You’re anxious, losing sleep, and have trouble eating. A long, stress-free vacation hasn’t helped the way you had hoped, and now the symptoms have begun affecting your quality of life. Anxiety symptoms may go away or turn into an anxiety disorder, but the question remains. Can anxiety be prevented?
What is Anxiety?
“Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal stress reaction. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. It can help you to cope. The anxiety may give you a boost of energy or help you focus.”
Common Anxiety Disorders
Suppose you suffer from anxiety and can’t bring the symptoms under control, discovering they’ve begun to interfere with your quality of life. In that case, you may be experiencing warning signs of one or more serious anxiety disorders.
Symptoms of anxiety disorders can be controlled with medicine like ketamine, but it’s important to identify your condition before taking medication for it.
- Generalized anxiety disorder means constant and extreme worry, which interferes with daily life.
- Panic disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks or a devastating mix of physical and psychological suffering.
- If you have a specific phobia, you’re subjected to disproportionate and tenacious fear of something specific or a situation or action which isn’t typically harmful, like public speaking.
- Agoraphobia results when you fear being in circumstances where escape can be hard or embarrassing or where help may not be possible when panic symptoms set in.
Can Anxiety Be Prevented?
Like most other mental health conditions, anxiety and more serious anxiety disorders can’t be prevented, but medication can manage anxiety. Medicine and science still struggle to understand causes and triggers, but the best hope in regaining control of your life is to learn to reduce as many symptoms as possible.
Learning to reduce symptoms often begins with understanding them and specifics about the anxiety disorder you may be facing and the possible risks which may trigger them in the first place. The important point is that some risks associated with anxiety and anxiety disorders can’t be controlled or avoided, such as having a blood relative (e.g., a parent) who’s experienced anxiety disorders in the past. Other risks to be aware of:
- If you experienced or witnessed trauma as a child, you’re at greater risk of getting an anxiety disorder later. Adults who live through trauma may also develop anxiety disorders.
- Stress-related to an illness is another potential risk for anxiety, especially if it builds up without a healthy release mechanism.
- If stress builds due to a big event or even something smaller, like worrying about your finances, these kinds of situations may trigger extreme anxiety.
- Your personality type.
- If you suffer from another mental health disorder, like depression, you could be more susceptible to anxiety.
- Drug or alcohol use, or withdrawal symptoms afterward.
Ways to reduce symptoms
- Ask your medical professional or clinician about ketamine to treat anxiety or anxiety disorders.
- Try exercising.
- Stay away from alcohol and recreational drugs.
- Reduce or eliminate tobacco use and the consumption of caffeinated beverages.
- Try meditation, yoga, and other stress management techniques.
- Set a daily sleep routine and stick to it.
- Follow a healthy diet.
- If your medical professional or clinician recommends a specific treatment plan, it’s important to stick to it. This means that prescribed medication should be taken as directed, and therapy sessions followed as scheduled.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Diagnosis involves your healthcare provider inquiring about your symptoms and personal and family medical history. Your medical provider may order a physical exam and lab tests to check for a different health problem that could trigger your symptoms.
If there isn’t another health problem found, you may need a psychological assessment. Instead, your medical professional could handle it personally or refer you to a mental health specialist. The goal is to uncover the cause of your illness and whether factors like personal or family history of mental illness could trigger it.
Treatment for anxiety disorders may involve psychotherapy, medicine, and ketamine therapy.
More than 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. If you’re one of them, that doesn’t mean you have to give up or let the symptoms control your life. The condition can’t be prevented, but there are ways to reduce it, sometimes by using medicine like ketamine.