Anxiety is a natural reaction to stressful situations. It is part of the body’s “fight or flight” response; when faced with perceived danger, the body enters a state with dilated pupils, heightened senses, quickened pulse, and a flood of adrenaline. This allows us to quickly assess the situation and have a burst of strength or speed to help us get away.
Anxiety becomes problematic when the body enters this heightened state even when no danger is present. When a person regularly feels disproportionate amounts of nervousness, fear and worry, it could indicate a medical disorder. Those who suffer from anxiety find it difficult or impossible to control their emotional response to triggering stimuli.
40 million people in the United States live with anxiety disorders ranging from mild to debilitating in severity. Unfortunately, only 39% of them will receive treatment for their disorder. Even though anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in our country, there is still a stigma surrounding them. Sufferers often feel the need to self-treat or “just get over it” on their own. At Advanced Psychiatry DFW, we know there’s a better way. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms and types of anxiety.
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Symptoms of Anxiety
There are a number of anxiety disorders, each with their own specific symptoms. These symptoms are common across all anxiety disorders and are present with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). They may worsen with the consumption of stimulants, such as caffeine.
- Racing, Recurring or Intrusive Thoughts
- Uncontrollable Worry
- Increased Irritability
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Difficulty Sleeping
- General Restlessness
- Feelings of Dread
- Heart Palpitations / Butterflies
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Our licensed psychiatric nurse practitioners treat all anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder. GAD is characterized by long-lasting or chronic anxiety with no discernable cause.
- Panic Disorder. This disorder causes episodes of intense terror in response to a perceived danger.
- A disproportionate and debilitating fear of an object or situation.
- The fear of situations where one might feel trapped or helpless, such as public places.
- Selective Mutism. A childhood anxiety disorder wherein the child is unable to speak in uncomfortable settings, such as school.
- Social Anxiety Disorder. The irrational fear of social situations.
- Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder. Sufferers feel compelled to perform certain behaviors due to recurrent, intrusive thoughts.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder develops after exposure to a frightening or disturbing event, such as a personal attack or military combat.
This list is not exhaustive. New anxiety disorders are still being discovered. Our care providers stay at the forefront of psychiatry and constantly update their understanding of these disorders as new information becomes available.
Treatments for Anxiety
The most successful treatments incorporate a combination of healthy lifestyle choices, therapy, and medication if needed.
Caffeinated drinks have been known to amplify the effects of anxiety, so they should be reduced or avoided. Recreational drugs, alcohol, OTC medicines and herbs can also have detrimental effects, so patients should ask their healthcare provider before use. Many people see an improvement in their level of anxiety after giving up caffeine and other drugs, getting regular exercise, and establishing a regular sleep schedule.
Prescription medications that are used to control the symptoms of anxiety include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, tricyclics, and beta blockers.
Our Anxiety Treatment Plans
Advanced Psychiatry DFW tailors each treatment plan to the individual, taking into account the severity of their symptoms, their medical history, and their tolerance to specific medications. Our goal is to come up with a plan that our patients can comfortably follow and monitor their progress over the course of their follow-up exams. We take patient feedback very seriously and encourage questions and collaboration.
If you or a loved one has experienced a reduction in quality of life due to persistent anxiety, please call us or schedule an appointment online. Advanced Psychiatry is here to help you take back control of your life.
Ask a question or book an appointment below. For emergencies call 911 or visit your nearest hospital
Advanced Psychiatry, P.L.L.C
2485 E. Southlake Blvd., Suite 100, Southlake, Texas 76092
Monday-Thursday from 7am - 5:30pm and closed on Fridays.