About 20% of American adults suffer from anxiety disorders, along with roughly 7% of children, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. That’s well over 40 million people dealing with regular feelings of fear, nervousness, and other unpleasant, even life-altering symptoms.
For many people, seeking help for their anxiety is hampered by a long-standing stigma surrounding anxiety and other mental health issues. Misguided advice from well-meaning friends and family members — “Focus on the positive,” for example — doesn’t help.
The fact is, anxiety isn’t something you can “think away” any more than you could “think away” diabetes or heart disease. Anxiety is a real problem requiring medical intervention.
At Houston Family MD, Dr. Ranjit S. Grewal helps patients in Cypress, Texas, and throughout the Houston area find relief for their anxiety with patient-centered treatment plans focused on their symptoms, their lifestyle, and other important factors.
Here’s how to tell if it’s time to seek care for your anxiety symptoms.
Symptoms of anxiety
The most common symptom of anxiety disorders is a pervasive feeling of nervousness, worry, or fear that’s way out of proportion to any actual trigger or event. Other symptoms include:
- Feelings of doom or impending danger
- Heart palpitations or increased heart rate
- Trembling or shivering
- Sweating profusely or breaking into a cold sweat
- Rapid breathing
- Feelings of weakness
- Profound fatigue
- Overwhelming feelings of panic
- Intrusive worrisome thoughts
- Problems concentrating or focusing
Not everyone who has anxiety has these other symptoms, but everyone with anxiety disorder has that pervasive, unavoidable feeling of worry, fear, or nervousness.
To be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, your symptoms also have to take a toll on your life or health. During your initial visit, Dr. Grewal assesses your anxiety and your symptoms.
Types of anxiety
Just as the symptoms can vary from one person to another, people can also experience anxiety at different times or in response to different situations.
Anxiety symptoms are worse during social situations, when you may feel extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable around others.
Separation anxiety happens when you feel especially anxious about a loved one leaving or you worry that harm will come to someone (or to you) when they’re not with you.
A phobia is intense anxiety or fear about a specific situation, object, or event, like a fear of heights or fear of flying.
Panic disorder involves an intense level of anxiety that comes on suddenly, sometimes causing symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, and intense sweating.
Generalized anxiety disorder
Also called GAD, generalized anxiety disorder causes persistent feelings of worry or fear that interfere with normal living.
Many people with anxiety disorders also suffer from depression. The good news: Dr. Grewal can treat depression, too.
When it’s time to seek care
You should seek care for your anxiety if your symptoms are affecting your activities, your health, or any other aspect of your life. Like other illnesses, anxiety can be managed with the right treatment.
Dr. Grewal has significant experience tailoring care to each patient’s needs, with options including medications, individual therapy, and lifestyle and behavioral changes. Most importantly, he provides compassionate care focused on your health, wellness, and quality of life.
Anxiety almost never goes away without treatment. And there’s no shame in seeking treatment — there’s power in taking control of your symptoms, your health, and your life.
If you have anxiety or symptoms of anxiety, the sooner you seek care, the sooner you’ll feel better. To learn how Dr. Grewal can help, call 281-477-0525 or book an appointment online at Houston Family MD today.