Everybody has a bad day or experiences the blues. Sometimes, you’re thrown into a funk by a sad news story or find yourself anxious about an upcoming school exam. But when such feelings linger, get worse, and affect daily life, then you may be experiencing the first signs of anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
The experts at the Cleveland Clinic describe anxiety as something that “makes it difficult to get through your day. Symptoms include feelings of nervousness, panic, and fear as well as sweating and a rapid heartbeat. Treatments include medications and cognitive behavioral therapy. Your healthcare provider can design a treatment plan that’s best for you.”
Anxiety is the biggest mental health issue in America, affecting more than 40 million adults, with most symptoms developing before age 21.
Anxiety Versus Depression
Like other mental health ailments, anxiety features symptoms that are sometimes present with depression, for instance. But what’s the difference between the two? The big disparity between depression and sadness is that anxiety symptoms aren’t as persistent or severe. People get anxious and sad for different reasons, but they mostly subside on their own. They don’t impede most people’s ability to act on a day-to-day basis when we’re merely unhappy or experiencing a bad day.
Anxiety symptoms that may respond to ketamine therapy include one or more of the following:
- Feeling restless, nervous, or tense
- Having a sense of imminent danger, doom, or panic
- Having a boosted heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling tired or weak
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating about something besides your present worry
- Having problems sleeping
- Experiencing digestive problems
- Having trouble limiting worry
Finally, you have a strong urge to escape things that spark anxiety.
How to Diagnose Anxiety
Diagnosing anxiety involves:
- A physical examination from a medical doctor to rule out or confirm an underlying cause for your anxiety.
- A psychiatric evaluation focusing on your thoughts, behavior, and feelings to begin to pinpoint the source of your anxiety. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire and will be expected to provide a detailed personal and family history of possible mental illness. The symptoms are then compared to criteria in the DSM-5.
Treating the Symptoms of Anxiety
Today, many doctors and mental health professionals recommend various treatment options for battling symptoms of anxiety, often a combination of therapies to offer the greatest chance of fostering positive outcomes. Ketamine treatment is one such option, an innovative new treatment that may be able to help you find relief from your symptoms. Some people with severe anxiety may enroll in clinical trials, while still others shrink from the notion of using medicine due to religious objections or out of fear of addiction.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is often the first therapy a doctor or mental health professional will recommend. Why? Because it’s perhaps the least risky of all treatments and allows a patient and clinician to develop a relationship over time that could lead to a breakthrough in managing anxiety symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a kind of talk therapy that some patients try before agreeing to other potential remedies.
Your doctor or mental healthcare provider may also recommend medicine, like anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, or, in some cases, sedatives. But what if psychotherapy or medicine aren’t options, and you’d instead not try them? Try these if you feel stressed or anxious:
- Give yourself a time-out to try yoga, exercise, more sleep, or better eating or lifestyle habits.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol, which can exacerbate anxiety and activate panic attacks.
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale gradually.
- Count to 10 deliberately. Repeat, and go to 20 if needed.
- Try your best. Rather than aiming for perfection, which isn’t realistic, be delighted with however close you get.
- Understand that you can’t manage everything. Keep your stress in perspective: Is it always as bad as you assume?
- Invite humor and take a laugh as far as possible.
- Keep a positive attitude. Try to trade negative thoughts for positive ones.
More About Ketamine
Ketamine originated in the early 1960s as pre-surgical anesthesia and quickly became the go-to option for the medical personnel treating wounded U.S. combat troops overseas. Soon after, it became apparent that ketamine therapy offered therapeutic value in treating symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, and other mental and physical ailments.
Sadness is like darkness; it comes and goes. But if your moods become worse and never end no matter what, anxiety may be creeping into your subconscious like a bad dream that won’t disappear. Contact us today to learn how our innovative anxiety treatments may help you find relief!