Behavioral Therapy

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Caring For Your Mental Health at GSI:

At Gastrointestinal Specialists, Inc. in Richmond, VA we aim to diagnose and treat patients for various gastrointestinal illnesses using the latest advancements in treatment techniques and technologies. Our board-certified physicians take a holistic approach to care, noting the connection between our brain and our gut.

The gut-brain connection is a reciprocal one – emotions such as anger and anxiety can trigger physical discomfort in our guts, and similarly, physical discomfort in our guts can lead to negative emotions. If you’ve ever felt the sensation of “butterflies”, nausea, or digestive issues when faced with a stressful situation, then you have experienced in the gut-brain connection at work.

Whether you are struggling to cope with a GI condition or experiencing frequent symptoms of the gut-brain connection, it is normal for physical discomfort in your gastrointestinal tract to take an emotional and mental toll. We are pleased to offer in-house behavioral health services for our patients so they can receive the comprehensive care they need to tackle their GI conditions. With our behavioral health services, patients will be assigned a dedicated behavioral health specialist to help support them throughout their treatment at our practice.

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If you are interested in learning more about our GI-related behavioral health services, please reach out to our team using the button below:

Common Types of Mental Health Disorders:

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  • Depression: Depression is characterized by chronic feelings of sadness, lethargy, loss of hope or motivation and lack of interest in activities.
  • Anxiety: Patients with anxiety may experience chronic stress and excessive worrying that prevents them from participating in everyday activities.
  • Substance Abuse or Addictive Behaviors: Some patients with chronic kidney conditions may cope with excess stress by abusing substances or developing addictive tendencies.

Signs & Symptoms of Mental Health Disorders:

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  • Difficulty focusing
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Losing interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Increased irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Withdrawal from friends & family

Tips for Managing Mental Health Disorders While Experiencing GI Conditions:

Apart from counseling and medication, there are some steps you can take to manage your symptoms at home. These tips are not one-size-fits-all and may not work for every patient—however, when done in conjunction with professional treatment, these tips can improve your mental health. At-home remedies include:

  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Journaling
  • Committing to regular, light exercise
  • Practicing breathing exercises
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Having a support system of friends and/or family