What is Anxiety and How Do I Manage It?

Everyone feels anxiety every once in a while, and that is completely normal. In fact, some anxiety is beneficial because it gives us a little extra motivation to get us to do things we need to do every day. However, if you are reading this, you may be experiencing anxiety that is overwhelming or that has been going on for too long. If that is the case, you may be experiencing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and may need a medical evaluation and treatment.

Is GAD a rare condition?

No — you are not alone. GAD is one of the most common psychiatric conditions in the United States and worldwide. Over their lifetime, up to 11.9 percent of individuals in the United States may experience generalized anxiety disorder. Women are more commonly affected than men, and it is the most common anxiety disorder among the elderly.

What are the symptoms of GAD?

The main symptoms of GAD are anxiety and constant worrying. You may also be experiencing difficulty sleeping, which can cause excessive tiredness or fatigue. It is common to have muscle tension and pain around the head, neck, shoulders and back. You might also be experiencing stomach aches or chest “tightness.” Another distinguishing factor of GAD is worrying about “minor” things when you or others typically would not worry about them.

What medical treatments are there for GAD?

Counseling

Also known as “psychotherapy,” counseling involves meeting with a mental health counselor or psychiatrist and discussing the problems in your life that are contributing to your anxiety. Counselors/Psychiatrists can help you talk things out and invent new ways of thinking about your worries so you can feel less anxiety. You may also learn new strategies to deal with anxiety in general.

Medication

There are several medications available to treat anxiety. Most commonly, anti-depressants are prescribed because they treat anxiety in addition to depression since both conditions work similarly. There are other options out there in case antidepressants do not work or the side effects from your current medication are undesirable.

What are things I can do at home to reduce anxiety?

Caffeine has been shown to make anxiety much worse, and nowadays, many individuals consume far too much unnecessary caffeine. If you cannot completely cut caffeine out, try to reduce your consumption as much as possible, especially later in the day where it may affect your sleep. Exercise has also been shown to improve anxiety significantly. Try going for a short run every other day if you are not used to exercising, and see if your anxiety improves. 

If you are experiencing what you think might be generalized anxiety disorder, know that you are not alone and there are things that can be done to manage it. Contact us today to take the first step toward being in control of your anxiety.

Request an appointment here: https://www.evolvepsychiatry.com or call Evolve Psychiatry at (631) 773-1096 for an appointment in our Massapequa office.

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