Anxiety is very common, and most people will feel a little anxious occasionally as it is the body’s response to stress. When you feel anxious, you may feel apprehension or fear about a coming event, and these feelings will soon pass.
However, feeling anxiety for months and where it interferes with your quality of life could indicate an anxiety disorder or phobia. Our award winning anxiety treatment specialists, primary care physicians and doctors in NYC are trained to investigate these symptoms and treat anxiety.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Anxiety symptoms can include sleeplessness, feeling forgetful, or muscle tension. Your heart rate may increase, or you could feel restless. Some people will experience nightmares or panic attacks or will have painful memories or thoughts they cannot control. The symptoms you feel can depend on the type of anxiety disorder, and these symptoms can vary tremendously from one person to another.
Our award winning primary care physicians and doctors NYC are trained to investigate these symptoms and diagnose these issues.
What Are the Different Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders can include:
- Phobias where you experience excessive fear of the situation, activity or object
- Social anxiety disorder where you feel fearful about being judged in social situations
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders can cause irrational thoughts, leading to specific repeated behaviors
- Post-traumatic stress disorder can follow a traumatic event
- Panic disorders can cause panic attacks, so the person lives in fear of the next attack
- Separation anxiety disorder is the fear of being away from loved ones or your home
- Illness anxiety disorder is anxiety about your health (hypochondria)
What Is the Diagnosis and Treatment for Anxiety?
There isn’t a specific test for anxiety, but our caring and compassionate physicians can make a diagnosis based on evaluating your psychological and physical health. We may recommend medical tests to rule out underlying medical conditions that could contribute toward your symptoms. There are specific anxiety tests and scales that can assess the level of fear or anxiety. After completing our diagnosis, we can explore treatment options with you.
Once a diagnosis is made, one of several anxiety treatments may be recommended including psychotherapy, medications or both. Anxiety is very common and can be a sensitive issue. Treatments can take time in instances and different medications may need to be attempted. The optimal course of treatment needs to be geared toward your specific symptoms and situation after a comprehensive evaluation by one of our primary care or internal medicine physicians.
Treating Mild Anxiety
Sometimes medical treatment may not be necessary for milder cases of anxiety, and instead, we may suggest lifestyle changes. Natural treatment for anxiety tends to focus on caring for your body, promoting healthy habits, and eliminating unhealthy habits. Strategies may include eating healthily, exercising, and staying active, and making sure you get enough sleep. Eliminating unhealthy habits may include quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, and avoiding caffeine.
Treating Moderate or More Severe Anxiety
Anxiety disorder treatment can help you overcome and manage the symptoms of more moderate or severe anxiety. Possible treatment for anxiety includes psychotherapy and medication. A psychologist or therapist can teach you tools and strategies to cope with anxiety. Anxiety attack treatment medications include sedatives and antidepressants, and which can help rebalance brain chemistry. Medications can be useful in treating more severe anxiety disorders.
Although you may have an anxiety disorder, you could also be depressed. Anxiety and depression can occur separately, but it isn’t unusual for the two to happen simultaneously. Sometimes anxiety can be a symptom of clinical depression. An anxiety disorder can trigger depression. Treatment for anxiety and depression can sometimes be very similar.
Depression is a disorder that promotes feelings of extreme sadness that are quite different from feeling a little down for a few days. It is difficult to complete everyday tasks, and the symptoms are present for at least two weeks. Depression can be triggered by environmental factors or stressful life situations like the death of a loved one, a divorce, job loss, or financial difficulties, or a demanding or stressful career. Sometimes it is triggered by health issues and especially when someone has a chronic health problem. It can have a genetic factor, and often runs in families. Depression is a serious medical illness that affects the chemistry of the brain, and it can affect anyone at any age. Fortunately, depression is treatable.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
Symptoms of depression include feeling sad, hopeless or empty, having difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and losing interest in previously enjoyed activities. It can also cause serious emotional symptoms that include thoughts of suicide or death, and people may feel worthless or guilty. The physical symptoms include low energy, having a change in appetite or sleeping patterns, and self-destructive behavior. Other physical symptoms can occur, and which include headaches or digestive problems.
How Is Depression Diagnosed and Treated?
Our physician can conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, and we may suggest a blood test to ensure your depression isn’t due to an underlying medical condition. Depression is treatable with medication and or psychotherapy.
Medication in the form of antidepressants can produce improvement within the first week or two of use, but you might not experience the full benefits for two or three months. Usually, people must use antidepressants for six or more months until their symptoms have improved. Psychotherapy can be used as a stand-alone treatment for mild depression. For moderate or more severe depression, it’s normally prescribed in conjunction with antidepressants. Many people find it helpful to make sure they eat healthily and avoid alcohol, which is a depressant, and to ensure they get enough good quality sleep.
Most new moms experience the “baby blues” soon after delivery and for up to 2 weeks, but postpartum depression is a more severe and long-lasting form of depression. The signs and symptoms can vary and range from mild to more severe. They include mood swings and anxiety, feeling overwhelmed or irritable, having trouble sleeping and concentrating, and crying. Initially, postpartum depression can be mistaken for baby blues, but because the symptoms are more intense, they can interfere with the mom’s ability to look after their baby. Sometimes the symptoms will develop during the first few weeks after giving birth, but they can begin during pregnancy or much later, up to a year after birth.
Postpartum Depression Treatment in NYC
If you feel depressed after your baby’s birth, it’s important to seek help immediately. Our highly experienced physicians can discuss your feelings and can evaluate your depression. They may order medical tests to rule out other causes for your symptoms. Usually, postpartum depression treatment involves psychotherapy or antidepressants, or a combination of both. A psychotherapist can talk through your concerns, helping you to find better ways to cope with your feelings and to set realistic goals. If you are breastfeeding, any prescribed medication will enter your breastmilk, but most antidepressants are safe for use during breastfeeding. Our best rated physicians and top doctors NYC can discuss the potential risks and benefits of using antidepressants.
See someone right away if you want to hurt or kill yourself!
If you ever feel like you might hurt yourself or someone else, do one of these things:
- Call your general practitioner doctor or nurse and tell them it is urgent
- Call for an ambulance (in the US, call 911)
- Go to the emergency room at your local hospital
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Treatments may include medications that relieve depression, counseling or both. Treatment needs to be tailored to your individual needs. Please contact one of our board certified internists or primary care doctors to set up a consultation for a thorough evaluation. We look forward to meeting you.