Anxiety is an innate human emotion that virtually everyone experiences sometimes. Even people who normally seem calm, cool, and collected can feel a twinge of anxiety — or a tidal wave of worry — in stressful, uncomfortable, or unpredictable situations.
But for about one in four teens and nearly one in five adults in the United States, anxiety isn’t just another ordinary emotion, it’s a powerful disorder that causes immense distress, harms personal relationships, extinguishes opportunities, and interferes with life.
Here at TMS & Brain Health, we know just how damaging untreated anxiety can be; besides robbing you of your sense of control and diminishing your confidence, it can provoke intense physical symptoms and give rise to other serious health problems.
But as debilitating as anxiety disorders can be, they’re also highly treatable. Here are a few major signs that your problem warrants professional help.
Anxiety leaves you sitting on the sidelines
Many people with debilitating anxiety experience excessive worry about routine facets of life, ranging from workplace success, personal health, and family issues to daily appointments and responsibilities.
When anxiety shapes your daily existence, it’s harder to engage in positive, productive, or meaningful action. Besides making you feel as if you no longer have control over your own life, this type of anxiety can also trigger feelings of extreme distress that are out of proportion to your actual situation.
Without medical intervention, excessive daily anxiety can undermine your energy, make it more difficult to focus, interfere with your sleep, and strain important relationships.
Anxiety affects your body as much as it affects your mind
Anxiety may be a psychological disorder, but many of the symptoms it generates are highly physical. When you experience intense anxiety, your body is inundated with the same “fight or flight” stress hormones that help you react quickly in potentially dangerous situations.
Intense anxiety can cause anyone — including people who don’t have an anxiety disorder — to experience temporary physical symptoms like shortness of breath, an elevated heart rate, and increased muscular tension. It can also prompt feelings of lightheadedness, nausea, and chest pain.
When an anxiety disorder drags your body through its physical ringer on a regular basis, your symptoms may get more severe or debilitating over time, or they may set the stage for another serious health condition like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or chronic headaches.
Anxiety impacts your most important relationships
Anxiety disorders and avoidance behavior often go hand-in-hand. Many people who suffer from debilitating anxiety do their absolute best to avoid situations that might trigger unwanted feelings of worry or fear.
Avoidance behavior can have a real and lasting impact on close personal relationships as well as important professional relationships, particularly if your spouse, family, friends, coworkers, or managers don’t know about your problem or understand how it affects you.
Anxiety isn’t the only mental health disorder you’re facing
It’s common for people with anxiety to also have at least one other co-occurring mental health disorder. For many people, anxiety prompts the development of chronic stress, depression, an eating disorder, or addiction. For others, it’s depression, bipolar disorder, or some other mental health condition that triggers anxiety.
People who live with anxiety are particularly susceptible to depression. In fact, almost half of adults who are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder also suffer from clinical depression.
When anxiety is accompanied by persistent and overwhelming feelings of sadness, disinterest, or worthlessness, now is the time to get help. Without proper care, anxiety and depression can take a serious toll on your health, jeopardize your well-being, and increase your risk of suicide.
Gain the upper hand over anxiety — for good
No matter how overwhelming, impossible, or persistent your anxiety may feel, we want you to know that your problem is incredibly common and highly treatable. With the right approach, you most definitely can reclaim your life.
Thanks to groundbreaking advances in neuropsychology, medication and psychotherapy are no longer the only effective solutions for anxiety. Today, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) offers a noninvasive, drug-free way to help you overcome anxiety and get back to a normal life.
This holistic therapy uses low-amplitude magnetic pulses to recalibrate the abnormal brain wave patterns that drive your usual anxiety response. As your brain activity gradually normalizes over the course of your treatment cycle, you can expect to experience fewer and fewer symptoms of anxiety.
TMS is an FDA-approved treatment for depression, and a growing body of evidence reveals that it’s equally effective for a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety.
If you’re ready to confront your anxiety head on, call our Los Angeles, California, office today, or click online to schedule a visit with one of our mental health experts any time.