Preventative Primary Care

Too often, what leads people struggling with substance abuse or mental health disorders to seek help is hitting a personal rock bottom. Avoidance, denial, and not understanding the importance of primary and preventative care are just some of the reasons that people don’t seek help before their circumstances become extremely problematic. However, by addressing substance abuse and mental health disorders early, they can effectively mitigate negative outcomes and prevent potential life-changing problems.

Primary Care for Mental Health Disorders

Primary care providers are often medical health professionals who treat patients for day-to-day medical issues. These types of specialists are often family doctors or healthcare practitioners who want to help as many people as possible. Because of their wide net approach to healthcare, primary care providers can be an incredibly helpful first step when an individual is ready to get help for mental health disorders or substance abuse.

There is a stigma associated with certain mental health disorders. As a result, many people struggling with symptoms of mental illness may fail to seek a diagnosis or treatment out of embarrassment or fear of being judged. However, since a person’s mental health can be impacted by physiological and psychological influences, seeing a primary care provider for both physical and mental services can be beneficial. 

Many people use a single primary care provider for years. Using a primary care provider who already knows your medical history can make it easier to discuss topics that you may be uncomfortable discussing with a stranger. Additionally, your primary care provider can provide referrals to trusted specialists who will be a better fit for you if you need adjunct services.

Primary Care for Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a debilitating and chronic condition that can affect every area of a person’s life: employment, social, emotional, physical, and psychological. Despite the sometimes grave consequences of addiction, many people will live in denial about the seriousness of their substance abuse and only seek out treatment when their health becomes problematic or a serious injury has occurred. Despite receiving treatment for a health concern or injury, they may not ask for help with their addiction.

However, visiting a primary care provider for a substance use disorder opens up an opportunity for simultaneous treatment of health issues and addiction. Additionally, primary care for substance abuse allows individuals to receive medical counseling for their disorder and hear unbiased facts from a medical professional about the consequences of continued substance abuse. Reaching out to a primary care provider to address a substance use disorder creates more opportunities for accessing the help necessary for getting on the road to recovery.

The Benefits of an Integrated Approach to Care

Addiction and the side effects of living with untreated mental health disorders can often be a roadblock to working on physical health. However, taking a holistic approach to healing — treating the mind and body — can lead to positive life outcomes. By addressing the underlying behaviors that led to health concerns in a primary care setting patients will be in a better position to stick to their physical health plans better. Furthermore, by taking a holistic approach to treatment, patients are more likely to make a more full recovery.

Why Preventative Care is Important

What people experience and live through can have a lasting impact on their mental health. Environmental factors, genetic contributions, trauma, injury, and illness can contribute to the onset of mental health disorders and addiction. Addressing these risk factors early and minimizing their influence can mitigate lasting negative consequences.

Furthermore, chronic health conditions can trigger mental health disorder symptoms such as depression or anxiety. Sometimes in an effort to manage pain from injury or illness, individuals will turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Other contributing factors for poor physical health include:

  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Malnutrition
  • Sleep deprivation

Whole-person care doesn’t always have to happen in a clinical or medical environment. Preventive care options can also mean having access to support and resources at the community or peer level and can include:

  • Community-based or school-based mental health services
  • Home-based interventions, which can include social support services
  • Awareness and education
  • Peer support

Primary and Preventative Care in Raleigh, NC

Primary and preventative care can help you manage your struggles with mental illness and substance abuse early on. The sooner you get help, the smoother your recovery will be! Do not wait a day longer. Contact Advaita Integrated Medicine today to learn more about primary and preventative care. Call (919) 893-4465 and start your journey to a more healthy, well-rounded life.