Treatment For Anxiety And Depression
The good news is that if you believe you are suffering from anxiety or depression or a combination of both, these mental health conditions are incredibly treatable.
For anxiety, treatment is used to minimize avoidant behaviors and help you change your thoughts of feared consequences, Dr. Fox said. For depression, the goal is to help you feel positive emotion and increased energy to have a happier outlook and disposition.
There is no one plan that works best for all patients, but oftentimes treatment is a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and medication, such as SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs and other anti-anxiety medications depending on your symptoms. Long-term, combined treatments are typically recommended for those with co-occurring anxiety and depression.
Your doctor will look at whats necessary to get you at a functioning level with minimal or no symptoms, Dr. Fox said. A good therapist can help you unravel your symptoms and help you develop the skills to manage and overcome your anxiety and depression.
If you are suffering from anxiety or depression or another mental health disorder, you arent alone. Get the help you need through the most difficult times.
To find a licensed behavioral health specialist near you, visit the Banner Behavioral Health website at bannerhealth.com or call the Banner Appointment Line at 800-254-4357.
Other Effects Of Anxiety
Anxiety symptoms can last for a long time, or come and go. You might find you have difficulty with day-to-day parts of your life, including:
- looking after yourself
- trying new things
- simply enjoying your leisure time.
In some cases anxiety can have a serious impact on your ability to work. See our pages on how to be mentally healthy at work for information on how to cope. Our legal pages on discrimination at work can provide information about your rights in the workplace.
If you drive you may have to tell the DVLA if you have an anxiety disorder. For information on your right to drive, including when and how to contact the DVLA, see our legal pages on fitness to drive.
Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders
Many people experience anxiety at some point in their lives. In fact, anxiety is a very normal response to stressful life events like moving, changing jobs, or having financial troubles.
However, when anxiety symptoms become larger than the events that triggered them and begin to interfere with your life, they could be signs of an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders can be debilitating, but people can manage them with proper help from a medical professional. Recognizing the symptoms is the first step.
In this article, we discuss common symptoms of an anxiety disorder, as well as how to reduce anxiety naturally and when to seek professional help.
One of the most common symptoms of an anxiety disorder is excessive worrying.
People with anxiety disorders will worry disproportionately about events or everyday situations.
The worrying must also be severe and intrusive, making it difficult to concentrate and accomplish daily tasks.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, generalized anxiety disorder affects around 6.8 million Americans, roughly 3.1 percent of the United States population. However, less than 45 percent of people with the disorder are receiving treatment.
When someone is feeling anxious, part of their sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive.
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Do I Have An Anxiety Disorder
If you identify with any of the following seven signs and symptoms, and they just wont go away, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:
The Impact Of Social Anxiety Disorder
You might think this disorder will just hurt your social life, but it can hurt your intimate relationships, work life, and even your education. After all, if you cant walk into class or give a speech, you might not be able to graduate. This can have a snowball effect and end up hurting every aspect of your life, which is why it is important to determine if you have this disorder so you can seek treatment.
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What Causes Anxiety Disorders
We dont fully understand what causes anxiety disorders. But it is thought that the following factors can cause anxiety.
Genetics. Some people seem to be born more anxious than others. You may get anxiety through your genes.
Life experience. This could be bad experiences such as being abused or losing a loved one. It could also include big changes in life such as moving home, losing your job or pregnancy.
Drugs. Caffeine in coffee and alcohol can make you feel anxious. Illegal drugs, also known as street drugs can also have an effect.
Circumstances. Sometimes you know what is causing your anxiety. When the problem goes, so does your anxiety.
Finding The Right Mental Healthcare Provider
Youll know your mental healthcare provider is right for you if you feel comfortable talking with them about your anxiety. Youll need to see a psychiatrist if its determined that you need medication to help control your anxiety. Its sufficient for you to see a psychologist if your mental healthcare provider determines your anxiety is treatable with talk therapy alone.
Remember that it takes time to start seeing results of treatment for anxiety. Be patient and follow the directions of your mental healthcare provider for the best outcome. But also know that if you feel uneasy with your mental healthcare provider or dont think youre making enough progress, you can always seek treatment elsewhere. Ask your primary care doctor to give you referrals to other mental healthcare providers in your area.
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How To Tell If You’re Having An Anxiety Attack
If you feel like you had severe anxiety, then you had an anxiety attack. Any form of severe anxiety can count as an attack. But for those that are experiencing something more like panic attacks, the experience tends to be similar between different people.
Recall that anxiety attacks can mimic other health problems. If you haven’t been to a doctor, it’s a good idea to go at least once to rule out any more serious issues. Make sure your doctor knows about anxiety, however. Not all doctors are aware of the severity of anxiety attack symptoms. Some may not believe that anxiety can cause so many physical symptoms and sensations, but it absolutely can. Thats why its so important to find the right doctor.
The symptoms below are often experienced differently by different people. During an anxiety attack, your body experiences a wave of stress that is so profound, it’s difficult to know exactly how your individual body will react. Yet below are some of the most common symptoms of an anxiety attack:
You may not experience all of these symptoms at once either, and each one may cause various degrees of severity. You may also feel as though there is no way that it is an anxiety attack. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks are often so severe that the sufferers live in constant fear of the symptoms coming back.
Anxiety attacks also tend to peak around 10 minutes . Then as they dissipate, they often leave you feeling fatigued and drained, possibly fearful of another attack.
Defining Anxiety Vs Worry
Most people feel fear or even brief panic when confronted with a threat: When someone swerves their car into your lane or you turn around in a store and your toddler is out of sight, for instance.
In those situations, you may notice you have a physical response, like a racing heart, sudden perspiration or a knot in your stomach.
Anxiety is similar, but it comes from a perceived threat rather than an immediate threat, Dr. Rock says. The symptoms for anxiety vary from person to person and with the cause of the stress.
Dr. Rock breaks anxiety down into common anxiety disorders, with varying symptoms, including:
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The Anxiety Disorder Spectrum
Anxiety in itself is not bad. Normal levels of anxiety lie on one end of a spectrum and may present as low levels of fear or apprehension, mild sensations of muscle tightness and sweating, or doubts about your ability to complete a task. Importantly, symptoms of normal anxiety do not negatively interfere with daily functioning. They may actually improve your attention and problem-solving, motivate you to work harder toward a goal, or warn you about a potential threat. For example, anxiety about an upcoming exam will likely drive you to prepare fully, and the anxiety a hiker might experience when encountering a bear allows the hiker to run away to safety. These examples demonstrate how normal levels of anxiety can be adaptive and helpful to your everyday life.
Clinical levels of anxiety fall toward the other end of the spectrum. Diagnosable anxiety disorders occur when anxiety levels rise enough to rapidly decrease performance and cause impairment.
How would you know if you have crossed over into the zone of a full-blown anxiety disorder? Anxiety disorders are characterized by severe, persistent worry that is excessive for the situation, and extreme avoidance of anxiety-provoking situations. These symptoms cause distress, impair daily functioning, and occur for a significant period. For instance, a person who needs to stay home from work several days in a row due to panic attacks is likely suffering from an anxiety disorder.
When To Consider Talking To Your Doctor
There are a few factors that separate typical anxiety from a more serious issue you might seek treatment for, Dr. Rock says. Factors to consider include:
You really have to think about how much it affects your functioning, Dr. Rock says. You can avoid some triggers: If youre afraid of lions, dont go to the zoo. But if you are afraid of people, thats more of a problem.
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How Do I Deal With Anxiety
There are many ways to deal with anxiety and combining a variety of approaches may help. For those with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, a combination of psychotherapy alongside a medication plan can be very effective. For those who experience anxiety from time to time, there are a variety of relaxation techniques to try that may qualm feelings of worry or fear: breathing techniques, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are just some examples of techniques to try. Finding a distraction, taking part in physical activity, and talking to someone you trust are also all great options for relieving everyday anxiety.
Figuring Out If You Have An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders come in many forms. What I have is known as generalized anxiety disorder , which is marked by consistent, excessive worries that are difficult to control or stop. It affects about 6.8 million American adults and women are twice as likely as men to have it.
Other types of anxiety disorders include panic disorder, social anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Because anxiety has such a wide range of signs and symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose, according to Christen Sistrunk, a licensed professional counselor in Texas who specializes in treating anxiety disorders.
The first step to evaluating whether you have anxiety is to figure out the type of anxiety you have and how it affects you, said Justin Baksh, chief clinical officer of Foundations Wellness Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida. For instance, maybe you feel it because you brain cant shut off. No matter how hard you try, your mind wanders into the future about finances, work, family issues, and so on, Baksh said.
Or perhaps you experience more physical symptoms, like an upset stomach, digestive issues, sweaty palms, a constant uneasiness, heart palpitations or bouncing legs. Depending on the type of disorder, you could also experience specific fears, avoidance of social situations, shaking, dizziness, fear of losing control, a sense of unreality the list goes on.
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Anxiety Symptoms That Might Point To A Disorder
Everyone can expect to have the occasional bout of anxietymaybe you get nervous before an interview or a first datebut sometimes, that anxiety doesn’t subside, which may indicate an anxiety disorder.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health , there are a few different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobia-related anxiety disorders, but they all hinge on one important aspect: when overwhelming feelings of worry or fear impinge on a person’s daily life.
Researchers believe that anxiety disorders can stem from both genetic and environmental factors, and these anxiety disorders are typically treated through a variety of interventions, including psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two, according to the NIMH.
While anxiety disorders are often hard to pinpointand often benefit from a correct diagnosis from a mental health professionalthere are some signs and symptoms that are common among those with most types of anxiety disorders. Here’s what you need to know, and including when you should seek professional help.
Types Of Anxiety Disorder
There are several different classified anxiety disorders. Each one features different types of symptoms that can, in some cases, be triggered by specific situations.
Panic disorder : This involves at least two panic attacks accompanied by the constant fear of future attacks. People with panic disorder may lose a job, refuse to travel or leave their home, or completely avoid anything they believe will trigger an attack of anxiety.
Generalized anxiety disorder : This is a constant state of worry about a number of events or activities in the persons life.
Phobic disorder: This features an incapacitating and irrational fear of an object or situation, for example, a fear of spiders or open spaces . Most adults with phobic disorder are aware that their fear is irrational.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder : This condition is marked by unwanted repeated thoughts and behaviors .
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