Living with anxiety is a difficult and common problem for many people. Anxiety can range from mild feelings of nervousness or tension to profound, crippling fear or panic attacks that keep you from enjoying life, holding a job or even going outside.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common mental health issue in America and affects about 4 million (18%) of the population. Anxiety disorders are very treatable, but only about one third of patients who struggle with anxiety seek treatment.
Are you struggling with anxiety? Call (919) 803-6320 or contact us online today.
Many times, patients who struggle with anxiety may also battle depression, panic attacks or a spectrum of problems in these three areas. Each are classified as mental health disorders, but they may be treated differently and have different causes.
Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) include:
- Worry or nervousness about everyday events without reason
- A tendency to expect disaster; worry about money, health, school or other common issues
- Worry may be unrealistic or disproportionate to the problem
- Worry may take over the ability to function at work, school or other complete daily tasks
Your mental health doesn’t just influence your mind. You may also experience physical symptoms of anxiety, including:
- Frequent trips to the bathroom
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle tension
- Irritability and more
There are a variety of factors that may cause anxiety, and each is unique to you or the person experiencing symptoms. The most common causes include:
- A change in brain chemistry (chemical messengers in the brain)
- Environmental factors like abuse, trauma, divorce, stress, or withdrawal from drugs, alcohol, or nicotine
There are no blood tests or diagnostic exams your medical provider can do to diagnose anxiety. A typical course of diagnosis includes a discussion about the patient’s physical and mental health, consideration of symptoms and a physical exam.
Your diagnosis will be based almost entirely on the severity of your symptoms, how long you have had them and how they are influencing your life.
Thankfully, anxiety is a very treatable medical condition and there are a variety of treatment choices. Your health care provider will probably suggest starting with medication to treat your symptoms. These may be antidepressants or another class of medications. Remember that these can take six weeks or so to take full effect, so be patient and keep taking them even if you feel like they aren’t working.
You may also benefit from therapy to manage your anxiety. This is especially helpful for men and women who have experienced trauma or abuse. A therapist may be able to help you work through your fears and identify ways to cope.
Other options for treatment include hypnosis, acupuncture, holistic stress management and a variety of natural or alternative health options. If you are interested in one of these treatment methods, talk with your doctor.
To request additional information about anxiety treatment: Call (919) 803-6320 or contact us online.