Anxiety is a serious mental health issue affecting millions of people. It’s sometimes brought on by unexpected events or the stress of everyday life such as work or school, but continual anxiety is a condition whose symptoms can be debilitating if left untreated. There’s also some evidence that it’s a genetic illness.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
“Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).”
Sometimes these feelings are uncontrollable, affect daily life, and can last for a long time. If you feel like this, you may need professional help.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
There are numerous risk factors linked to anxiety, some outside your control:
You’re a woman living in Western Europe or North America.
Someone in your family – a blood relative – had anxiety and it was passed down to you.
A parent who wasn’t around too much.
Traumatic events, such as war or accidents.
You’re under continual stress, because of work or family pressures or other strain.
Your personality is mostly shy, obsessed with details, morally rigid, or you’re oversensitive to criticism.
You engage in substance abuse.
You have cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, or mental illness.
THE SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY
Signs of anxiety can sometimes be controlled with professional therapy, relaxation methods, or ketamine infusion therapy, or anti-anxiety medicine. If you experience recurrent, constant symptoms, call a doctor for help.
You experience anxiety when you have emotions of restlessness, are wound-up, or on-edge
You find you’re easily tired
A person with anxiety can perspire freely without cause
You notice that your body or limbs shake uncontrollably at times
You’ve lost sense of control
You intentionally avoid people, activities, or events
You have a feeling of imminent panic, doom, or danger
You hyperventilate or your heart beats quickly
You’re obsessed only with things causing worry
You have trouble sleeping too little or too much
You have bowel problems or digestive issues
You worry constantly
IS ANXIETY GENETIC?
Studies show that anxiety illnesses have a range of causes, with environment and genetics playing equally crucial roles as co-villains. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says that: “Studies support the evidence that anxiety disorders ‘run in families,’ as some families have a higher-than-average amount of anxiety disorders among relatives.”
However, we can’t dismiss the effect of environmental causes, too. This includes the loss of a child, sexual abuse, or another traumatic experience affecting mental health.
WHAT TRIGGERS ANXIETY?
Anxiety, whether it’s genetic or environmental driven, is a widespread mental health illness affecting about 40 million people across the United States per year. Its signs and severity vary for each person, but it’s critical to know the triggers. You should be on the lookout for these:
Health problems, like obesity, chronic pain, or cancer
The misuse of store-bought or prescription drugs
Coffee, soda, or other drinks rich in caffeine
Abnormal eating habits
Financial trouble and worry, unemployment, lack of income, or severe financial hardships
Relationship issues and other conflicts
Stress or public presentations
KETAMINE FOR ANXIETY
Exactly how ketamine treats anxiety disorders is still being researched by the medical community. The current understanding indicates that ketamine binds to receptors in the brain that increase the amount of a neurotransmitter, glutamate, is released. This will then set off a chain of reactions within the brain that affects thinking and emotional regulation.
To put this in simpler terms, the brain reacts to ketamine in a way that triggers hormones that help create more positive emotions. This can occur within minutes after a person receives their infusion, but some people may need several treatments before they experience the highest level of benefits.
TREATMENT FOR ANXIETY
The normal course of treatment for anxiety is psychotherapy, sometimes combined with self-help, prescription antidepressants, or, in extreme cases, temporary hospitalization. After diagnosis using the DSM-5, you and your doctor or therapist will decide which option is best for you based on your overall physical and mental health. An “off-label” use to consider is ketamine, which has been re-purposed to treat symptoms of mental disorders and chronic pain. It’s often dispensed via ketamine infusion therapy.
If you’re experiencing constant symptoms of anxiety, get help before it’s too late and it becomes debilitating. Anxiety is a widespread mental disorder that millions learn to control and lead productive lives, but only after they’ve acknowledged the symptoms and have been diagnosed.
If you or a loved one are dealing with the symptoms of anxiety we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the clinical use of ketamine to help treat anxiety.