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April 15, 2024

So, You Have Anxiety. Do You Need to See a Psychiatrist?

by Sashalee Stewart, MD

Anxiety is a common yet debilitating mental health condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. While you may think of going to therapy or counseling when you have anxiety, its also common for a Psychiatrist to be your next level of support. Let’s discuss anxiety more to see if going to see a Psychiatrist or Psychiatric APP (PA-C or NP) would be helpful for your anxiety, and why.

Understanding Anxiety and Its Impact

Anxiety disorders encompass a range of conditions characterized by excessive worry, fear, and nervousness that interfere with daily functioning and quality of life. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Specific Phobias are among the most common types of anxiety disorders. Symptoms may vary from person to person but can include persistent feelings of tension, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and physical manifestations such as rapid heartbeat, trembling, and sweating.

When to Consider Seeing a Psychiatrist for Anxiety

Persistent Symptoms: If you experience persistent anxiety symptoms that significantly impacts your functionality in daily life, it can be helpful to go talk with someone about it.

Difficulty Managing Anxiety: If you find it challenging to manage your anxiety despite trying lifestyle changes, consulting a psychiatrist can allow further evaluation and possible management with medication to manage your symptoms more effectively. Also they can provide recommendations for other resources to use with medication or waiting on medication management until lifestyle or other resources are started. It is recommended to get therapy on board, as therapy is the number one treatment for anxiety, and medication management helps to aid in symptoms management. This allows you to get the most out of therapy and take the different tools therapy provides to help process past and present stressors/events. Also how to approach current or future events so they don’t reach a state that become disruptive and impacting functionality. This allows you to build your foundation in symptoms management faster but more importantly stronger.

Co-occurring Conditions: Anxiety often coexists with other mental health conditions. A psychiatrist will help in management of all the conditions, along with helping to identify if the worsening of anxiety is a result of another condition and formulating a treatment plan accordingly.

Medication Management: Psychiatrists are medical doctors specialized in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders with medication management or recommending resources outside of medication management. There is an array of medications that can be utilized for daily use or as needed.

Breaking the Stigma of Seeing a Psychiatrist

Going to see a provider to discuss your mental needs to be approached just as any other health condition. While it may not show as many obvious physical symptoms, lab abnormalities, or imaging abnormalities it is still just as debilitating mentally, emotionally, and even physically as non-psych conditions.

Psychiatrists are trained professionals who approach mental health care with empathy, understanding, and respect for their patients’ unique experiences. They provide a safe and supportive environment where you can openly discuss your concerns, receive an accurate diagnosis, and explore treatment options tailored to your needs.

By breaking the stigma surrounding mental health care and advocating for greater awareness and acceptance, we can empower individuals to seek help without fear of judgment or discrimination. Whether through psychiatry, therapy, counseling, or other forms of support, everyone deserves access to compassionate and effective mental health care.

If you are struggling with anxiety, it’s essential to recognize that help is available, and you don’t have to face it alone. Consulting a psychiatrist can provide you with the expertise, support, and resources you need to effectively manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Find an Avance Psychiatry location near you today.

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