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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Do I Worry Too Much?

Anxiety is something many people face from time to time. It's normal to feel stressed about different life problems. The issue arises when fear, whether temporary or lasting, starts getting in the way of what you want to do in life. Feeling anxious about various problems is also normal because worry happens when there's fear, dread, nervousness, or uneasiness about a situation.

Some people with anxiety disorders may experience intense symptoms like sweating, a racing heart, or restlessness. Others may feel unsettled or like their mind is racing. It's important to know that help is available if anxiety becomes a challenge for you.

man looking down worried

What Are The Feelings of Anxiety?

Worry is a normal and adaptive response to stress or perceived threats. Generalized anxiety disorder, often called anxiety, is a psychiatric disorder that many struggle with. Symptoms can vary widely, and individuals may experience a combination of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Here are common symptoms associated with anxiety: 

  • Restlessness 

  • Loss of energy

  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing

  • Irritability

  • Muscle tightness

  • Problems falling or staying asleep or not feeling well rested

These symptoms must not have a better explanation with other disorders including depression. Also, the feelings can not be due to a problem such as substance abuse or a medical problem such as hyperthyroidism. 

How Do I Treat My Anxiety?

Treatment for symptoms typically involves medication management, education, and development of skills to help with symptoms of feeling worried and restless. Providers often involved in the treatment of anxiety are family medicine providers and mental health providers such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, and mental health therapists. 

doctor helping elderly woman with medication management

Medication Managment

A licensed professional knowledgeable in the treatment of anxiety can help you choose from several types of medications to help or improve the symptoms​. A few of these types of medication include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This class of drugs help anxiety by allowing more of the neurotransmitter serotonin to be available for neuron use. They are overall safe drugs and some in this class are used even during pregnancy. Typical SSRIs include:  citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), vortioxetine (Trintellix), and vilazodone (Viibryd).

  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This class of drugs help anxiety by allowing more of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin  to be available for neuron use. Typical SNRIs include: duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor XR), and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq).

  • Anxiolytics. This class of drugs help anxiety by increasing the action of serotonin receptors on neurons while also increasing levels of noradrenaline and dopamine. Typical anxiolytics include: buspirone (Buspar).

  • Atypical antidepressants. These types of  medications have more than one specific mechanism of action. These include: mirtazapine (Remeron) and trazodone (though it does share many SSRI properties).

  • Tricyclic antidepressants. This class of drugs work in several ways to achieve their effects. They work to increase the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine available for neuron use. Typical tricyclic medications  include: imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), amitriptyline (Elavil), and doxepin.

  • Other medications. Other medications are sometimes needed in addition to the above commonly prescribed drugs. Sometimes drugs are combined or other medications such as mood stabilizers or antipsychotics are used. 

Taking medication is an effective treatment that helps treat anxiety by reducing its symptoms. Medication can balance chemicals in the brain, making you feel better and more able to handle everyday situations. It's an effective way, under professional guidance, to manage and alleviate the challenges of anxiety.

Types of Therapy

Counseling, also known as therapy, can help improve anxiety symptoms. Therapy does so by helping you develop skills to more effectively deal with the thoughts and feelings you are having in your daily life. These therapies consist of:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy will help you deal better with anxiety by teaching you skills. These skills deal with helping you manage better and organize better. This type of therapy also help you deal with patterns of thinking and behavioral patterns. 

  • Family therapy. Many people with anxiety have loved ones, family members, and spouses who are unfamiliar with anxiety. This type of therapy can help the family members overcome the stress caused by with living with someone who struggles with anxiety symptoms. Family therapy can also be a special support group for you.

  • Music therapy. This therapy utilizes music to help relax an individual to enhance their mood. Music therapy activates cognitive, motor, and speech centers in the brain to help improve overall functioning.

  • Talk therapy. This type of therapy employs a variety of techniques to help a person better deal with thoughts and behaviors.

  • Interpersonal therapy. IPT is a type of therapy that focus on personal relationships and how you feel. It is a short-term, intensive therapy.

  • Integrative therapy. This therapy approach takes aspects from different therapy types to create a personal therapy to best treat the presenting problem.

Where Can I Get Anxiety Treatment?

At Pine Ridge Mental Healthcare, we’ve found long-term success using a variety of approaches to mental health disorders with effective treatment plans. Getting your anxiety under control is a key step in managing your life. 

Our team works to reduce your reliance on medications by educating you about the different tools available and how life situations can affect your mood. We also take into account nutrition and physical activity and how it affects your health. And we help keep you on track with regular check-ins to monitor how you are progressing.

 

For more information about mental health disorders, finding treatment near me, or for help with a virtual online visit, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Pine Ridge Mental Healthcare. If you are interested in other services we provide, check out our services page. 

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