Anxiety Treatment

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Anxiety

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Everyone has experienced anxiety at some point in their lives – but for many Americans it is a sensation and fear that they cannot turn off or get relief from by normal means. In fact, anxiety disorders affect over 40 million Americans each year, making it the single most common mental health concern in the nation.

Anxiety disorder is more than just a nervous stomach or fear of public speaking – it is those things, but it is those sensations and more, all turned up to levels that eventually begin to dominate your life. Untreated, anxiety disorder can sap all the joy from your daily existence and lead to detrimental results in your academic, work, and/or social life.

That is why it is important that you know the signs of anxiety disorder and know how to combat it. In fact, targeted psychiatric evaluation and treatment has proven adept at allowing countless sufferers of anxiety to regain control of their lives. And there is no need to suffer from anxiety disorder.

man anxious and depressed

How Anxiety Works

So, how do you know you are one of the millions that are suffering from anxiety disorder? After all, it is perfectly normal to experience sensations of anxiety – you know the feeling: a racing heartbeat, sweating, nausea, unable to collect your thoughts. However, someone with an anxiety disorder experiences those sensations – and many more – at such intense levels that they may experience a panic attack. A panic attack is a debilitating experience that includes sudden feelings of intense fear and worry combined with overwhelming physical symptoms, which include those above but at more intense levels.

Anxiety disorder produces feelings out of proportion to reality, but why? What happens inside you when it occurs?

Anxiety can stem from any number of sources, including both biological and social issues. Biologically, some people are more pre-disposed to anxiety because of genetics, chemical/hormonal imbalances, or blood sugar imbalances. However, head injuries, drug abuse, and prescription medication side effects could also be at fault. Outside occurrences could also create anxiety, such as a crime or death of a loved one or a repeated experience at work or school.

Untreated, anxiety can lead to a whole range of detrimental side effects, including depression, sleep issues, substance abuse, and even suicidal thoughts and behavior. But it is more than just a unified diagnosis of anxiety. In fact, there are seven recognized types of anxiety disorders – and most of them (75 percent in fact) are also associated with clinical depression. Included in the recognized anxiety disorders are:

7 Types of Anxiety

Pure Anxiety

In this type of anxiety, the brain’s basal ganglia (located in the center of the brain, near the stem) is overactive, resulting in someone who is constantly “on” and unable to relax. Symptoms of this type of anxiety include frequent feelings of nervousness or anxiety, as well as panic attacks and thus will be easily startles. People with anxiety will avoid people or places if they believe those factors bring on a panic attack. They will also have heightened muscle attention and thus possible headaches, sore muscles, and tremor; they may also experience a racing pulse, nausea, or dizziness. Outward physical symptoms may even extend to constant fingernail chewing or picking at the skin. They may also experience irrational fears and phobias, as well as chronic pessimism and conflict avoidance.

Pure Depression

It is quite common for depression and anxiety to occur together – in fact it happens 75 percent of the time – so, many psychiatrists address anxiety as a form of depression. This can present as a constant mild sadness (dysthymia) all the way to crippling major depression – during which it is difficult to even get out of bed. Symptoms include persistent sad or negative mood, loss of interest in activities, restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, or pessimism. Depression patients may also sleep too much or too little, experience appetite changes and/or weight loss or weight gain, complain of physical ailments such as headaches, digestive problems, or chronic pain, or even experience thoughts of death or suicide (including actual suicide attempts). Depression may even include simple difficulty in concentrating, remembering, or making decisions and a constant feeling of being dissatisfied or bored.

Mixed Anxiety/Depression

This combination will bring on a mix of the symptoms for anxiety and depression.

Over focused Anxiety/Depression

Patients suffering from this issue have trouble shifting attention and therefore obsess on negative thoughts or behaviors, as well as anxiety. This is often the definition of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other symptoms include phobias (irrational fears), eating disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), excessive or senseless worrying, anger when things do not happen as planned, tendency to oppose or argue, intense dislike for change, holding of grudges, inability to compromise.

Temporal Lobe Anxiety Depression

This condition occurs when there is too little or too much activity in the temporal lobes of the brain and includes symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as having a short fuse or extreme irritability, rage, spaciness or confusion, visual or auditory changes (seeing shadows or hearing muffled sounds), and déjà vu.

Cyclic Anxiety/Depression

Sufferers of this type of depression experience short periods of excessive activity in the brain that sort of hijack the brain and take over the personality. Cyclical issues include bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, premenstrual tension syndrome, and panic attacks. Sufferers may also experience the symptoms of depression or anxiety as well as abnormally elevated, depressed or anxious moods, disrupted sleep patterns, grandiose notions, ideas or plans, increased talking or pressured speech, racing thoughts, increased energy, poor judgment and risky behavior, inappropriate social behavior, irritability or aggression, and delusional or psychotic thinking.

Unfocused Anxiety/Depression

This type of depression effects the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in addition to high activity in the basal ganglia and/or deep limbic system and causes sufferers to have a hard time focusing or staying on task. This can be easily mistreated or diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. It includes symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as trouble staying focused, spaciness, feeling overwhelmed, exhaustion, procrastination, chronic boredom, forgetfulness, unable to express feelings, a lack of empathy for others.

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How Traditional Psychiatry Works to Treat Anxiety

Anxiety can present a wide range of symptoms, and it is the psychiatrist’s job to diagnose and treat these symptoms, allowing the patient to recover a sense of normalcy and wellbeing. To do this, the psychiatrist must first rule out any potential medical problems that may also produce similar symptoms – issues such as thyroid disease, infections, medication side effects, hormone abnormalities or beyond.

The psychiatrist must also determine whether the patient is also suffering from other mental health conditions such as ADD/ADHD, psychosis, or addiction, as these conditions influence the most effective treatment plan.

Once an exhaustive examination of the patient’s mental health is established, the psychiatrist can begin to implement the treatment plan – which may include a wide range of approaches. These treatments include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and even meditation. Beyond those approaches there are medications available for use that have proven extremely helpful to many anxiety sufferers. Some of these types of medication include selective serotonin uptake inhibitors, (SSRIs), anxiolytics, antidepressants, sedatives, and even nerve pain medication.

Anxiety disorder is almost two times more likely to effect women than men. And anxiety is also prevalent in teenagers, effecting an estimated one in three between the ages of 13-18.

How Bridgepoint Works to Help You

Bridgepoint knows that there is no cookie cutter approach to mental health, and we tailor our healing approach to each individual patient. And while tens of millions of Americans suffer from anxiety, we recognize that each case is different and requires an open-minded, versatile approach in order to get the most out of treatment.

That is why we are detail oriented and bring our wide range of experience and expertise to bear – in order to make sure that you get the therapy you require. And, in many cases, professional help is the only way to receive lasting relief.

Anxiety is not the result of a character flaw or personal weakness. And, left untreated, this mental health issue can ruin your life – it is the cause of most suicides in this nation (almost 2/3s by some studies). But even mild depression can lead to substance abuse or derail your work or personal life.

Get Help Today for Anxiety and Change Your Life

Bridgepoint clinicians understand the intricate and very real nature of anxiety and how best to address the changes that occur in patients suffering from this issue.

If you are concerned about anxiety, please do not hesitate to call our offices today and schedule an appointment with our caring professionals. We will ensure that you get the assistance and mental health support that you need. We can set up an in-office appointment or talk with you over a tele-health visit to get started.

Contact us at our offices in Smyrna between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 770-858-5377.

Visit Our Resources Page

Bridgepoint encourages clinicians, patients, and their loved ones to research new methodologies and techniques to improve mental health and wellbeing. To assist with your own learning, we’ve put together a variety of resources on a variety of topics – including genomics – to help you on your mental health journey.

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