Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. An anxiety disorder is a mental condition that causes a person to experience overwhelming restlessness, nervousness, fear, and worry, which interferes with their day-to-day activities. It’s normal to be anxious from time to time, but for someone with an anxiety disorder, the experience goes beyond occasional anxiety.
An anxiety disorder is not something that you can just will away. You need treatment to help you function better and lead a fulfilling life.
What is an Anxiety Attack Like?
The experience of an anxiety attack varies from person to person, but usually, it is a combination of mental and physical symptoms. During an anxiety attack, a person can go into a panic and experience physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat and excessive sweating. During an attack, a person’s ability to function is impaired. Concentrating on anything other than the anxiety becomes difficult. Many patients experience digestive stress and breathing difficulty during anxiety attacks. Overreaction and a lack of control in responding to people or situations are also common.
The difference between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder is the frequency of symptoms. Anxiety disorders cause symptoms to last long after the person has left the situation and after the problem has been resolved. Many patients experience anxiety even when nothing is wrong or have an anxiety attack over issues that do not garner such a severe response.
How is Anxiety Disorder Treated?
There are different types of anxiety disorders. Among them are generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobias, and separation anxiety. The type of treatment you need will depend on your type of anxiety disorder, as treatment plans are tailored to patient needs.
An anxiety disorder may be treated using medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. Medications to treat anxiety disorder include benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants.
Anxiety disorders are also treated with psychological therapy or psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. One of the most commonly used forms of psychotherapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The goal of CBT is to assist patients identify patterns of thinking that cause worry and anxiety, and help them develop strategies to deal with them. Your doctor will teach you specific skills to reduce symptoms during an anxiety attack.
A critical part of CBT is exposure therapy, which is a gradual exposure to things or situations that triggers intense feelings of fear or anxiety. With time, you should be able to face these situations with greater confidence and successfully manage symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has demonstrated its effectiveness in treating patients with anxiety disorders.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Treatment?
If left untreated, anxiety disorders can impair relationships, school and work performance, and social functioning. Your self-esteem could take a beating if you don’t take action to improve your symptoms. Untreated mental conditions can also affect your physical health.
If you suspect you may have an anxiety disorder, a psychiatrist can provide you with the treatment you need to manage this condition and live a worthwhile and enjoyable life.
Anxiety Disorder Treatment in NYC and Southbury, Connecticut
At Psy-Visions, we believe in providing compassionate mental health care. Our board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Stracks, is highly experienced in treating the full spectrum of psychiatric, behavioral, and emotional disorders, and will help you overcome the challenges and obstacles you’re facing. Our goal is to help you live a healthy and happy life.
We strive to make our patients feel comfortable and treat them with dignity and respect. If you have any questions about our services or to make an appointment with Dr. Stracks, call (718) 887-2918 or use our online form. We have two clinics to serve you, one in New York City and another in Southbury, CT.