What Are The Symptoms Of An Anxiety Disorder
Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:
- Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
- Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
- Muscle tension
The exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown; but anxiety disorders like other forms of mental illness are not the result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or poor upbringing. As scientists continue their research on mental illness, it is becoming clear that many of these disorders are caused by a combination of factors, including changes in the brain and environmental stress.
Like certain illnesses, such as , anxiety disorders may be caused by chemical imbalances in the body. Studies have shown that severe or long-lasting stress can change the balance of chemicals in the brain that control mood. Other studies have shown that people with certain anxiety disorders have changes in certain brain structures that control memory or mood. In addition, studies have shown that anxiety disorders run in families, which means that they can be inherited from one or both parents, like hair or eye color. Moreover, certain environmental factors such as a trauma or significant event may trigger an anxiety disorder in people who have an inherited susceptibility to developing the disorder.
Finding Your Balance When An Anxiety Or Panic Attack Hits
When in doubt of whats really happening to you, you should always go to the nearest emergency care center better to be safe than sorry! However, if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety or panic disorder, here are some ways to even yourself out.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven effective for managing panic attacks. By uncovering the thinking patterns and behaviors that lead to the attacks, you can retrain your mind to reason more realistically and effectively through anxious moments.
- Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy exposes you to the things or situations that bring you fear. In a safe environment, you become familiar with your bodys reaction to certain triggers. Over time, you become more and more desensitized to these triggers and ultimately reduce your tendency to fear.
- Breathing, Music, and Exercise: As discussed earlier, sometimes panic attacks come without any real triggers. When one hits you, one of the best things to do is practice controlled deep breathing and other relaxation techniques such as meditation, listening to music, or even exercising. By countering negative sensations with positive ones, you are developing coping mechanisms that promote calmness and relaxation.
Like many things, panic and anxiety disorders can be reduced by healthy living. Read here about 3 Healthy Habits for Kids and what kind of foods to add to your diet.
Should I Go To The Er For A Panic Attack
Have you felt this way before?The very first thing you need to ask yourself when youre having a panic attack is: have I felt this way before? Oftentimes, our first panic attack is the scariest, since it really can mimic the symptoms of a far more serious health issue.
My first panic attack was easily the scariest half hour of my life. I was 16 or 17 years old; right around the middle of high school-age. It started with a random and harmless heart palpitation, but to me it felt like a kick to the chest that I wasnt expecting. My surprise and fear of the unknown caused me to panic and hyperventilate, making me feel light-headed and nauseous. I didnt know what was happening, all I knew was that I couldnt stop it. I was convinced that I was having a heart attack, and desperately wanted my parents to call an ambulance for me.
If youve never had a panic attack before, theres a chance that your first one could be just as intense as mine was. In this case, its understandable why you might feel as though you need to go to the emergency room. But, if you have had previous panic attacks before dialing 911, ask yourself if this feels like the panic attacks youve had in the past. If the symptoms of your panic attack are similar to the symptoms of your other panic attacks, chances are this is just another panic attack. There should only be cause for concern if youre experiencing new chest pain or other symptoms that are significantly different than what youre used to.
When You Should Go To The Doctor An Urgent Care Clinic Or The Emergency Room
It’s not uncommon for people suffering from a panic attack to fear death. After all, the sudden heart palpitations and chest pain can make many people think they’re having a heart attack. If you are experiencing a panic attack for the first time, Webmd recommends that you go to the emergency room to be sure that it isn’t a serious health issue. There, a doctor will be able to determine if you’re experiencing something life-threatening, like a blood clot or heart attack. When it comes to your health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If its the first time and you dont know whats happening, the emergency room is the right choice.
Should the ER doctor determine that you’re suffering from a panic attack, they will encourage you to visit your primary care physician or a local urgent care center like these in Washingon State. . At an urgent care center, you can expect a physician to go over your mental health concerns and offer advice regarding the next steps you can take. In most cases, this will be a referral to a mental health professional, like a psychiatrist or a psychologist.
If you know you’re having a panic attack, visiting your doctor or an urgent care center can also be a vital resource to help get you through the episode. For some people, simply knowing a medical professional is near can help them feel at ease to help the attack subside.
What Does The Er Give You For A Panic Attack
If you decide to head to the emergency room for a panic attack, you should expect a full-service checkup. This will usually start with an evaluation of your medical history and previous experiences with panic attacks or other types of stress- or anxiety-related disorders. Theyll also want to determine if any medication, supplements, drugs, or alcohol could be responsible for the physical symptoms youre feeling.
Your doctor may also want to perform an X-ray, run an EKG, and gather a urine and blood sample. This is all done in an effort to write off other issues that could be causing physical symptoms similar to a panic attack. In other words, be prepared to stay awhile.
If everything checks out and the doctor believes that you were, in fact, experiencing a panic attack, then theyll determine how best to treat you. They may recommend therapy or breathing exercises, and they may also recommend that you limit your intake of caffeine, supplements, and certain drugs. On top of this, they might prescribe medication that helps with anxiety, depression, and/or an irregular heartbeat.
Is Your Panic Attack Lasting Hours
Panic attacks dont usually last longer than 20 to 30 minutes. If it feels as if your panic attack is lasting hours, this could mean that youre having more than one panic attack in a row. However, it could also mean that youre experiencing something that isnt a panic attack or that youre experiencing another condition on top of a panic attack. In this situation, you should head to the emergency room for your panic attack. Again, its better to be safe than sorry.
Can I Claim Benefits For Anxiety
People struggling financially and psychologically with changes in their circumstances are at risk of increased levels of stress, anxiety or depression. If you have daily living and/or mobility needs because of a mental health condition, you may be eligible for PIP and should consider making a claim to DWP.21 2020
What Causes Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
Experts aren’t sure what causes panic attacks and panic disorder. But the body has a natural response when you are stressed or in danger. It speeds up your heart, makes you breathe faster, and gives you a burst of energy. This is called the . It gets you ready to either cope with or run away from danger. A panic attack occurs when this response happens when there is no danger.
Some people are more sensitive to anxiety and panic than others. Panic attacks and panic disorder may be more likely if you have a family history of panic disorder. They sometimes happen with no clear cause.
Panic attacks may also be brought on by:
- A health problem such as an overactive thyroid , or heart or breathing problems.
- Depression or another mood disorder.
- Heavy alcohol use.
- Using too much nicotine or too much caffeine.
- Taking certain medicines, such as those used to treat asthma and heart problems.
- Drug use.
- Living with high levels of stress for a long time.
You have a higher chance of getting panic disorder if you have a parent with depression or bipolar disorder.
Alternatives To Visiting Urgent Care For Anxiety
If you know what youre experiencing is anxiety or panic and not a medical emergency, there are some alternatives to visiting urgent care or an emergency room.
Are you currently in treatment for anxiety? If so, do what your providers have suggested you do when your anxiety is acute. If youre not sure what they would recommend, consider contacting them or scheduling a follow-up appointment.
One strategy that will sometimes help reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic is paced breathing. Physical symptoms of anxiety often involve quick, shallow breathing. If you are able to slow your breathing gradually, you can produce a decrease in anxiety. If you can slow your breathing down to even 10 breaths per minute , you may see some improvement.
Another short term strategy to manage acute anxiety is to engage your mind in something unrelated to anxiety, if possible. This can be as simple as talking to a friend or working on a household chore that needs to get done. Sometimes the short-term reprieve from anxiety these strategies offer can help a lot.
RELATED: Skills to Help Withstand Emotional Crises
What Is Urgent Care
When your doctors office is closed for the day, youre traveling, or you have an immediate need and cant wait for an appointment, urgent care is the best place to be.
At the Doctors Center, you can receive immediate medical attention without an appointment. Dr. Leo Capobianco and his team treat a wide range of non-emergency medical conditions, which allows you to skip long waits or an expensive emergency room bill.
Since the practice is certified by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care , you can also be sure youre getting the highest standard of care.
Some Ways We Can Help:
- Cuts, scrapes, and minor injuries
- Skin rashes, moles, and lesions
- Sports injuries
- Yeast infections
- And more
One Medical is a doctors office designed for real life. That means we understand that life can be unpredictable, and weve built a new kind of primary care practice to support you through the unexpected stuff so you can potentially skip unnecessary trips to the emergency room or urgent care. To deliver the best care possible, we offer same-day and next-day appointments in our calming offices or over video, unlimited 24/7 on-demand care over Video Chat at no extra cost, and healthcare providers who truly listen.
One Medicals team of skilled doctors and other providers are trained to address a wide range of urgent and time-sensitive health concerns. And because we offer easy access to care whenever and wherever you need it, were equipped to handle a variety of urgent care needs.
Not only do One Medical appointments start on time, but our offices offer on-site lab work, so you can get the care you need and get back to your day quickly. And if you dont feel up to getting out of bed or our offices are closed, you can still get great care over Video Chat or messages anytime, day or night. Our app also makes it easy to book appointments, renew and request prescriptions, and message providers at your convenience.
Seek Medical Attention If Youre Unsure
Better safe then sorry: if youre in doubt about whether youre experiencing a heart attack or a panic attack, you should seek immediate medical attention. Only a physician can rule out the possibility youve had a heart attack. To do so, your doctor will run medical tests such as an electrocardiogram or blood test, to make an accurate diagnosis. If a heart attack is ruled out, your physician can help you form a treatment plan such as talk therapy and/or medication.
If you experience the following symptoms, it is crucial to seek emergency medical care:
- Sudden severe chest pain
First: Are You Sure Its Anxiety
You shouldnt assume what youre feeling is anxiety when its really something more dangerous. Sometimes the most useful thing about visiting urgent care is confirming whether symptoms are anxiety or a medical problem. This can be difficult to determine since anxiety symptoms and some medical symptoms overlap.
Physical symptoms of anxiety can include any of the following:
- racing heart
- feeling as if things arent real
- pounding heart
- hot or cold sensations
Some of the above symptoms could also be a sign of medical conditions such as cardiac problems, viruses, and other illnesses. Anxiety is not a medical emergency, but some of those other conditions can be. If youre concerned that your symptoms stem from a medical illness, seek medical care.
Additionally, can be caused by medical conditions such as electrolyte imbalances, thyroid problems, and others. In these cases, treatment for anxiety would involve addressing the underlying medical cause.
Medications can cause severe anxiety as well. For example, anything containing caffeine can cause anxiety. So can some migraine medications; decongestants; antihistamines; steroids such as cortisone, prednisone, and dexamethasone; albuterol; Dilantin; levodopa and carbidopa; and some thyroid medications.
RELATED: What Are Panic Attacks and What Causes Them?
What Is An Urgent Care Center
For a long time, hospitals were the main way people sought professional care for their medical needs. If you suffered an accident, you mightve gone to a hospitals emergency room to receive immediate treatment. However, there are many injuries and conditions that need quick treatment but dont merit the cost or resources of an emergency room. Urgent care centers are an increasingly popular way to bridge this gap. At urgent care, youll receive treatment for non-emergency issues that require timely care. Urgent care is a less expensive choice that lets you skip the busy emergency room to get the treatment you need.
How Much Does Urgent Care Cost
Urgent care will cost you less than a trip to the emergency room, but you still may find yourself shelling out hundreds of dollars for treatment. The average cost of urgent care is around $150, but the average increases depending on the condition. Fortunately, our sister site PlushCares virtual services make getting urgent care affordable for everyone. PlushCares appointments cost an average of less than $25 with insurance and only $99 for those without insurance. Thats much less than you can expect to pay in-person at an urgent care center.
Can You Be Hospitalized For Anxiety
If your panic attacks get too severe or happen too often, you may need to be hospitalized until they are under control. You also may need a brief hospital stay if you have panic attacks along with another health condition, such as agoraphobia or depression.
Similarly, when should you go to the hospital for anxiety? If you‘ve never had a panic attack and you‘re having chest pain, go to the hospital. A doctor should check to make sure you‘re not having a serious medical problem, like a heart attack, a blood clot in your lungs, or a collapsed lung.
Likewise, people ask, what happens when you go to the ER with anxiety?
An anxiety emergency or extreme panic attack may require an ER visit if the sufferer is unable to get it under control. Extreme cases of hyperventilation can lead to tachycardia, an occurrence where the heart is beating so fast that it is unable to properly pump blood throughout the body.
When should you go to the hospital for mental health?
When You Should Go to a HospitalYou may choose to be hospitalized if you’re having symptoms that are putting you or others at risks, such as suicidal urges, mania, or psychosis. Hospitalization can also be helpful if you’re finding yourself too ill to eat, bathe, or sleep properly.
Might Your Symptoms Point To Other Potential Medical Issues
One main reason to go to the emergency room for a panic attack is to make sure that your panic attack isnt actuallyanother medical condition. Panic attack symptoms, regardless of their severity, often mimic other health complications.
If youreexperiencing issues that could exist outside of a run-of-the-mill panic attack, then you should take a trip to the emergency room. Its important to rule out all other medical conditions and emergencies before writing it off as just another panic attack. For example, when your panic attack symptoms include chest pain and difficulty breathing, its important to get yourself checked out.
Since your mental state is often the root cause of a panic attack, its also important to understand what other thoughts and feelings youre having during an episode. If youre having thoughts of self-harm, seek immediate medical treatment.
Keep Reading: Learn more about when to go to ER for chest pain
What Does A Severe Panic Attack Feel Like
A panic attack is an intense wave of fear characterized by its unexpectedness and debilitating, immobilizing intensity. Your heart pounds, you cant breathe, and you may feel like youre dying or going crazy. Panic attacks often strike out of the blue, without any warning, and sometimes with no clear trigger.
Can You Go To Urgent Care For Chest Pain Should You
Chest pain can be extremely scary to experience, particularly if this pain is totally new to you. No matter what, its something that needs to be taken seriously.
However, contrary to popular belief, not all chest pain indicates a heart attack or even a cardiovascular problem. In some cases, its entirely appropriate to go to the emergency room; in other cases, you can receive much more affordable treatment at many 24-hour urgent care locations.
Ultimately, you dont want to take a chance when it comes to this symptom. Still, it may be helpful to know a bit more about the potential causes of chest discomfort and when it may be appropriate to go to a walk-in urgent care center rather than an emergency room.
When to go to the ER for chest pain:Should you experience a crushing or severe pressure or pain in the chest , you should absolutely go to the emergency room. If your chest discomfort is accompanied by sweating, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or fatigue, this may indicate cardiac chest pain. Its much better to err on the side of caution and go to the emergency room. To that end, you should not drive yourself to the hospital. Those who experience acute chest pain should chew two to four baby aspirin as a precaution. Even if it turns out that the pain isnt attributed to a coronary issue, its better to be safe than sorry.
Is This The First Time Youve Felt This Way
If youâve never had a panic attack and youâre having chest pain, go to the hospital. A doctor should check to make sure youâre not having a serious medical problem, like a heart attack, a blood clot in your , or a collapsed lung. Risk factors for a heart attack include high blood pressure, being overweight, having a close family member who has had a heart attack, and smoking.
Er Or Not: Panic Attacks
For those who are experiencing a panic attack, a trip to the emergency room might feel necessary. And while ER doctors can give medication to help calm you down, most panic attacks are probably not something you absolutely need to go to the ER for. Emergency physician Dr. Troy Madsen talks about the reasons for when a trip to the ER is a must in the case of panic attacks.
How Do I Get Emergency Anxiety Medication
To receive a treatment plan and prescription for anxiety medication you will need to speak to a doctor or psychiatrist. You can meet with a doctor online here. The doctor will want to know why youre interested in taking anxiety medication as well as learn your medical history and other medications you may be taking.
Should You Have A Crisis Plan
Morley is just one expert who believes a crisis plan is a good idea. These guides can help you and your loved ones keep an eye out for certain symptoms and the appropriate steps to take if another mental health crisis occurs.
A crisis plan should include the following items:
- the phone number of your therapist or psychiatrist
- phone numbers of friends and family members who are helpful in crises
- your diagnosis and medications
I Had No Idea I’d ‘misused’ Klonopin Until I Tried To Stop Taking It
My first panic attack sent me to the hospital. Like many people experiencing profound physical anxiety for the first time, I couldnt be convinced of any explanation other than that I was definitely dying. A friend brought me to the emergency room where staff conducted an EKG and hurried me away with a Valium, a bill and a strong urging to consider treatment for anxiety.
A year later, I sat in my GPs office, shaking and sweaty and scared and weak. My doctor wasnt available, but her partner had agreed to see me when I told him I was on my way and an ambulance should meet there if they couldnt fit me in. Ive never felt worse, I told them. Everything hurts. I cant sleep. I cant be awake. I cant move. I cant stop moving. I feel crazy. I think its my kidneys, or my brain stem, or maybe a real blood clot this time.
Everyone else urgent care doctors, psychiatrists, family and friends had told me I was just anxious. I had been feeling more nervous than usual, but Id recently stopped taking the Klonopin Id been prescribed as needed when I noticed I was taking them almost every day. Id had concerns about their long-term impact and about developing physical dependency. That explained the anxiety, I thought, but not the unyielding panic and physical discomfort Id felt for the past seven days and on and off for months before. Someone would have warned me about that.
Waves of panic crashed into a pulsing sea of pain whose current dragged sleep further and further away.
Are Panic Attacks Dangerous
Can you die from an anxiety attack?Panic attacks can be terrifying events that often feel life-threatening. However, most panic attacks only last a few minutes, and will typically be over in less than half an hour. You cannot die from a panic attack, and they do not pose an immediate threat to your health.
With that said, it may be worth examining some of the indirect effects that panic attacks can play on our health.
Can a panic attack cause a heart attack?A panic attack will not cause a heart attack. Heart attacks are caused by blockages in blood vessels of the heart. When a section of the heart becomes blocked and is unable to receive oxygen-rich blood, that section of the heart muscle begins to die. Panic attacks can increase our pulse rate and feel unpleasant, but this alone would not be responsible for causing a heart attack.
Panic Attack Blood PressurePanic attacks do not increase your blood pressure in a long-term capacity. However, in the short-term, panic attacks can increase blood pressure significantly. If youre suffering from panic attacks on a daily basis, this can be taking a toll on the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels. People who suffer from anxiety disorders are also at greater risk to be smokers, drinkers, or to overeat. Because these lifestyle factors can also contribute to raising blood pressure, you should make an attempt to get ahead of this by talking to your doctor about ways to keep your blood pressure within healthy parameters.