Family Medicine located in Brown Deer, WI
Feeling anxious about problems and challenges you’re facing is perfectly normal, but if such feelings are taking over your life, you could have an anxiety disorder. Dr. Rosalyn McFarland, DNP, RN, APNP, FNP-BC, and her partner Clarissa Lawrence MSN, RN, APNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, at MyNP Professionals in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, are experienced practitioners who understand how distressing anxiety can be. They dedicate themselves to helping their patients overcome anxiety disorders using a sympathetic, personalized approach. If you’re experiencing chronic anxiety problems, call MyNP Professionals today, or book an appointment online.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal emotion everyone feels from time to time. It’s the nervousness you feel before a first date, the worry about making a good impression at an interview, or the tension you feel before taking an exam. Feeling anxious or worried about such events is natural, but if you feel worried or afraid all the time and anxiety is affecting your ability to live your life to the fullest, then it’s likely that you have an anxiety disorder.
What are anxiety disorders?
Anxiety disorders take different forms, but all are mental health disorders that cause such extreme or chronic feelings of fear and worry that they prevent you from being able to carry out normal activities.
Generalized anxiety disorder is the feeling of being constantly worried, usually without good cause and often to a disabling degree. You may find it hard to concentrate or perform daily tasks because of the overwhelming feeling of worry, affecting your family life and your work.
Dr. McFarland diagnoses anxiety disorders by looking at your medical history and discussing your symptoms with you. She’ll examine you and request diagnostic tests to rule out any physical cause for your anxiety.
What causes anxiety to become a problem?
Anxiety is one of a range of emotions that you feel during the normal course of your life, but as with other types of mental illness, the trigger for anxiety to become a mood disorder isn’t always clear. There’s usually a range of factors that can cause anxiety to start affecting your life, and it could be one or a combination of these factors that are at the root of the problem, for example:
- Chemical changes in the brain
- Unmanaged stress
- Environmental factors
It’s not uncommon for anxiety disorders to be genetically linked, possibly due to the passing on of functioning errors in the parts of the brain that controls emotion.
What are the symptoms of anxiety disorders?
The main symptoms of anxiety disorders are constant feelings of worry and fear, but there are physical signs as well:
- Trouble sleeping
- Being fidgety or restless
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Feeling short of breath
- Feeling nauseous
- Muscle tension
- Dry mouth
- Feeling dizzy
Anxiety can also cause panic attacks, where your fear becomes so extreme it can be immobilizing.
How can anxiety be treated?
There are several treatment options you can try, and Dr. McFarland can advise you which would be most likely to help in your case. It’s also important to look at your lifestyle and make changes to help reduce the effects of anxiety, such as regular exercise; eating a healthy, well-balanced diet; and finding ways to reduce stress.
Anxiolytic drugs can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, as can many antidepressants. Anticonvulsant medications and low doses of antipsychotic drugs may be useful to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. There are also different forms of talking therapy that can help you look at the environmental causes of anxiety and learn to manage your symptoms.
If anxiety is taking over your life, act now to reverse the effects by calling MyNP Professionals or booking an appointment online today.