Ask Why They Recommend A Specific Medication And If Other Options Are Available
Some doctors may have a specific medication they start most of their anxiety patients on because they feel it has the highest effectiveness with the fewest side effects.
Other doctors may take a variety of factors into consideration before recommending a specific medication.
Always ask your doctor why they recommend the medication they did and if other options might be more appropriate for you.
Is A Psychiatrist Or Psychologist Better For Depression
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If you have symptoms of depression and youre seeking medical help, it might be difficult to know exactly where to go. Psychiatrists and psychologists both treat patients with depression, but there are differences in their education, experience, and approach to mental health treatment that should be taken into consideration before committing to a doctor. If youre wondering whether a psychiatrist or psychologist is better for patients with depression, heres what you need to know:
What is a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who graduated from medical school, along with completing a year of medical internship and three years of residency in the assessment and treatment of mental health disorders. Working in private practices, hospitals, university medical centers, prisons, rehabilitation centers, and a variety of other venues, psychiatrists usually treat patients with mental health conditions that require medication, including major depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD and schizophrenia. Psychiatrists typically diagnose using psychological tests and one-on-one evaluations, and they also run lab tests to rule out any physical cause for symptoms. Treatment can include psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both, and medication will be fine-tuned according to observations and results.
What is a psychologist?
Get Anxiety Treatment Online
If youre looking for convenient and affordable treatment for your anxiety, try booking an appointment with one of our trusted PlushCare doctors.
PlushCare makes it easy to schedule a virtual appointment where one of our doctors can talk to you about your needs and prescribe you the appropriate medication, if necessary.
Common anxiety treatments we prescribe include:
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Causes Of Anxiety Disorders
Experts are unsure of what causes anxiety disorders. Some factors that could contribute to the development of an anxiety disorder include:
- Genetics mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, can be passed down through the genes.
- Environmental stress day-to-day stress caused by situations or environment can lead to an anxiety disorder.
- Changes in brain function a faulty circuit in the brain may lead to uncontrolled fear or anxiety.
What To Expect From Therapy
A common misunderstanding about therapy is that you’ll immediately start to feel better. Sometimes this is the case. But much of the time, you feel worse before you start feeling better. Surprisingly, feeling worse is often a sign of progress. And if you think about it, that makes sense.
When you make the decision to enter into therapy, it’s often because you haven’t been able to work through your anxiety on your own. Therapy involves exploring your anxiety and the reasons behind it in a deeper, more meaningful way. This can cause a temporary spike in your anxiety.
Therapy should never be thought of as a quick fix. It’s a process that’s unique to each individual. The type of therapy you need, the skills, that you learn, and how long you’re in therapy depends entirely on the type of anxiety you have and the severity of your symptoms.
It’s important to understand that though the process won’t always feel good, it will be completely worthwhile in the end.
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Stay In Touch With Your Doctor
Mental health medications arenât like antibiotics or some other medications, where the doctor tells you to take the medication for a certain period of time, then everything is fine and you never discuss the problem again.
You should stay in touch with your doctor and let them know how your symptoms are doing and if youre experiencing side effects.
Your doctor may want to adjust the dosage of your medication or switch you to something different based on your results and side effects.
Serotonin And Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
If SSRIs don’t help ease your anxiety, you may be prescribed a different type of antidepressant known as a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor .
This type of medicine increases the amount of serotonin and noradrenaline in your brain.
Examples of SNRIs you may be prescribed include:
SNRIs can also increase your blood pressure, so your blood pressure will be monitored regularly during treatment.
As with SSRIs, some of the side effects are more common in the first 1 or 2 weeks of treatment, but these usually settle as your body adjusts to the medication.
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Signs You Should Talk With Your Doctor About Anxiety
If youre concerned that you have issues with anxiety, take a moment to breathe. Know that theres nothing inherently wrong with you, and youre not alone.
Almost everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at some point in life, whether its from public speaking, test-taking or even driving in traffic. Feelings of anxiety are common in stressful situations, but theyre usually temporary and resolve quickly.
Anxiety disorders are different. You may have an anxiety disorder if feelings of intense fear or worry continue in situations that arent anxiety-inducing. If that sounds like you, again, dont be alarmed. More than 40 million American adults face anxiety disorders, and theyre highly treatable conditions.
How Will The Doctor Diagnose My Anxiety
You will discuss your symptoms with the doctor: what they are, how they interfere with your life, and how long youâve been struggling with them.
The doctor will then likely perform a psychological evaluation and compare your symptoms to criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , published by the American Psychiatric Association.
With that information, your doctor will diagnose you with a specific type of anxiety and recommend a medication to help treat your symptoms.
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What Your Doctor Looks For
When you talk with your doctor, theyll assess your physical health. The physical symptoms of anxiety can be easily confused with underlying medical conditions.
Your doctor may examine and interview you for some illnesses that often imitate, or trigger the onset of, anxiety disorders, like:
- Central nervous system damage
- Low blood sugar
- Substance use
If your doctor determines that your anxiety isnt linked to drug use or a physical medical condition, they can refer you to a mental health professional who can diagnose you appropriately.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders
There are several types of anxiety disorders including:
- General anxiety disorder people who suffer from general anxiety disorder feel excessive worry without reason.
- Obsessive-compulsive obsessive-compulsive disorders are characterized by an irrational obsession to do something such as keep the house clean.
- Panic disorder if you have frequent panic attacks, characterized by extreme fear that strikes for no reason, you could have a panic disorder.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs after a traumatic event such as a horrible car accident.
- Social phobia also called social anxiety disorder, is when you obsessively worry about what people think about you or how to manage social situations.
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How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal reaction to many things in life that may cause us to feel threatened, challenged or under pressure. Feeling anxious from time to time is no great cause for concern. However, if you experience persistent anxiety that feels overwhelming, unforgettable and interferes with your daily life, you may be dealing with the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Always reach out to a mental health professional for expert advice on whether your symptoms meet the criteria for a diagnosis.
Rule Out Other Conditions
If you identify with the symptoms of depression, your next step should be a visit to your family doctor or general practitioner for a thorough exam and screening. Your provider will ask you about your health history and risk factors and may use written questionnaires to assess your symptoms.
Your family doctor or general practitioner will also want to rule out several medical conditions that can contribute to symptoms of depression, such as vitamin and mineral deficiencies, female hormonal changes, and thyroid conditions. In addition, several medications may have depressive symptoms as a side effect.
If your general practitioner doesn’t find any of these factors as a cause of your depression, they may prescribe an antidepressant or refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor.
In 2017, an estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States experienced at least one episode of severe depression, or 7.1% of all adults. For adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old, the percentage is even higher, with an estimated 3.2 million adolescents in the U.S. experiencing at least one major depressive episode in a year.
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How Can I Find Treatment In The Philadelphia Area For My Anxiety Disorder
There are several options for finding a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who treats anxiety disorders in the Philadelphia area. This process can seem overwhelming . However, finding a specialist is no different than finding a doctor who specializes in other areas of medicine. Talk to your doctor about psychiatrists in Philadelphia or psychiatric nurse practitioners who treat anxiety disorders or panic, call the departments of psychiatry at local Philadelphia hospitals and teaching institutions and ask what physicians or doctors they recommend. Call your insurance carrier and ask about anxiety disorder treatment and specialists that accept your specific insurance or search the internet for psychiatrists who treat anxiety disorders. Remember to specify in search engines what you are looking for . For example, searching for doctors who treat anxiety may give you a list of psychiatrists throughout the United States, while searching with phrases such as Anxiety treatment in Philadelphia,Panic disorder doctor in Philadelphia,Anxiety treatment near me or OCD treatment in Philadelphia will optimize your results to providers near you. If family or friends have seen local psychiatrists who specialize in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety, it may be reasonable to ask if they would recommend a certain doctor, psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatrist in the Philadelphia area.
Who Can Diagnose Anxiety Disorders
If your provider finds no signs of physical illness, they may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They may use specially designed interview and assessment tools to figure out if you have an anxiety disorder. Typically, the provider bases a diagnosis on:
- Your reported symptoms, including how intense they are and how long they last.
- Discussion of how the symptoms interfere with your daily life.
- The providers observation of your attitude and behavior.
Providers also consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The American Psychiatric Association publishes the DSM-5. Its the standard reference manual for diagnosing mental illnesses.
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What Kind Of Doctor Can Treat Anxiety
Technically any practitioner can prescribe medications for anxiety However, psychiatrists are medical doctors trained to treat mentalillnesses such as anxiety. Anxiety is best treated under thesupervision of a psychiatrist in conjunction with talk therapy witha psychologist or a counselor. A psychologist also holds adoctorate degreee, but is not a medical practitioner, andcounselors generally have masters degrees in Psychology or socialwork.
What To Look For In A Psychiatrist
Those who have never visited a psychiatrist may not know how to find one that suits their specific needs. There are a few factors to keep in mind when you search for a psychiatrist:
- Your condition or concern. Psychiatrists treat many conditions, but some specialize in areas of focus that may suit your needs. You may want to look for a psychiatrist, who may treat your conditions while matching your specific conditions and concerns.
- Which medications you may or may not need. You may need a psychiatrist to manage medications while also providing talk therapy options.
- Credentials. When choosing the best psychiatrist for you, you may want to consider their credentials. Do they have proper education, training, licensing and practice experience? Which areas of mental health do they specialize in? Be sure to research their treatment approaches and philosophy as well.
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Where Should You Start When You Need To See A Doctor For Anxiety
Your general doctor can be an asset in your anxiety treatment. While these practitioners dont specialize in psychiatric disorders, they are versed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition . Anxiety is common, and doctors, in general, know how to begin treatment.
Doctors arent psychotherapists or counselors, however, and will stick to the physical symptoms and medical aspects of anxiety. They are in a position to know of community resources plus can give you a referral to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist if youd like one.
When you see your doctor about your anxiety symptoms, you will be taking an important step in getting back your life. Anxiety and meta-anxiety wont forever be in the way of happiness and your ability to thrive.
In the below video, I discuss meta-anxiety. I invite you to tune in.
Considering Medication To Help Your Teenager Deal With Their Anxiety Here’s What You Need To Know About Anxiety Medications Including The Side Effects And Risks
Being a teenager can be stressful, both for kids and their parents. Many teenagers experience overwhelming anxiety and lack the tools to cope with it. Some adolescents worry intensely, struggle to sleep, obsess over the same negative thoughts, and have trouble socializing with others. They may even experience physical symptoms like nausea, fatigue, or muscle aches. In these cases, a teenager might have a diagnosable anxiety disorder.
An untreated anxiety disorder puts a teenager at risk of lower school performance school, poor social skills, and risky behaviors like substance abuse. Mental health professionals generally agree that therapy should be one course of treatment for teens with anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most commonly-used type of talk therapy for teens. CBT helps adolescents challenge negative thoughts they have about themselves or the world and also engage in positive ways of coping. Many therapists also use exposure therapy techniques with teens, helping them face their fears and learn to navigate being an adult in the world.
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