Another aspect of the diagnostic process is a physical exam. Most mental health disorders require a physical exam to rule out physical causes of symptoms. For example, there are neurological disorders that can cause problems with the way individuals think and process emotions. Any damage or pressure against certain areas of the brain will affect the way individuals interpret reality. In addition to neurological issues, the doctor may also do tests to rule out certain physical illnesses. Behaviors and personality disorders are not often caused by non-neurological physical issues. However, feelings of deep sadness and dissatisfaction in life can be caused by a myriad of conditions. For example, hypothyroidism can make patients feel lethargic and depressed for no reason. This condition is treated through medication to supplement low thyroid hormones. If the physician takes blood tests and does a physical examination without finding anything amiss, they can then attribute the patient’s behavioral and emotional symptoms to mental health issues.
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