264 Beacon Street Boston, MA 02116 | 8 Lyman St. Westborough, MA 01581 | Post Road Office Center 3970 Post Road Warwick, RI 02886

Anxiety: Symptoms, Signs, Treatment

Anxiety

While experiencing some anxiety is normal, when your worry becomes a persistent, overwhelming fear that may interfere with your daily life, then it’s time to consider seeking help. During our first appointment, we’ll talk with you about your personal and medical history. Anxiety can be triggered by many things including traumatic experiences, other medical conditions, or genetics. Research has shown that anxiety can run in the family. 

Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Feelings of weakness or fatigue
  • A sensation of pounding in your chest and an increased heart rate
  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing, hyperventilation, and shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Shaking and trembling

If you have cardiovascular disease, prolonged anxiety can lead to an increased risk of a cardiovascular event. Anxiety also contributes to high blood pressure, which, in turn, leads to an increased risk of strokes. 

Uncontrolled, prolonged anxiety also taxes your immune system. A compromised immune system leaves you more vulnerable to contagious diseases. If you suffer from non-controlled or under controlled anxiety, you may find that you get sick more frequently. 

Dealing with anxiety can also make you more susceptible to depression. Depression has a significant impact on overall health. In addition to your mental health, depression can cause weight loss or weight gain. It also robs you of the ability to properly care for your body with healthy eating habits and regular exercise. 

Anxiety can also worsen pre-existing physical issues such as asthma, COPD, migraines, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Eczema flare-ups are more common during periods of stress. Anxiety also exacerbates acid reflux and other digestive issues. 

Types of Anxiety

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)—chronic anxiety with exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is nothing to provoke anxiety.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)—repeated and unwanted thoughts and compulsive actions
  • Panic Disorder—episodes of intense and uncontrollable fear that is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as sweating, nausea, heart palpitations and chest pain
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—this anxiety disorder is brought on by a traumatic event. The person relives the event, often as though it is actually happening again. 
  • Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder—This type of anxiety disorder manifests as overwhelming self-consciousness in social situations. It can be limited to one kind of social setting, such as public speaking, or it can affect sufferers in a multitude of social settings. 

Treatment Options for Anxiety

Anxiety can have a profound impact on mental and physical well-being if left untreated. Treatment options vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder you have. The most common treatments use a combination of counseling and therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used to help treat many types of anxiety. 

Medications are sometimes part of the treatment plan. These can range from an array of anti-depressant medications to Benzodiazepines. Medication is most effective when used in conjunction with therapy.  Work with your health care provider to devise the best treatment plan for your anxiety disorder. It can often take more than one type of treatment. There is not a quick fix, but anxiety is treatable.  Our minds and bodies are intricately linked, and treating your anxiety will help your mental and physical well-being. After we have discussed your history, we will make a diagnosis and, as appropriate, provide lifestyle advice. A healthy diet and regular exercise routine is one way of managing anxiety. We’ll also discuss coping strategies, particularly when it comes to handling panic attacks, and relaxation techniques that can help short-circuit obsessive patterns of worry.  Psychiatric treatment for anxiety is practical and effective. It can transform your life. Call our offices in Boston or Westborough, MA, to schedule an appointment for anxiety treatment and let us help you on your journey to well-being.

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT

We have offices in Westborough, Boston, & Warwick, RI. Fill out our online intake form or call us directly.