Dealing With Anxiety
Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear and dread that can affect your day-to-day life. It can make it hard to focus, have a positive mood and sleep well. But when anxiety becomes a problem, there are ways to get relief.
Medications and mental health therapies can help manage anxiety disorders effectively. Your healthcare provider can work with you to identify the best treatment plan for your needs.
Common symptoms of anxiety include agitation, trouble breathing, chest pains, stomach discomfort, shortness of breath, and a rapid heart rate. These physical symptoms can be especially dangerous to individuals who already have cardiac disease and are at risk of sudden heart attack or stroke.
Medication is often prescribed for the short-term treatment of anxiety symptoms. Drugs such as benzodiazepines (such as Valium or Xanax) and SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa are typically used in anxiety therapy.
These drugs can provide temporary relief for anxiety symptoms, but they also have side effects and safety concerns. That’s why it’s important to understand the risks and potential benefits of anti-anxiety medications before taking them.
When you’re feeling anxious, your brain releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones help your body fight or flee danger.
But when these hormones are released all the time and don’t go away, you might develop an anxiety disorder. These feelings of dread and worry are out of proportion to the threat and can interrupt your daily routine for weeks or months at a time.
The most common anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia, or fear of social situations. These disorders affect women more than men.
Psychotherapy is also effective in treating anxiety disorders. A therapist can work with you to learn skills and strategies to manage your feelings of anxiety and control your reactions to triggers.
Exercise, meditation and other alternative therapies can also be helpful in managing anxiety. These techniques can reduce stress, improve your overall health and boost your self-esteem.
Getting help when you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder can be difficult, but there are treatments that are available. Your doctor can help you find a psychiatrist or a psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety.
Understanding your anxiety is the first step to recovery and can help you begin to take steps toward a healthier, more confident future. You can start by doing a mental health check-in with Every Mind Matters, an anonymous mental health tool that helps you determine whether it’s time to seek additional support.
Avoidance can be a strategy to reduce your anxiety, but this isn’t always the best option. The more you can do to minimize your anxiety, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
You can also work with a professional to find healthy ways to manage stress, such as mindfulness and yoga. If you’re interested in finding a therapist, check out our list of mental health professionals and read their profiles to see who is right for you.