What is Anxiety

Feelings of occasional nervousness, that pit in your stomach, racing thoughts, or even a pounding heart are symptoms that are a normal part of life. In fact, anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in the United States impacting over 40 million people. Most of us experience anxiety that is often triggered by situations that are brief and self-limited. However, people with clinical anxiety disorders can experience these symptoms on a daily basis or are routinely triggered by certain situations, and severe symptoms of anxiety can impact a person’s ability to cope or participate in daily activities. Symptoms for anxiety include: feeling nervous, restless or tense, having a sense of impending doom, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, shaking, trouble concentrating, sleeping, and eating, experiencing gastrointestinal issues, dizziness or exhibiting avoidant tendencies. 1

Common anxiety disorders include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Phobias, Panic Disorder, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Patients with General Anxiety Disorder excessively worry about various issues for over 6 months experiencing symptoms such as muscle tension, rapid heart rate, or dizziness. 2 Social Anxiety Disorder involves feelings of significant anxiety in social situations, in crowds, or when called upon to perform or speak publicly.2 Patients with Phobias experience severe anxiety when exposed to specific objects, animals, or situations. Certain patient with phobias may even experience panic attacks when confronted with their triggers. 1 Finally, Panic Disorder patients experience panic attacks which are sudden onsets of heart pounding, fear, breathlessness, and dread that reaches a peak within minutes. These episodes may cause further anxiety or can influence patients to avoid situations that are triggering. 1

While there are no mechanisms to completely prevent or avoid anxiety there are many options to reduce symptoms! Holistic approaches include staying active, indulging in positive and caring social interactions, avoiding alcohol, drugs, and caffeine, and meditation and mindfulness exercises. These activities can help to calm nervous thoughts, ease tension, avoid anxious symptoms, and promote a calm environment. 2

Our practices in Sugar Land and Pearland take a more intensive approach, combining lifestyle changes with psychotherapy and medication management. Our psychiatric providers are specialized in determining the best medications to alleviate anxiety symptoms and they work collaboratively with patients to create a holistic treatment plan. Similarly, our therapists our specialized in therapeutic techniques aimed at reframing unhelpful or anxious thinking, and instilling coping skills for potentially triggering situations.

Our Medical Director, Dr. Prashant Gajwani M.D. is involved in this research to advance psychiatric care options, and our practices located in Missouri City and Pearland offer these treatments! If you or your loved ones are experiencing major life events or symptoms of anxiety know that help is just around the corner! Take your first step to heal by calling 281-778-9530 option 1.

Sources
1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961
2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/anxiety-what-it-is-what-to-do-2018060113955

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