Worry is a part of life. We all worry over different things from time to time – new situations, work, money, relationships, and more. But when worry becomes a constant, ongoing mindset that you cannot seem to escape, it may be a form of anxiety that can be an obstacle to certain experiences or even getting through your day.
This intense and lasting anxiety is called general anxiety disorder, or GAD, and is a challenge that Dr. Sehdev can help you get through. As a Dallas psychiatrist at Aware Behavioral Health, Dr. Sehdev takes an individual-focused approach to treating generalized anxiety disorder, by getting to know your individual symptoms and experiences so that the both of you can create a treatment plan that lets you confront the worries in your life.
To learn more about generalized anxiety and our psychiatric treatment methods, call us today at 888-677-4562.
What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Many of the symptoms of anxiety disorder are similar to those we experience any time we are stressed or worried. Those who receive a GAD diagnosis have endured ongoing and unexplainable anxiety for several months and experience three or more of these symptoms:
- Persistent Anxiety
- Irritation and Outbursts
- Overwhelmed by Problems
Since anxiety triggers chemicals in the brain and a nervous system response, there may also be physical symptoms associated with your generalized anxiety disorder. These can occur on their own or worsen already existing health conditions, and include:
- Drowsiness or Lethargy
- Increased Heart Rate
- Rapid Breathing
- Muscle Tension
- Increased Need to Urinate
It is possible to experience physical symptoms without mental symptoms, and mental symptom without physical symptoms, but typically people experience both. On an annual basis, GAD affects more than 3% of the population, and women are slightly more likely to receive a diagnosis for anxiety than men.
Although anxiety can occur at any time, the disorder generally begins between the teenage years and middle age for those who experience it. The symptoms often increase over time. While they may start off subtle and easily overlooked, they can become debilitating over the years without some type of management.
Minor forms of GAD can make you more hesitant to seek out new experiences, engage in social activities, travel, seek advancement in work and personal life, and cause you to miss other opportunities. More severe anxiety can make every day a challenge as you see risk everywhere and spend excessive time planning to avoid risk causing a cycle of worry to persist.
Medically Assisted Treatment for Generalized Anxiety
Anxiety is best treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both. We can integrate strategies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address anxiety, along with other therapy modalities and lifestyle changes that can give you back more control over your anxiety and mental health.
As a Dallas psychiatrist, Dr. Sehdev often incorporate safe medications into your treatment plans. While medication cannot “cure” generalized anxiety disorder, it can minimize the symptoms so that you can return to working, relationships, and daily life as normal. Some people benefit from medication and lifestyle changes alone, while others find that medication, when combined with other treatments is very effective for reducing anxiety in the long term.
Among the medications we commonly use to treat generalized anxiety disorder are:
- Benzodiazepines – These sedatives have a calming effect that temporarily mitigate the physical symptoms of anxiety, causing a corresponding decrease in the mental symptoms. They are best for use in the short term to relieve intense anxiety episodes.
- Antidepressants – Many medications that are used in treating anxiety can also treat GAD. We may prescribe SSRIs or SNRIs for long term management of anxiety symptoms. These take a few weeks to take effect, but are one of the most common means of treatment for GAD.
- Buspirone – Buspirone is similar to an antidepressant in that it takes a few weeks to reach full effect and then can be used in a long term treatment.
Generalized anxiety disorder often occurs alongside other disorders, such as PTSD, panic disorder, depression, and substance abuse. If that’s the case, we’ll adjust the treatment and consider different medication and therapy options to provide you with the best results.
Psychiatry in Dallas with Aware Behavioral Health
Living with generalized anxiety disorder is a struggle. Dr. Sehdev of Aware Behavioral Health is a Dallas psychiatrist experienced in treating GAD, and has worked with many people of all ages to help reduce and manage the symptoms of anxiety. With easy access to our office in the Dallas-Fort Worth area from Bedford, Grapevine, Southlake, and other nearby communities or virtual psychiatry appointments, we make it convenient to get the help you need in dealing with generalized anxiety disorder in Dallas. Contact Aware Behavioral Health to get started.