10 Questions About Anxiety
Q: How can I stop anxiety from affecting my job?
A: Having anxiety doesn’t mean you will never be able to hold down a job. There are many treatments available for anxiety, such as medication or cognitive behavioral therapy, that can help you through the anxiety. If you haven’t done so yet, talk with your doctor about your anxiety and find out more about what treatments would be best for you.
Q: How can I help my spouse overcome anxiety challenges?
A: Learn all you can about anxiety. Offer support and ask how you can help, but remember there is a fine line between helping and enabling. Be patient, as it can take months or years to overcome symptoms of anxiety. Always remember to take care of you. Don’t give up all the activities you enjoy or you will just end up resenting your spouse.
Q: Can anxiety cause other illnesses?
A: Chronic stress can contribute to illnesses such as heart disease and digestive problems. High levels of stress can cause deficiencies in your immune system, which can lead to illness. When you are having physical symptoms, it is always important to see your doctor, even if you believe it is caused by stress. Your doctor will do an examination and determine if there are underlying medical conditions.
Q: How do I stop taking anxiety medication?
A: Many people can stop taking anxiety medications or antidepressants with relatively little withdrawal symptoms, if they do so under the supervision of a doctor. Some people, however, do experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. If any symptoms are severe or interfere with your ability to carry out daily activities, you should talk with your doctor.
Q: How can I tell if my medication is working?
A: Keep a daily log. List your most common symptoms and then rate each symptom on a daily basis. After you complete your chart for several weeks, you can share it with your doctor. Together you can go through your symptoms, determine whether they have improved, and/or decide whether your medication should be adjusted or changed.
Q: What if I don't have insurance?
A: There are many resources available for those without insurance or without adequate insurance. I have listed many different resources in Mental Health Resources When You Don't Have Health Insurance, such as Partnership for Prescription Assistance, free clinics and community resources.
Q: Are there any herbs or supplements to help with anxiety?
A: According to psychologist Jerry Kennard, Ph.D., some herbal remedies that can help with stress are: St. John’s Wort, ginseng and chamomile. Remember that you must be very careful when taking supplements. They are not regulated by the FDA, and some supplements can interfere with other medication. Talk with your doctor before taking supplements.
Q: How do you know if you have an anxiety disorder?
A: There are many different types of anxiety, each with specific symptoms. Because anxiety is a medical condition, it must be diagnosed by a medical professional. If your fears are keeping you from looking for work, holding a job, or interfering with any other daily activities, it is probably time to talk with your doctor and find out if you do have anxiety.
Q: What are the physical symptoms of anxiety?
A: Some physical symptoms of anxiety include: heart palpitations, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, chest pain, stomach pain, sweating, difficulty swallowing, and dizziness. It is always best to check with your doctor and rule out any physical illness that could be causing your symptoms.
Q: Why does anxiety cause panic attacks?
A: A trigger can be just about anything that causes you to feel anxious. Part of managing anxiety is identifying your own personal triggers. You can do this by keeping a log of what you were thinking, doing, eating, etc. right before your anxiety began. As you keep track, you can share the information with your therapist and work to develop a plan of action.