While everyone feels stress or worry at different points in their lives, around 40 million adults and millions of children live with clinical anxiety disorders that have a profound impact on their quality of life.
Increasing stress and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic aren’t helping: A 2020 study reports that approximately a third of Americans show signs of clinical anxiety and major depressive disorder. These numbers are likely to increase as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on people’s lives.
Regardless of the root cause of your anxious feelings, you should talk to your doctor if your symptoms disrupt your quality of life or ability to function. At Central Clinic in Spring Hill, Florida, compassionate and experienced physician Poonam Malhotra, MD, diagnoses anxiety and provides personalized treatment programs.
We want you to know that our doors are open to you and your family. If you're not sure if your unease is a problem, this guide can help you determine when your anxiety warrants evaluation by a medical professional.
Worry vs. anxiety
Everyone worries: Bills, work, school, and health are common triggers of everyday stress and worries. Anxiety, on the other hand, is persistent and pervasive. It takes worry to the next level, interfering with your ability to work, focus on friends and family, or even leave your home. You might have a constant feeling of dread or impending doom, even if everything seems fine.
Anxiety hijacks your brain. Abnormal neurotransmitter activity makes you feel as though something is wrong, even when logic tells you differently. If persistent negative thoughts and fears burden you, it's time to ask for help.
While generalized anxiety can cause physical symptoms, like increased sweating or a racing heartbeat, some patients with anxiety experience panic attacks. Many patients think they're dying when they have their first panic attack. Your chest gets tight and hurts, you become short of breath, and you feel as though the world is closing in on you.
If this terrifying experience sounds familiar, make an appointment for help right away.
Abnormal sleep patterns
Anxiety can affect your sleep in various ways. Some patients might sleep more than usual, as the only time they're not burdened by anxiety is while they're unconscious. However, anxiety also causes racing and spiraling thoughts that trigger insomnia and keep you up all night. You may even end up worrying and feeling anxious about sleeping too much or too little.
While everyone has a sleepless night occasionally, persistent abnormal sleep patterns should be evaluated by a medical professional like Dr. Malhotra.
Disruptive physical symptoms
Anxiety can cause some physical symptoms, such as uncontrollable shaking or trembling. You might find yourself fidgeting or unable to sit still, engaging in purposeless activities like pacing or wringing your hands. These symptoms are physical manifestations of your anxiety, and they should warn you that you need professional help.
Anxiety can take over your brain, including your concentration. You could be spending too much time and energy on your spiraling anxious thoughts that you have little brain capacity for other thoughts. Your concentration, memory, or problem-solving skills could be affected.
When it comes to anxiety, it’s important to know that it’s treatable. But the first step is contacting us for help. Dr. Malhotra provides a thorough evaluation and tailors a treatment program to reduce your symptoms and restore your quality of life.
We often combine treatments, including lifestyle modifications, medication, and talk therapy to target your anxiety from multiple angles. For example, many patients with anxiety find cognitive behavioral therapy helpful in addressing negative and anxious thoughts and feelings.
You don't have to suffer through anxiety. Call or request an appointment online today if negative thoughts and feelings are negatively impacting your life and overall health. For your convenience, we offer telehealth appointments.