Diagnosing cases of anxiety disorder is super complicated, says psychiatrist

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The diagnosis of anxiety disorder is something “super complicated”, according to psychiatrist Márcio Bernik, in an interview with CNN Radio.

A panel of US medical experts has recommended for the first time that healthcare professionals check all adult patients under the age of 65 for anxiety.

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Bernik, who is coordinator of the anxiety program at the USP School of Medicine’s Institute of Psychiatry, said that initial symptoms, such as an elevated heart rate, are not immediately associated with a mental health disorder.

“It’s part of preventing it from being a serious condition, but once you rule out a clear organic cause, considering an anxiety disorder is a good thing,” he said.

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At the same time, he recalled that some precautions must be taken into account.

“An ER doctor just dismissing the patient and saying he has nothing is not ideal, as is eventually a doctor with no experience in psychiatric disorders starting treatment.”

In this case, the psychiatrist emphasizes that the health professional must identify the patient in the first consultation and then refer the patient to a place, either a UBS or an office, with the appropriate resources.

Márcio Bernik argues that there is resistance from people to seek treatment for mental health issues.

“Many of the mental illnesses do not show visible signs, such as measles, which has a high fever and skin lesions, but they are not overcome with good will”, he warned.

According to the doctor, even cases of deep depression bring reactions like people telling the patient to react.

“From a practical point of view, the cost of pills is minimal, but the issue is the availability of psychotherapy and psychiatry,” he added.

*With production by Isabel Campos

Source: CNN Brasil

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