Physicians must keep anxiety on their 'diagnosis radar'

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Physicians must keep anxiety on their 'diagnosis radar'

May 9, 2018

'Anxiety is the most prevalent condition in primary care,' said UW psychiatry professor Dr. Heidi Combs at a recent national physicians meeting.

Though anxiety disorders are the cause for many office visits, not all primary care physicians and internists recognize them, Dr. Heidi Combs, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, told participants at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine meeting.  Her presentation was covered by Healio, a news site for health professionals.

“If they’re complaining about fatigue, experiencing insomnia, talking about there being stomach upset -- consider anxiety. You should also ask the patient: ‘Do you spend a lot of time worrying? Do you consider yourself someone who worries a lot? Do you have anxiety when you’re in groups of people and feel uncomfortable about that?’”

Once the diagnosis is made, there are several treatment options, Combs said.