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How To Get Over Social Anxiety

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a mental health condition where a person feels nervous or afraid during everyday social interactions. It is a debilitating and intense condition due to the way it makes a person avoid social situations.
Fortunately, there is hope for relief in even the most extreme instances of social anxiety disorder thanks to traditional treatments and innovative new therapies alike.

WHAT IS SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER?

Are you particularly fearful of being evaluated by others? Are you extremely self-conscious in normal social situations? Do you try not to meet new people? “If you have been feeling this way for at least six months and these feelings make it hard for you to do everyday tasks—such as talking to people at work or school — you may have a social anxiety disorder.”
Thankfully, symptoms of social anxiety can be treated with ketamine infusions.

SYMPTOMS OF SOCIAL ANXIETY

  • Emotional and behavioral like fear of situations where you’ll be judged, concern with humiliating or embarrassing yourself, fear of talking with strangers, and nervousness that someone will notice your anxiety.
  • Physical cues like blushing, trembling, sweating, fast heartbeat, nausea, problems catching your breath, dizziness, a blank mind, or muscle tension.
  • Circumvention of intermingling with new co-workers or others, going to social events or parties, going to work or school, starting conversations, public restrooms, or making eye contact.

RISKS OF SOCIAL ANXIETY

  • Genetic influences. You are more likely to get social anxiety if your biological parents or siblings have it.
  • Bad experiences can be related: bullying, teasing, rejection, humiliation, family conflict, trauma, abuse.
  • People who are shy, timid, withdrawn, or reserved.
  • Social anxiety symptoms normally begin in the teen years but uncomfortable situations in adulthood may prompt first-time symptoms.
  • Problems with a facial deformity, speech, or shakes due to Parkinson’s disease might cause social anxiety in certain people.

CAUSES OF SOCIAL ANXIETY

Researchers think social anxiety may be genetic; people with the illness often say that it’s prevalent in their families. Environmental triggers, such as social stressors and childhood bullying, or parents who also experience anxiety and/or display avoidant behaviors, may also contribute to its rise.
You can’t “outgrow” social anxiety or break out of it; you’ll probably need therapy, a treatment like ketamine infusions, or a combination of both to soothe your symptoms and instill the confidence you can control them. Some researchers note that 15 to 20 years typically lapses, on average, between the start of social anxiety disorder and getting help.

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER?

  • Social phobia is the 4th most common mental health condition.
  • About 12.1 percent of people have suffered from social anxiety during their lives, something called “lifetime prevalence.”
  • In any year, about seven out of 100 (or nearly 15 million) people suffer from social anxiety disorder (this is called 12-month prevalence).

CAN YOU HAVE ANOTHER DISORDER ALONG WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY?

Yes. “The term ‘comorbidity’ describes two or more disorders or illnesses occurring in the same person. They can occur at the same time or one after the other. Comorbidity also implies interactions between the illnesses that can worsen the course of both.”
There are several disorders which can happen at the same time as social anxiety disorder, among them:

  • If you have an avoidant personality disorder (APD), you will experience many of the same symptoms as someone with SAD but they’ll be broader and more severe.
  • Panic disorder differs from SAD in terms of the triggers of panic, the kind of symptoms that are experienced, and beliefs about the underlying causes.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Depression.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • The medical and scientific community has discovered the anesthetic ketamine can be used “off-label” to treat symptoms of several kinds of mental disorders and chronic pain through infusion therapy.

DIAGNOSIS OF SOCIAL ANXIETY

A medical exam to review your overall physical health and determine if there’s an underlying illness or injury causing symptoms of social anxiety.
A mental health evaluation to talk about your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and prevalence of mental illness in you or family members who are blood-related.

TREATMENT FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY

After both exams, your symptoms are compared to criteria in the DSM-5 for diagnosis, then you and your doctor can talk about treatment options. A probable path is a combination of psychotherapy and treatments, including ketamine infusions. Ketamine may work to repair or strengthen damaged neurotransmitters in the brain which are key to how we perceive and react to pain. The compound is used “off-label” and can be used to treat mental illness and chronic pain.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you think you’re suffering from social anxiety, don’t wait until the symptoms are beyond control and have ruined your life. Recognize the symptoms and their triggers and get help. If you or a loved one have questions about the clinical use of ketamine to treat the symptoms of anxiety we can help you. Contact us today to learn more.

can-anxiety-make-you-sick

Can Anxiety Make You Sick?

If anxiety’s gotten you a little down and you’re feeling ill, that’s normal. It happens to millions of U.S. adults every year, but the key to controlling the symptoms are knowing what they are, how they’re triggered, and what steps you can take to minimize their pain. Treatments like ketamine infusion may help.

WHAT IS ANXIETY?

For many people, sometimes feeling depressed or angry is an expected part of life. You may feel anxious about moving into a new neighborhood, a test at school, or before choosing which car to buy. But for someone experiencing an anxiety disorder, the emotions don’t go away and may worsen over time. The symptoms can hinder relationships and daily responsibilities, even leading to other mental and physical illnesses requiring help from a therapist or doctor.

WHO DOES ANXIETY AFFECT?

40 million U.S. adults or more than 18 percent of the population.
Anxiety and related disorders are treatable, but only about 37 percent of people who experience it seek treatment.
People with anxiety are up to five times more likely to see a doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for a mental illness than someone without it.
It affects people with a history of inherited mental illness, brain chemistry, life events, and personality.

SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY

  • Low energy
  • Problems concentrating or making decisions
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Breathing heavily without exertion
  • Intense sweating
  • Shaking
  • Low moods
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Abnormal sleep habits
  • Pain, aches, or digestive problems without a cause
  • Constant worry
  • You purposely sidestep people, places, or things which trigger anxiety

CAN ANXIETY MAKE YOU SICK?

Many people probably don’t think about anxiety when they’re feeling sick, but many times it can make you feel sick to your stomach. You feel queasy. If you have anxiety it’s not abnormal to feel nauseous, or you may discover that you get physically sick more often because your anxiety weakens your immune responses.
Anxiety is a normal response that people feel occasionally, but it often goes away once the trigger – like stress – begins to fade. But for some people, the anxiety becomes chronic – lasting for months or years, seemingly without cause. At that point, the disorder can have serious physical and psychological consequences if left untreated. Sometimes it can cause respiratory and breathing changes, changes in how your cardiovascular system works, impair the immune system, weaken the digestive system, and possibly urinary functions.
Treating anxiety before it becomes serious, possibly with innovative new methods like ketamine infusion, is critical to long-term health.

HOW ANXIETY AFFECTS THE HUMAN BODY

If you suffer from anxiety, you have a greater chance of experiencing other physical and psychological conditions, among them:

  • Other kinds of anxiety and mental health disorders (posttraumatic stress disorder, phobias).
  • The release of adrenaline and cortisol within the central nervous system could contribute to weight gain, for example.
  • Situational illness “is the most common kind of anxiety-induced sickness.”
  • Chronic illness, which may require treatment for its own symptoms.
  • The disorder can also produce other uncomfortable side effects like headaches and dizziness, muscle tension, insomnia, social isolation, and depression.

WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY?

People who experience long-term anxiety are sometimes obsessed with the cause. Nearly everyone will say the reasons for anxiety aren’t completely understood. Instances of traumatic events seem to trigger anxiety disorders if you’re already predisposed to anxiety. Inherited personality also can be a reason.
But anxiety can also happen because of an undiagnosed medical issue:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism or other thyroid problems
  • Respiratory disorders, like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Drug withdrawal or misuse

It’s possible the disorder is kickstarted by taking certain medications, a history of inherited mental illness, and others.

DIAGNOSING ANXIETY

Symptoms of anxiety can’t be treated without a diagnosis. If you’re experiencing anxiety, you can expect to get a physical exam to determine your overall health and rule out a medical condition causing the symptoms, and mental evaluation to talk about thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and personal and family history of mental illness. For the final diagnosis, your healthcare provider will compare your symptoms to criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Though the decision is ultimately yours, a doctor can recommend treatment to help you control anxiety symptoms and help you to regain control over your life. Options can include psychotherapy, self-help, medicine, or hospitalization. Your doctor may also recommend ketamine infusions, an innovative new treatment that can reset neural connections in the brain.
If you or a loved one have questions about the clinical use of ketamine to treat the symptoms of anxiety we can help. Contact us today to learn more.

Ketamine for OCD

Everyone, it seems, will toss out a joke occasionally about OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder): “I have OCD when it comes to folding my t-shirts” or “I have OCD about cleaning my glasses.” But the condition, characterized by the need to repeat an action or behavior continuously, is very real. It’s pop culture relevant, discussed often by Lena Dunham, Howie Mandel, and others. Ketamine-derived nasal spray and infusion therapy are now considered viable OCD treatment options.

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Ketamine for Anxiety

Anxiety is undue concern or worry. It prepares your body for action to battle danger. But what if there’s no danger? Then, anxiety obliges the sufferer to keep fleeing from an unseen beast to an alien destination. If you’ve run this race before and feel like a champion, then you know the effects of anxiety – trouble at work, school, home, and with relationships. But help is available, through clinical therapy, hospitalization, and medication like ketamine.

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Ketamine for PTSD

PTSD, or posttraumatic stress disorder, is most popularly associated with distressed American combat veterans, but it’s a serious mental health disorder affecting millions of men, women, and children – most of whom have never experienced war or front-line combat situations. Normal symptoms include trouble sleeping, reliving distressing memories, and negative thoughts, but all can be treated with therapy or medication, including ketamine and ketamine-derived drugs. In most cases, treatment is customized for each patient’s unique situation.

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Ketamine for Depression

Depression is a significant but treatable medical condition affecting how a person thinks, feels, and acts. More than 17 million U.S. adults suffer from it, while nearly two million children under 17 also experience its symptoms. It’s usually characterized by sadness, but symptoms can appear as apathy or irritability. Occasionally other medications or ailments can trigger or simulate the symptoms, so it’s crucial to seek care, which may involve therapy including the use of ketamine.

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