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RONALD LEE MD PSYCHIATRIST FOR ALL MA RESIDENTS

Panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder are examples of anxiety. An extreme sense of worry and fear due to a frightening occurrence or stressor characterizes these. If left unmanaged, individuals diagnosed with such conditions may experience severe complications over time.

1. Physical Illness

Chronic stress and higher levels of anxiety compromise the immune system and increase the risk of developing illnesses such as:

  • Frequent colds and other bacterial or viral infections
  • Flu
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart condition

2. Depression

Anxiety and depression can occur together and have overlapping signs and symptoms like lack of drive, insomnia, and agitation. These two conditions have a cyclic relationship. When someone is experiencing the symptoms of depression, they may become anxious about how they are feeling. In contrast, someone may feel depressed most of the time because they are worried.

3. Substance Abuse

Anxiety disorder poses an increased risk for substance addiction. Media portrayals of alcoholism and drug abuse are not far from reality. There are people with anxiety disorders who relieve their worries and fears through excessive drinking, smoking, and medication intake.

4. Eating Disorders

Anxiety may also complicate eating disorders. People who worry all the time may find comfort in taking control of their food and weight, leading to vicious cases of binge eating, bulimia, or anorexia. Moreover, with the temporary increase in serotonin and dopamine, eating disorders can generate a pseudo-happy feeling.

5. Suicide

Given that anxiety and depression are comorbidities of each other, together they can aggravate and result in suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

Important: If you know someone who is in danger of hurting themselves:

  • Do not leave the person alone and take away any potential weapon or sharp object inside the premises.
  • Inform their loved ones so they can help you keep an eye on the person.
  • If the person is already seeing an anxiety psychiatrist, contact the practice right away. An informed professional can provide you with proper guidance.
  • Call the local suicide prevention hotline or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.
  • Call The Lifeline at 1-800-799-4889.
  • Call 911

How To Avoid Anxiety Complications

Anxiety disorders can be treated through pharmacological treatment and psychotherapy. There are several practices that use traditional modalities in treatment, while incorporating new ones that best suit their patients.

Pharmacological Treatment

Anti-anxiety drugs take effect within half an hour to a full hour. They provide immediate relief for overwhelming anxiety or a panic attack by slowing down the nervous system. The most common prescriptions are antidepressants such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), and Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)) and benzodiazepines like:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy aims to help an individual with anxiety to improve their emotional, physical, and social well-being. The most common methods are:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
  • Guided Self-Help
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Applied Relaxation Therapy

It's natural to worry from time to time, but when it becomes chronic and interferes with normal functioning.
Psychiatric and counseling services for anxiety disorders are available at Luminous Vitality Behavioral Health. Dr. Ronald Lee, our resident anxiety psychiatrist, will assess your condition and create a treatment plan to prevent complications. We conduct in-person and telehealth psychiatry. Book an appointment online or visit our Luminello page.

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