What to Know About Anxiety

December 15, 2022

Dr. Jerry Williams of Urgent Care 24/7 discusses anxiety and mental health.

It's really important that we start to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health, and we need to do it in medicine and because we can't do it in medicine, we're never going to accomplish it in society. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen a huge spike in number of visits to Urgent Care 247 nationally, due to anxiety related disorders. Quarantine has been very, very hard, and the isolation has been very hard, a lot of people and it's people who've never previously had a history of anxiety, have started suffering from symptoms of anxiety, anxiety attacks, and the length of the pandemic has caused a lot of people to experience these symptoms greater than six months.

That actually qualifies them for an anxiety disorder, when you have a six month period where you display symptoms of anxiety intermittently for six months, that is the classification of an anxiety disorder. Dr. Williams wants to talk to you a little bit about if you or a loved one or a friend is experiencing anxiety symptoms, what to look for and what you need to do for getting cared for for this treatable problem.

People will feel a feeling of restlessness, and foreboding, and a lack of control, feeling like they're out of control or the deep sense of fear, or panic, or fright. It defies logic, it defies the stimulus that initiates these panic attacks may be something completely inconsequential. The response far outweighs the stimulus, for example, there are times where being quite anxious is quite normal, if the stimulus in your environment justifies that, that reaction, but when we're talking about anxiety attacks, and anxiety disorder, of course, the response far outweighs the stimulus. It's also really important that if you're experiencing anxiety symptoms that you seek care from your primary care provider, because there are treatable causes of anxiety that can actually present as anxiety, but they're actually medical issues.

One in particular is hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland can present with episodes of anxiety attacks, or so to look like. It is important that if your loved ones are experiencing these symptoms, that you go get evaluated medically and make sure that everything's okay. Then you can get treated for anxiety. There are medications that you can take ongoing daily that will actually prevent anxiety attacks and then there are drugs, medications you can take that are more episodic, when you have the anxiety symptom, you can take the medication, there are treatment options.

Dr. Williams encourages for you or your loved one or our family member or friend to get to seek care. Because in this day and age, there's no reason to live with an anxiety disorder untreated. There's too many very effective treatments out there. Also with the pandemic, we've had a further investment and acceptance of telemedicine and telehealth to our healthcare system and these are fantastic venues for mental health, accessing help with counseling.

It's never been more available access to care for our mental health concerns and a lot of people are much more comfortable getting mental help through Telehealth because they can do it from the privacy of their home. They don't have to go into public and go to a brick and mortar office for mental health care which is because they're afraid of the stigma that surrounds mental health diagnoses going to a mental health clinic or to a counselor's office or psychiatrist's office. Now that we have mental, telemedicine and telehealth for mental health, it eliminates that, that having to go to a clinic to get care, you can get care over telemedicine.

Bottom line is, if you or someone you love or know is suffering from symptoms like anxiety, let Dr. Williams encourage you to please go get evaluated with your primary health care provider first and then they can direct you to a great mental health resource for you depending on the level of symptoms and what they feel is appropriate. Again, it's very important to rule out medical causes of anxiety as well. So Dr. Williams hopes you found that useful. Look forward to seeing you again in another medical chat.

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