ZocdocAnswersCan my general practitioner treat my anxiety?

Question

Can my general practitioner treat my anxiety?

Do I need to go to a psychologist if I have issues with anxiety or would my general practitioner be able to treat me? I really like my GP and would like to stay with her for this treatment.

Answer

It is great to year that you have such a strong relationship with your general practitioner. The good news is that most general practitioners do feel competent and comfortable treating most cases of anxiety and depression, as well as other basic psychiatric conditions. What I would suggest is that you set up an appointment with your general practitioner to discuss what exactly the symptoms are that you are experiencing. She can perform the initial evaluation and assessment and, in most cases, make the diagnosis of anxiety or a related condition and begin treatment. Treatment for these conditions typically includes a medication such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). She may also recommend some individual or group counseling or therapy sessions, which can provide additional benefit. If, on the other hand, your general practitioner feels that your symptoms are too complex for her to manage, or if she suspects that you may be dealing with more than one psychiatric issue at the same time, then she may choose to enlist the help of a psychiatrist in figuring out what medications to use. Nevertheless, I am certain that she will stay involved in your treatment and care even if this is the case.

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