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Your mental health can affect your mood and behavior. If you feel stressed, it can be harder for you to focus on your physical needs, like getting medical care when you need it, taking medicine as prescribed, eating well or exercising. Some conditions, like depression and anxiety, can even increase your risk for physical health problems, such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease.

Similarly, if you live with conditions that affect your physical health, you may experience emotional stress, chronic pain, distress and loneliness, which can worsen anxiety and depression.

Connecting your behavioral health with your physical health improves the care you receive.

Take Care of Your Mental and Physical Health

Always keep your health care professional up to date on your mental health. Just as it’s important to tell your doctor that you have a physical health condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, it’s also important to tell your doctor that you have a behavioral health concern as well. It can be as simple as saying, “I want to talk to you about how I’ve been feeling lately.”

You and Your Doctor are a Team

Patients who have strong relationships with their doctors and other health care professionals tend to be healthier and more satisfied with their care. Your doctor will work with you and/or your behavioral health professional(s) to support you.

If you have concerns, talk to your doctor right away. Asking for help can be difficult, but you are not alone. Help is available.