Anxiety is a normal emotion that is just a natural part of the human experience. How it feels, however, is unique to each person. Some people seem to be able to just glide through their life without anxiety, while others face debilitating fears. If anxiety is preventing you from living your everyday life, it might be time to seek treatment.
What Is Anxiety?
Most people experience fear or even a brief alarm when faced with a threat. Under those conditions, you may realize you’re undergoing a physical reaction, like a pounding heart, problems breathing, or a lump in your stomach. Anxiety’s like that but is a reaction to an imagined threat, not something immediate.
What Does Anxiety Feel Like?
The different kinds of anxiety disorders can feature various symptoms and are unique to everyone. But generally, all have something in common:
- Anxious beliefs or thoughts that are difficult to manage. They may trigger feelings of restlessness, tension and hamper daily life. They don’t go away and can worsen over time.
- The presence of physical symptoms, which may include a throbbing or fast heartbeat, mysterious aches and discomfort, dizziness, and temporary breathing troubles.
- You or someone else may notice changes in behavior, like if you’ve begun avoiding something that you used to enjoy participating in.
Many of these symptoms can be treated with a combination of strategies, including therapy and ketamine infusion.
Anxiety in their own words
The stigma surrounding mental illness has been a driving factor in people not seeking the medical care they need. Think back to your own family – have you ever heard your grandparents or an elderly family member talk about anxiety and depression? Probably not. But recent global awareness of the causes and consequences of mental illness have made discussions – and seeking treatment – more possible than ever.
“In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down, I’m gonna be in serious trouble.'” – Oprah Winfrey during a discussion with ABC News.
“I’ve had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it, but it’s not something I feel I’ll ever overcome. I want to make sure I’m healthy. If that’s good, everything else will fall into place.” – Selena Gomez, quoted in Harper’s Bazaar.
But you don’t have to be a celebrity to get care for anxiety. Talk to someone you trust and ask a doctor or mental healthcare specialist about treatment options.
Diagnosing & Treating Anxiety
If you’re experiencing anxiety and are worried it could morph into a chronic disorder, the best way to begin managing the symptoms is through diagnosis and treatment.
How do you diagnose anxiety?
- Through a medical exam, where a doctor will try and find an underlying cause for your symptoms. This may involve blood tests and other diagnostic procedures.
- Through a psychiatric assessment. In this case, a mental healthcare specialist will delve into any personal or family history of mental illness and want to know your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. You may be asked to fill out a mental health questionnaire, and your doctor may also want permission to talk to family and acquaintances about your symptoms.
In either case, your healthcare provider will compare your symptoms to criteria in other diagnostic tools. One of the most popular ways to assess your mental health is by referring to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Besides psychotherapy, symptoms of anxiety can be treated in other ways.
- Ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine was created as an anesthetic but has been used to treat mental health symptoms for decades.
- Stay physically fit. Even low-impact exercise two or three times a week can be beneficial. Try going for a walk or basic stretching routines, but also set a schedule for yourself.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
- Don’t underestimate the power of stress management techniques. A doctor may recommend meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises.
- Get enough sleep for your age group and stick to a healthy and nutritious daily meal plan.
These symptoms are probably familiar enough to every person, but for many of us, the symptoms are too much to continue with everyday life. Know that treatment options are available that can help you find relief.
At Exodus Health, our vision is to help as many individuals as possible achieve freedom from mood disorders. It is our desire to be a light in a dark place and provide an avenue for restoring hope. Contact us today to get started!