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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.