Anxiety, when felt occasionally, is a normal part of our lives. However, people with anxiety might experience continuing or excessive feelings of nervousness, tension, doom, restlessness, or worry.
Signs of anxiety like these can escalate rapidly into anxiety attacks or recurring episodes of intense fear or panic that peaks within minutes. The condition can often cause physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, breathing fast, shaking, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating and wanting to avoid triggers.
Knowing how to treat generalized anxiety disorders is important because up to 40% of adults in the US experience it. Let’s look more closely at 5 ways we help patients manage this condition effectively.
There are several ways to help yourself decrease the effects of mild anxiety and the frequency of episodes.
Journaling, in particular has been particularly helpful in managing multiple mental health conditions. We often equate medication to buying the book, but journaling is like reading a book about yourself and what's worrying you and that can help deliver insights that can help quiet the mind. Getting started is easy. These easy some journal prompts can help you learn this new and valuable skill.
Techniques like breathing exercises, guided meditation, visualization, and setting a 2-minute limit on worrying can also be helpful.
When self-care techniques are not helping, or the anxiety is affecting your work or relationships, it’s important to reach out for help. A skilled therapy provider can use different talk therapy techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Behavioral Therapy or another therapeutic style to help you reduce your symptoms. These therapies can be done either in-person at our clinic or over telehealth, whichever is more comfortable and convenient for you.
There are several types of anxiety medications that are useful in treating anxiety. Anxiety medicine can include some commonly prescribed antidepressants, which have been proven to be effective.
Depression medications such as buspirone can be effective both for anxiety and depression. Short-term medications include drugs like hydroxyzine, beta-blockers, or least attractively, benzodiazepines.
While benzodiazepines can be effective, they are also habit-forming, can cause a withdrawal syndrome when stopped, may be less effective over time, and have been shown to increase the risk of dementia and cancer.
Ketamine is a commonly used anesthetic medication that has been found to be effective in treating mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. This treatment is reserved for people that have not found relief with other treatments or for those that want to try something new.