Every year, more than 17 million individuals in the United States deal with depression. Depression, characterized by disruptions in a person's emotions, behavior, and thoughts, deprives a person of their ability to experience pleasure in life. Patients often experience a state of near-total numbness or persistent grief. The psychiatrist will typically recommend the proper treatment…
Anxiety Treatment Options From a Psychiatrist
Anxiety disorders are not to be confused with fleeting anxiety. When anxiety consumes one’s life and makes everyday tasks unmanageable, consider seeking anxiety treatment from a psychiatrist. It is possible to manage the symptoms of this mental disorder and live a full life. This article will provide a comprehensive look at different anxiety disorders and potential treatment options one can expect from a psychiatrist.
Receiving a diagnosis
If one experiences frequent or prolonged feelings of anxiousness, it is important to undergo an evaluation from a licensed psychiatrist. A psychiatrist can make a diagnosis based on their understanding of how anxiety manifests in people who have it versus those who do not. They can prescribe medication and provide in-depth, long-term anxiety treatment methods to help one with their disorder.
During the evaluation, the psychiatrist will review a client's medical history and other past diagnoses or treatment for mental illnesses, if any. They will also review their current medication lists, as some may contribute to certain symptoms, and perform tests like blood work or electrocardiograms (EKGs).
Types of anxiety disorders
Social anxiety disorder
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 15 million people in the United States live with social anxiety disorder (SAD) in any given year. This disorder involves an intense fear of social situations and interactions with others that can lead to avoidance of those situations or activities, such as eating out or going to parties.
Panic disorders involve repeated panic attacks, sudden episodes of intense fear, chest pain, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can often cause people to avoid places where they might be triggered, but sometimes they can occur randomly.
Generalized anxiety disorder
Instead of worrying over an isolated issue, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes stress during various scenarios. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that GAD is the most common form of anxiety, affecting 6.8 million adults in the U.S. alone.
Phobias are intense, irrational fears of a specific object or situation that compels one to avoid it. If one cannot avoid their phobia, they may experience panic attacks when exposed to it, or they are constantly on guard in case they are exposed to it. Bad past experiences usually trigger phobias, although they can also develop at any point.
Common types of anxiety treatment
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can help one understand their anxiety and aims to change their thought patterns. It is based on the idea that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected and is seen as an alternative to psychoanalysis. CBT aims to identify negative thoughts and replace them with more realistic and positive ones to help one feel better about themselves and reduce stress.
Dialectical behavior therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another type of psychotherapy that teaches people how to manage intense emotions and develop healthy relationships instead of fighting against them. It works especially well for those experiencing other mental disorders in addition to an anxiety disorder, such as eating disorders, bipolar disorder, or substance use disorder.
Medications are one of the most effective anxiety treatment methods. A psychiatrist can prescribe medications to treat both short-term and long-term anxiety symptoms. While people may sometimes only need either medication or therapy, most psychiatrists will combine these methods.
The most common medication a psychiatrist will prescribe as part of an anxiety treatment plan is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a type of antidepressant. SSRIs work by increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain, which can help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Psychiatrists may also prescribe benzodiazepines or beta-blockers. Benzodiazepines are sedatives that one can use for a short time to relieve symptoms of panic attacks or other severe anxiety episodes. Beta-blockers help reduce adrenaline levels and slow down the heart rate and breathing during times of stress. They also effectively lower high blood pressure, a common side effect of anxiety.
Receive an in-depth evaluation to begin treatment
Anxiety is a treatable condition. It can manifest itself in various ways in people of all ages. A psychiatrist can help isolate its type and develop a care plan, short-term or long-term, to help you healthily operate in life. If you are ready to undergo an in-depth evaluation, contact our office today. We can help answer any questions you may have and schedule your appointment.
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