February 16, 2023

Your Doctor Says You Have Anxiety: Now What?

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There are several factors that may be contributing to the recent rise in rates of anxiety, including increased stress in modern life, changes in social and economic systems, and the impact of technology and social media. Additionally, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused and exacerbated anxiety symptoms for many people.

When you’re at the doctor’s office, you may be given a mental health screening. Screening for anxiety typically involves using a brief questionnaire or tool to identify whether someone may be at risk for anxiety or experiencing symptoms. This process is usually used in a primary care setting, and is intended to quickly assess whether someone should be referred for further evaluation. Assessment, on the other hand, involves a more in-depth evaluation by a mental health professional to determine the severity of symptoms, identify the specific type of anxiety disorder, and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

A person should consider being clinically assessed for anxiety if they are experiencing symptoms that interfere with their daily life, such as persistent worry, difficulty sleeping, physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach problems, and avoidance of certain situations. If anxiety is causing significant distress or impairment, or if it is interfering with the ability to function in daily life, it may be time to seek professional help.

Lifestyle approaches that may be effective for managing anxiety include exercise, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation, spending time in nature, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. In addition, some people find that engaging in creative activities, such as art or music, can help reduce anxiety.

Psychotherapy can be a helpful option for people with anxiety who are struggling to manage their symptoms on their own. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common form of therapy used to treat anxiety, and focuses on changing thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety symptoms. If anxiety is significantly affecting a person’s quality of life, or if they have been experiencing symptoms for an extended period of time, it may be time to consider seeking psychotherapy. Don’t hesitate: reach out today.