General Anxiety Disorder is often a diagnosis given when the symptoms present themselves in multiple areas of a person’s life. It may be hard to pinpoint a pattern of issues that exacerbate the anxiety, and it can seem as if anxiety is always present. Symptoms of anxiety can be excessive worrying, sometimes referred to as rumination, difficulty concentrating and trouble sleeping.
A client with anxiety will report feeling a tightness in their chest, sweating, clammy hands, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath and sometimes full on panic, reporting being unable to breath and feeling like they are dying. A panic attack can be very scary and often causes people to call 911 or go to the emergency room believing they may be having heart attack. While these symptoms should not be taken lightly, panic attacks are not deadly, and will resolve within 15-30 minutes. Panic Disorder is it's own diagnosis but may be preceded by symptoms of anxiety as described above.
Common anxiety issues we treat are:
The first person who may hear about the symptoms of anxiety is sometimes a primary care physician, who will prescribe a medication to manage the symptoms. While medication are highly effective, some can be addictive and should not be used regularly or for a long period of time to treat anxiety. To treat General Anxiety, prescribers sometimes recommend other medications that build up in the system over a 4-6 week period and can help reduce anxiety overall. Medications can be very useful for anxiety management, but the first line of treatment should be therapy.
If medication is needed, a combination of therapy and medication is the most effective method of treatment. This combination is supported by research and widely accepted in the field of mental health as the best course of treatment if medication is necessary. If you are taking medication, your mental health provider should speak with and consult as needed with your prescriber. This is the best way to ensure that both treatment providers are informed and can work together to help with client achieve the best outcome.