from your physical health to social relationships and job performance. It’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed to admit. In fact, it takes great strength to reach out for help.”
Here, Dr. Vernon discusses three common mental health conditions – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression and anxiety – how they affect your health, and what you can do to start feeling better.
Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting more than 40 million adults in the U.S. every year. Like depression, there are many different types of anxiety disorders. The most common disorders, according to the NIMH include: 
It’s normal to feel a little ‘blue’ every once in a while. But, if you’re experiencing extreme feelings of sadness or hopelessness for two or more weeks, it might be major depressive disorder (also called clinical depression). 
You might be surprised that there is more than one type of depression. Other forms of depression can include:
Learn more about depression, including its symptoms.
When most people think about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they typically think of school-age children that can’t sit still in the classroom. The reality is that ADHD is a mental health disorder that can affect adults – many times without adults realizing it’s an issue. 
The NIMH explains that adults with ADHD typically struggle with three types of behaviors:
Fortunately, there are many effective ways to manage mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, ADHD and others. 
“If you think you may have anxiety, ADHD, depression or are experiencing other mental health symptoms, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor,” encourages Dr. Vernon. “We can get to the bottom of what’s happening and work together to help you feel like yourself again.”
The two most common treatments for mental health illnesses include psychotherapy and medication. During therapy, a licensed mental or behavioral health provider will discuss your thoughts, feelings and actions to improve your well-being and better manage your symptoms. 
Medication can also be prescribed to help control symptoms. Today, many different types of medicine are safe and effective at treating mental illnesses. Your doctor can discuss if medication may be right for you. 
A healthy lifestyle can also help improve your symptoms. 
“A nutritious diet, regular physical activity and managing stress can do wonders in helping you manage your mental health – whether you’re struggling with a diagnosed condition or are just experiencing a tough time,” shares Dr. Vernon.
Your doctor can help you find the right, comprehensive approach that supports your whole health – physical, mental and emotional.
If you’re struggling with mental health issues, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or request an appointment with a specialist at Riverside Mental Health & Recovery Center today. Our professional counselors, therapists and physicians are here to help you get back to feeling like yourself again. And remember, you are not alone. 

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