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Anxiety

Progressive Medical Center of Atlanta uses an integrative medical approach to treat this condition.

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Condition Overview

Everyone has experienced what it feels like to be anxious. Sweaty palms. Faster heartbeat. You know how it feels.

While anxiety is common among many people, it can become a major problem if it is not handled properly. Some people may not realize that anxiety disorders are classified as serious mental illnesses.

Anxiety, a typical human emotion, becomes a problem when it regularly interferes with daily life. But don’t worry—help is out there so you can resume a calmer daily life.

In this article, we’ll talk about what happens when anxiety becomes a major problem to deal with. We will talk about finding and fixing the underlying causes of anxiety disorders so you’ll be better equipped to lessen the negative impact of anxiety in your life.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Even though anxiety is commonplace in our daily lives, it can turn into a bigger problem when it disrupts your ability to lead a normal life. When this happens, it is best to see a doctor for some help. If anxiety is ruining or taking the lead in your life, get some help.

Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and health history. He or she can determine if an anxiety disorder is present.

There are a few different types of anxiety disorders. They are called:

    social anxiety disorder

    panic disorder

    generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

    certain phobias (i.e. fear of flying, fear of heights, fear of snakes, et cetera)

    obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

    post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Each disorder presents itself in a different way—different symptoms, different treatment approaches, et cetera. In general, though, people diagnosed with any anxiety disorder typically experience similar symptoms.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

Symptoms that are typical of most anxiety disorders include:

    nausea

    dizziness

    muscle tension

    numbness or tingling in hands and/or feet

    inability to sit still

    inability to be calm

    dry mouth

    shortness of breath

    heart palpitations

    feelings of fear and/or panic

    sleeping problems

    cold and/or sweaty feet

    cold and/or sweaty hands

    feelings of uneasiness

People with anxiety disorders can experience these symptoms at varying degrees. For instance, a person suffering from social anxiety disorder may feel an extreme inability to sit still, whereas another person with social anxiety disorder may experience this symptom but at a lesser degree.

It is encouraged that you keep track of your symptoms as best as possible. Keep a diary if need be. Tracking your symptoms and discussing them with your doctor can help him or her get to the root cause of an anxiety disorder. That means he or she will be able to provide the best treatment for you.

What Causes Anxiety Disorders?

Out of the millions of adult Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders, many of their disorders started during childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and scientists do not know the exact cause of anxiety disorders. Instead, mental illness and anxiety disorders are often caused by a combination of factors (i.e. environmental stressors and changes in the brain).

    Studies have shown that some anxiety disorders can be inherited from one or both parents. Scientists are delving more into the role that genetics can play in the development of anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses.

    Other scientists show that severe, long-term stress can negatively impact the way the brain functions. For instance, long-term stress can change the way that nerve cells transmit data from one area of the brain to another.

    A large part of researchers study the impact that environmental stressors have on anxiety disorders. Trauma, pollution, and other significant events in a person’s life are examples of environmental stressors that may be the cause of anxiety disorders.

Everyone is different. And anxiety disorders present themselves differently in each person’s life. Speaking with your doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist about your symptoms and life experiences can help him or her get to the root cause of an anxiety disorder—finding the real reasons that are causing anxiety and treating those reasons instead of just treating your symptoms.

How are Anxiety Disorders Commonly Treated?

There have been great strides made in the past years regarding treatments for anxiety disorders. In the mainstream medical field, there are some treatments that are commonly used, including:

    medications (antidepressants, SSRIs, tricyclics, MAOIs, anti-anxiety drugs, beta-blockers)

    psychotherapy (cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing)

Treatment decisions are commonly based on the problem at hand and the patient’s preference. Sometimes a combination of treatments is used.

Finding and Resolving Underlying Causes of Anxiety: Alternative Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Many patients do not want to take the conventional treatment route for their anxiety disorder. This is where alternative treatment and complementary treatments come into play.

At Progressive Medical Center, we do our very best to get to the root cause of the anxiety disorder. We find and resolve the underlying causes of anxiety to bring lasting calmness to your life.

How is this possible? At our centers, we will balance the neurotransmitters, hormones, and the immune system to help reduce your anxiety.

Additionally, there are several alternative treatments for anxiety disorders, including:

    herbal remedies including valerian, vitamin B12, fish oil, chamomile, inositol, kava, passionflower, St. John’s Wort, and theanine

    stress and relaxation techniques

    meditation

    yoga

    acupuncture

    massage therapy

    dietary changes (eating a balanced diet)

    regular exercise

    dietary supplements

    bio-field therapies

    art, dance, or music therapy

    homeopathic or naturopathic medicine (we invite you to check out our NutraCare online store where we sell naturopathic medicines: http://www.progressivenutracare.com/)

    lifestyle changes (avoiding alcohol, avoiding sedatives, quitting smoking, getting enough sleep)

The two goals of alternative therapies to treat anxiety disorders:

    to improve your overall health

    to relieve symptoms with few or no side effects

Associated Therapies

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