Medicine and Treatment for Anxiety in Murfreesboro, TN
I’m Dr. Helton.
I started practicing medicine in the year 2000, and over the past 19 years have treated and served over 15,000 patients. I’m the current president of the Middle Tennessee chapter of Family Physicians, an Executive board member of the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians and Chairman of St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital Family Medicine Department.
In an Anxiety disorder, your fear or worry does not go away and can get worse over time. It can heavily affect your life to the extent that it can interfere with daily activities like school, work and/or relationships. Fear, stress, and anxiety are normal feelings and experiences but are completely different if it is experienced frequently especially if it causes long-suffering.
Anxiety disorders reflect disorders that share a general feature of excessive fear (i.e. emotional response to perceived or real threat) and/or anxiety (i.e. anticipation of future threat) and demonstrate behavioral and functional disturbances as a result. Panic attacks are one of the most common feature that can occur in the context of many anxiety disorders and reflect a type of fear response.
Anxiety isn’t developed or caused by a single factor but a combination of mutiple things. There are factors that play a role, including personality factors, difficult life experiences and physical health.
Some people who experience anxiety conditions may have a genetic susceptibility towards anxiety and these conditions can sometimes run in a family. However, someone blod related, experience anxiety or other mental health condition doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have or develop anxiety.
Research says that some people with certain personality traits are more likely to have anxiety. For example, children who are perfectionists, easily worried, nervous, shy, lack self-esteem or controlling, sometimes develop anxiety during the stages of their life.
stressful events or Environments
Anxiety conditions may develop because of one or more stressful life events or surrounding. Common triggers include:
- work stress or job change
- change in living arrangements
- pregnancy and giving birth
- family and relationship problems
- major emotional shock following a stressful or traumatic event
verbal, sexual, physical or emotional abuse or trauma
- death or loss of a loved one.
Physical health problems
Chronic physical ailment can also contribute to anxiety conditions or impact on the treatment of either the anxiety or the physical illness itself. Common serious conditions associated with anxiety conditions include:
- hypertension and heart disease
- Some physical conditions can mimic anxiety conditions, like an overactive thyroid. It can be useful to see a doctor and be assessed to determine whether there may be a medical cause for your feelings of anxiety.
Other mental health conditions
While some people may experience an anxiety condition on its own, others may experience multiple anxiety conditions, or other mental health conditions. Depression and anxiety conditions often occur together. It’s important to check for and get assistance for all these conditions at the same time.
Some people who experience anxiety may use alcohol or other drugs to help them manage their condition. In some cases, this may lead to people developing a substance use problem along with their anxiety condition. Alcohol and substance use can aggravate anxiety conditions particularly as the effects of the substance wear off. It’s important to check for and get assistance for any substance use conditions at the same time.
It’s normal to feel anxious about moving to a new place, starting a new job, or taking an exam. This type of anxiety is unpleasant, but it may motivate you to work harder and to do a better job. Ordinary anxiety comes and goes, but does not interfere with your everyday life.
On the other hand, anxiety disorder, the feeling of fear may be with you all the time. It is intense and sometimes debilitating and does not go away.
Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Anxiety Disorder treatments will consist of a combination of psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medication. This also depends on your anxiety case. It may be one treatment or it could be a combination of.
Alcohol dependence, depression, or other conditions can sometimes have such a strong effect on mental well-being that treating an anxiety disorder must wait until any underlying conditions are brought under control.
In some cases, a person can treat an anxiety disorder at home without clinical supervision. However, this may not be effective for severe or long-term anxiety disorders.
There are several exercises and actions to help a person cope with milder, more focused, or shorter-term anxiety disorders, including:
yoga for anxiety
Yoga can reduce the effects of an anxiety disorder.
Stress management: Learning to manage stress can help limit potential triggers. Organize any upcoming pressures and deadlines, compile lists to make daunting tasks more manageable, and commit to taking time off from study or work.
Relaxation techniques: Simple activities can help soothe the mental and physical signs of anxiety. These techniques include meditation, deep breathing exercises, long baths, resting in the dark, and yoga.
Exercises to replace negative thoughts with positive ones: Make a list of the negative thoughts that might be cycling as a result of anxiety, and write down another list next to it containing positive, believable thoughts to replace them. Creating a mental image of successfully facing and conquering a specific fear can also provide benefits if anxiety symptoms relate to a specific cause, such as in a phobia.
Support network: Talk with familiar people who are supportive, such as a family member or friend. Support group services may also be available in the local area and online.
Exercise: Physical exertion can improve self-image and release chemicals in the brain that trigger positive feelings.
A standard way of treating anxiety is psychological counseling. This can include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, or a combination of therapies.
This type of psychotherapy aims to recognize and change harmful thought patterns that form the foundation of anxious and troublesome feelings. In the process, practitioners of CBT hope to limit distorted thinking and change the way people react to objects or situations that trigger anxiety.
For example, a psychotherapist providing CBT for panic disorder will try to reinforce the fact that panic attacks are not really heart attacks. Exposure to fears and triggers can be a part of CBT. This encourages people to confront their fears and helps reduce sensitivity to their usual triggers of anxiety.
A person can support anxiety management with several types of medication.
Medicines that might control some of the physical and mental symptoms include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, tricyclics, and beta-blockers.
Benzodiazepines: A doctor may prescribe these for certain people with anxiety, but they can be highly addictive. These drugs tend to have few side effects except for drowsiness and possible dependence. Diazepam, or Valium, is an example of a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine.
Antidepressants: These commonly help with anxiety, even though they also target depression. People often use serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which have fewer side effects than older antidepressants but are likely to cause jitters, nausea, and sexual dysfunction when treatment begins.
Other antidepressants include fluoxetine, or Prozac, and citalopram, or Celexa.
Tricyclics: This is a class of drugs older than SSRIs that provide benefits for most anxiety disorders other than OCD. These drugs might cause side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, and weight gain. Imipramine and clomipramine are two examples of tricyclics.
Additional drugs a person might use to treat anxiety include:
monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Seek medical advice if the adverse effects of any prescribed medications become severe.