Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
At Clark Family Practice we take a multi-directional approach to anxiety and depression, which will vary depending on your individual needs.
In order to best assess your needs, before your appointment, make a list of:
- Your symptoms, including when they first occurred and how often you’ve had them
- Key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any stressful, major events that occurred before your first panic attack
- Medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions that you have
- Medications, vitamins and other supplements and the dosages
- Questions to ask your provider
Lifestyle and home remedies
While panic attacks and panic disorder benefit from professional treatment, you can also help manage symptoms on your own. Some lifestyle and self-care steps you can take include:
- Stick to your treatment plan. Facing your fears can be difficult, but treatment can help you feel like you’re not a hostage in your own home.
- Join a support group. Joining a group for people with panic attacks or anxiety disorders can connect you with others facing the same problems.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs. All of these can trigger or worsen panic attacks.
- Practice stress management and relaxation techniques. For example, yoga, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation — tensing one muscle at a time, and then completely releasing the tension until every muscle in the body is relaxed — also may be helpful.
- Get physically active. Aerobic activity may have a calming effect on your mood.
- Get sufficient sleep. Get enough sleep so that you don’t feel drowsy during the day.