When to See the Doctor about Anxiety

By Health First on January 26, 2012 in Anxiety

Anxiety related disorders affect “40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, which is 18% of the U.S. population,” according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA).   When it comes to anxiety, it is important to have a proper framework for diagnosing and treating the issue.  You need to have a committed partner in the process who wants the best for you.  You should first ask yourself these questions:

  • How much better would my life be if I were free of anxiety?
  • How long will I go on without being “fully alive”?

We at HealthFirst, want you to feel fully alive, and we want you to move beyond your worst fears.   As with any disorder we treat, we want to find the root of the problem, and then seek an appropriate treatment and regimen to make your life better.  We want to be your partner from start to finish, and that is why we now have in house counselors who see many of our anxiety patients.  Here are some facts and stats from the ADAA (Anxiety Disorders Association of America) on anxiety disorders:

Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.

Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill, according to “The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders,” a study commissioned by ADAA (The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,60(7), July 1999).

More than $22.84 billion of those costs are associated with the repeated use of health care services for relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses.

People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

When you are coming to see us for anxiety, you should remember that we have a variety of options to help treat your condition.  We have medications that can help on a short- term basis and medications that will help on a long-term basis.  We also have a full-time, credentialed counselor who can provide time-tested counseling solutions and methods to help you better understand your condition, then cope and recover by getting to the root cause of your anxiety and fear.  The answer is usually a combination of medications and personalized counseling.

 Anytime anxiety is affecting your life, in terms of work, focus, family, and time management, then its time to come see the doctor.  We want each of our patients to be “fully alive” and we do not want them to continue to live without addressing the underlying issues or causes of their anxiety.  We can help you get to the root of the problem, and find a balanced solution.  Here are some additional questions to ask yourself if you are dealing with fear or anxiety so you can start building a framework for your first visit:

  • How long have you been dealing with these feelings of anxiety or fear?
  • What are the thoughts you struggle with most often?
  • How has it affected you, your family, your sleep, or your work?

 At our 3 HealthFirst locations, we see hundreds of patients daily and thousands during the course of the year.  We have been serving the Charleston region since 2004.  With every patient, we want the absolute best in terms of care, treatment, and experience.