As mental health therapists, we are trained to recognize and address the psychological symptoms of mental health disorders….
But it is just as important to remember that mental health and physical health are deeply intertwined and that physical symptoms can often be a manifestation of underlying mental health issues.
So in this blog post, I will uncover the physical symptoms of mental health disorders and the importance of addressing them in your work with clients.
- Recognize that many mental health disorders can have physical symptoms.
For example, depression can cause fatigue, changes in appetite and weight, and sleep disturbances. Anxiety can cause rapid heart rate, sweating, and gastrointestinal issues. Bipolar disorder can cause changes in energy levels, as well as changes in appetite and sleep patterns. In some cases, physical symptoms can even be the first indication of an underlying mental health disorder.
It is crucial that we as mental health therapists pay attention to these physical symptoms, as they can have a profound impact on our client’s quality of life.
Physical symptoms can affect your client’s ability to work, exercise, socialize, and engage in other activities that are important to them. Physical symptoms can also exacerbate psychological symptoms, leading to a vicious cycle of physical and mental distress.
- Next, identify the client’s physical symptoms.
1). Conduct a thorough physical assessment and take note of any physical symptoms
2). Ask about changes in sleep, appetite, energy levels, and gastrointestinal function.
3). Monitor changes in weight, heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs.
- Lastly, work with clients to address their physical symptoms.
This may involve referring them to a primary care physician for further evaluation or working with them to develop strategies for managing their symptoms.
For example, you might recommend exercise or dietary changes to address changes in weight or relaxation techniques to manage anxiety-related physical symptoms.
In some cases, physical symptoms may be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires further evaluation and treatment. In these cases, You should work with your clients to ensure they receive the appropriate medical care in addition to mental health treatment.
Mental health disorders can be incredibly challenging to manage, and for many individuals, physical symptoms can exacerbate their already difficult mental health symptoms.
As a mental health therapist, it is essential that you recognize and address the physical symptoms associated with mental health disorders, as doing so can help your clients achieve optimal mental and physical health.