Everyone feels anxious from time to time. Even though we may not like anxious feelings, some level of anxiety is natural. In fact, when anxiety occurs as a reaction to serious danger, it can help to protect us, initiating our natural “fight or flight” responses.
But sometimes, anxiety is a lot more pervasive, instilling feelings of worry and panic into daily lives. When anxiety is persistent, interfering with your normal routines and activities or just making you feel uncomfortable most of the time, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million adults in the United States — almost 1 in 5. Without professional help, it can be really difficult to manage your disorder on your own.
At Your Service Psychiatry, PLLC can help you get the treatment you need to manage your anxiety, customizing your treatment plan based on your symptoms, lifestyle, and goals. Our convenient telehealth options also make it easy to get the care you need, no matter where you’re located.
Here’s what you should know if you’re suffering from anxiety.
How can I tell if I have an anxiety disorder?
Instead of feeling occasional nervousness, people with anxiety disorders tend to feel anxiety, fear, and even dread on a consistent, frequent basis. What’s more, this level of anxiety often far exceeds any actual “danger.”
Not surprisingly, feeling anxious a lot of the time can be exhausting. A lot of people with anxiety disorders have symptoms aside from their nervousness, like:
- Problems concentrating
- Difficulty stopping or controlling worry and negative thoughts
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite
Serious anxiety disorders also often lead to panic attacks, with heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, and the feeling of being out of control of your own surroundings.
Not everyone experiences all of these symptoms, and that pervasive feeling of dread and worry is sometimes the only noticeable sign of an anxiety disorder.
When you experience anxiety, your body releases a chemical response. Those chemicals travel through your blood to your organs, where they can have undesirable effects.
For instance, without treatment, anxiety disorders can wind up weakening your immune system, making you more prone to viruses and other illnesses. Pervasive anxiety may also lead to heart problems and increase your risks for high blood pressure and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
How is anxiety treated?
There’s no doubt anxiety disorders can take a major toll on your health. But there are ways to treat anxiety disorders to improve both your health and your quality of life.
Treatment typically includes “talk therapy” to help you understand the root causes of your anxiety and learn ways to “short-circuit” your anxious responses. Often, anxiety treatment includes “exposure therapy,” which focuses on helping you confront and overcome your fears.
Because each person is different, every patient needs an individual approach to therapy. You may have “homework” like keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings, or you may be given other exercises to help you learn new, healthy behaviors.
These activities are important for your progress, and they also help us ensure that your care is optimized for your needs and goals.
Therapy options may change over time, too, evolving as the patient’s needs change and their symptoms improve. During your treatment, you have regular telepsychiatry visits to check your progress and make sure your treatment plan stays on track for your needs.
The world is an anxious place
Anxiety treatment isn’t just for people with anxiety disorders. You can experience a heightened level of anxiety even without an underlying disorder.
The coronavirus pandemic, a tumultuous political scene, and an uncertain economy can all lead to high levels of anxiety that make coping a lot more difficult. Problems in your personal or professional life can lead to increased anxiety as well.
Although feelings of anxiety may prove temporary in these instances, improving as the situation around you changes, those feelings can still affect you now. And that means you can still benefit from treatment.
Bottom line: If anxiety is taking a toll on your life, it’s time to get the help you need to regain control and enjoy a better quality of life.
Our team of licensed practitioners at At Your Service Psychiatry, PLLC is skilled in identifying practical, actionable solutions based on each person’s unique needs and concerns. We can help you find the treatment option that works for you, using telehealth technology to deliver that care where and when you need it.
Don’t let anxiety take over your life and your health. Use our online form and schedule your convenient, confidential telemedicine visit today.