Everyone suffers from anxiety from time to time, it’s simply a part of the human condition. However, if constant feelings of anxiety are impacting your life and making it difficult for you to complete daily tasks and enjoy relationships, it’s probably time to seek the services of a psychiatrist for anxiety.
Why Seek Treatment?
Some people mistakenly believe that chronic feelings of anxiety are “normal,” and while we all do feel nervous or anxious once in a while, millions of Americans suffer from daily feelings of anxiety, and this is a serious mental health issue that affects your ability to function and live your life to the fullest.
For many people, chronic anxiety makes it difficult for them to work or handle school or even complete daily tasks. Anxiety can impact your social life and have a negative impact on your relationships. The good news is that there are many treatment options available, and while it can take time to find a treatment plan that fully meets your needs, anxiety can be lessened, and you can live a happier, healthier and much easier life.
Too often, people with anxiety disorders feel ashamed about seeking treatment for anxiety, mistakenly believing they are weak or should just be able to handle their problems. The truth is millions of people suffer from chronic anxiety. In fact, it’s estimated that about 30% of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their life.
An anxiety disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, it is simply a medical disorder just like diabetes or high blood pressure or asthma. Just like the latter three diseases, there are many ways to successfully treat anxiety. If you seek medical help for your high blood pressure, seeking medical help for anxiety is truly no different.
Why A Psychiatrist?
People with anxiety have the option of working with therapists and psychologists, and while this is always an excellent option, you may also need to contact and work with a psychiatrist for anxiety and there are several reasons why.
1. Psychiatrists Can Evaluate Your Medical Health
Unlike therapists or psychologists, psychiatrists are medical doctors, which gives them a unique perspective. Unlike a psychologist or even a primary care physician, we can diagnose and treat both mental health issues as well as other types of health conditions that may be affecting your mental health.
There are many physical health conditions and medications that can cause anxiety disorder symptoms. If we can work to improve your physical health, this often can help reduce your anxiety, as well.
2. Psychiatrists Can Provide Medication
While psychologists can diagnose mental health conditions, they cannot prescribe medication, which is why you likely will need the support of a psychiatrist. Several different types of medications have been shown to reduce or eliminate symptoms of anxiety disorders and this can be an approach to consider.
Keep in mind, treatment for anxiety disorders should include more than medication. Medication can be hugely beneficial, but it is even more beneficial when we also provide patients with cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy. Behavioral therapy can provide you with helpful tools to help you manage stressful situations and reduce anxiety and talk therapy can help you work through problems.
It’s also important to note that medication takes time to work, and it can take time to find the right dosage for each individual. Some medications also have side effects, such as nausea, dizziness and fatigue. While this may resolve after a few weeks of taking the medication, it’s important for patients to have realistic expectations about medication.
3. Psychiatrists Can Help With Co-Occurring Disorders
Many patients with anxiety disorders also suffer from other mental illnesses, such as depression or PTSD or OCD or perhaps bipolar disorder. My focus is always on getting to the root of all of the issues and illnesses is facing to create the best possible treatment plan.
We can treat your anxiety, but if you also have an eating disorder or perhaps ADHD or bipolar disorder, we need to treat those as well to ensure that all of your health needs are met.
While mental health professionals such as psychologists and therapists can provide many types of behavioral and talk therapy for people with co-occurring disorders, a psychiatrist also can help with medication management for co-occurring disorders. This can be tricky as certain medications can interact and we must find the best possible combinations of medications and therapies for each patient.
In addition to my services as an anxiety psychiatrist, I also offer services as a depression psychiatrist and PTSD psychiatrist. I also treat bipolar disorder, ADHD, addiction and any other co-occurring disorders you may have along with an anxiety disorder.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Treatment for anxiety disorders often varies based on the type of anxiety disorder a patient might have, and there are several disorders recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and listed in that organization’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), including:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Persistent and excessive worry about various aspects of life, such as work, health, family, or finances.
Panic Disorder: Recurrent and unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden periods of intense fear or discomfort, accompanied by physical and cognitive symptoms.
Agoraphobia: Fear and avoidance of situations where escape might be difficult, or help might not be available in the event of a panic attack or other incapacitating symptoms.
Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): Intense fear of social situations in which the individual may be scrutinized, judged, or embarrassed.
Specific Phobia: Marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights, animals, receiving injections, or seeing blood). Exposure therapy often can be a helpful treatment for some phobias.
Separation Anxiety Disorder: Excessive fear or anxiety about being separated from attachment figures, typically in children but can also occur in adults.
Selective Mutism: Consistent failure to speak in specific social situations despite the ability to speak in other situations, usually affecting children.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): In the DSM-5, PTSD is classified as a trauma- and stressor-related disorder, but it often is associated with anxiety disorders. We have many new treatments for PTSD that can be quite helpful including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and possibly ketamine treatments.
Telepsychiatry For Anxiety
During the pandemic, telepsychiatry became one of the easiest and safest ways for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to treat patients. While we are back to meeting face-to-face, many patients have come to prefer using a virtual psychiatrist over in-person meetings.
Many people feel comfortable meeting virtually and it can be more convenient. After all, meeting online allows us to meet from anywhere you have an internet connection. You also don’t have to fight your way through traffic, which can be very stressful, and you save time because no commute is necessary. Telepsychiatry also allows you to choose a psychiatrist that truly meets your needs rather than simply settling for that “psychiatrist near me.”
Contact Dr. Jesalva Today
If you are suffering symptoms of anxiety, don’t wait another day before contacting a psychiatrist for anxiety. I can meet with patients virtually or in person and have been successfully treating patients with anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health conditions for many years. There is always hope, and we can find a treatment plan that truly reduces your anxiety and improves your life.
Dr Jesalva is a psychiatrist. He is in private practice in Thousand Oaks, CA since 1989. He successfully treats very challenging patients with varying co-occurring disorders with medications.