You feel nervous and tense, like you can’t sit still. You’re breathing harder than normal despite not doing any physical activity, and you can feel beads of sweat forming on your forehead. It’s hard to focus on one thing as your mind races and your heartbeat spikes.
Have you ever experienced any of the above, either together or by themselves? If so, you know what it feels like to be anxious. Occasional bouts of anxiety happen to everyone. You may feel anxious the night before your wedding, while studying for a big test, or when running late for a meeting. When experiencing normal anxiety, the stressful feelings eventually go away once the situation is resolved.
But what if you never feel relief from anxiety, day after day? If you can’t seem to escape your anxiety and it’s beginning to take a toll on your daily life, it may be time for medical intervention.
If anxiety has started to interfere with your daily activities, come see the team at Boston Neurobehavioral Associates. Our practice provides comprehensive outpatient behavioral health and psychiatric care for adults. Mohammad Munir, MD and the rest of our staff work with you to create an integrative treatment plan that will best treat your unique needs.
However, if you’re still not sure if you need help, here’s some information about what anxiety actually is and when you should see a doctor.
What is anxiety?
On a basic level, anxiety is a physiological and emotional response to a threat that the brain perceives. Anxiety is a part of your fight-or-flight response. When experienced in normal amounts, anxiety can be helpful. It can motivate you to study harder for a test or make you extra alert as you find shortcuts to make it to a meeting on time.
Symptoms of anxiety
Everyone experiences stress and anxiety in different ways and there is a wide range of symptoms. Common indicators of anxiety include:
- Muscle tension
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor focus and concentration
- Sleep problems, including insomnia
- Intense feelings of worry
Panic disorders and severe phobias may cause recurrent panic attacks. Panic attack symptoms include:
- Heart palpitations
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensation of shortness of breath or choking
- Feeling of impending doom
- Feeling of being out of control
When anxiety becomes an issue
Although there are different types of anxiety disorders, they can all be categorized by persistent, excessive fear or worry in non-threatening situations. The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation recommends that doctors diagnose someone with an anxiety disorder if symptoms occur for six months on more days than not and significantly interfere with the patient’s ability to function normally at school, work, or home.
The damage done by a panic attack may have consequences that extend beyond the event itself. Patients with panic disorders often actively worry about their next attack and avoid situations or people that could trigger an attack.
How anxiety is treated
After your diagnosis, we’ll work with you to determine the root of why you have anxiety; this will guide our preparation as we create your custom treatment plan. Our integrative anxiety treatment plans often include a mix of therapy and prescription medication.
Common therapy types include cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. Anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications can help better balance your hormones and brain chemicals to help quell anxiety and its symptoms. Beating anxiety takes time, but with proper medical intervention and the care of an expert physician, you can take back your life.
If you think you are suffering from anxiety, the team at Boston Neurobehavioral Associates can help. Call us or request an appointment at one of our six Massachusetts offices today.