Getting help and the right medical treatment for mental health disorders has always been difficult for people – the true cause varies across a range of reasons, from a lack of education or awareness about mental health to therapists who make patients feel unseen and unheard. Many people also feel that a therapy consultation can also be quite expensive and therefore difficult to access.
Sometimes social stigma also gets in the way. Even though the societal perception of mental health is steadily evolving, a great number of people still feel reticent about seeing a “mental doctor.” Unfortunately, in a country like India, where anxiety disorders are fairly high, undiagnosed anxiety disorders cause more harm than good. According to some studies, prevalence estimates for anxiety disorders in India are between 5 and 16% and even higher in these past two years. Some physicians report up to 30% of persons who consult them for “other reasons” are suffering from anxiety.
Simply put, those are staggering numbers and the right treatment of anxiety needs the help of some of the best psychiatrists out there.
What Causes Anxiety Amongst People?
Anxiety is not the same as idle worrying. For many people, anxiety can become a crippling disorder that prevents them from living a happy, productive, and joyful life. When left undiagnosed and untreated, anxiety disorders can be the “gateway” to several other problems that manifest within an individual’s work life, relationships, and overall health.
The factors causing anxiety disorders in people can be as varied as people themselves, but some of the causes listed below are the ones most commonly seen.
- Medical Causes
Sometimes, an individual’s anxiety is directly related to other underlying causes or illnesses they may be suffering from. For example, people with thyroid issues, breathing disorders, or even drug and alcohol withdrawal can end up with anxiety disorders.
- Unresolved Trauma
Anxiety disorders and their related complications are often found in people who have experienced considerable trauma in their lives. While these individuals – children or adults – may have experienced this trauma at a young age or in a time many years past, they may experience anxiety because the trauma has remained unresolved.
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- Chronic Health Issues
Chronic health issues, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or chronic pain can lead to the development of anxiety disorders in people.
- Lifestyle Disorders
Very often, people who suffer from lifestyle disorders such as heart disease, blood pressure issues, or diabetes also develop anxiety disorders.
- Unresolved Stress
Demanding work schedules, the pressures of life, health conditions, and most recently, extreme stress and isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic have contributed greatly to the development or heightening of anxiety disorders in people.
Please note, that these are only some of the prevalent causes of anxiety. Only a qualified psychiatrist or psychotherapist can accurately diagnose and treat an anxiety disorder.
Managing Anxiety: How can a Psychiatrist Help?
Do I need to see a psychiatrist? Can’t I just talk to a friend? Is something wrong with me? Do I have anxiety or am I just going through a rough phase in life?
If you’re someone who has struggled with these questions repeatedly – especially for yourself – then you may find some relief by speaking to a psychiatrist.
At this juncture, we would like to point out that speaking to a friend or a family member who understands your struggles is only the first step to getting the help you may need. However, sharing your struggles with someone in your circle is not the same as seeking professional help.
For one, your friends and family are not qualified to accurately diagnose or treat the true cause of your anxiety. Secondly, if you need medication – even a low dose prescription – to help treat your anxiety, then a psychiatrist is the most qualified (and licensed!) professional to reach out to.
How else can a psychiatrist help with treating anxiety?
Given their extensive medical training, psychiatrists can help identify the root cause of anxiety in their patients. And then, they can help with identifying and implementing the right course of treatment for their patients.
For example, while some patients might require medication, others may need the company and the shared experience of a support group; while still others may find it more helpful to work with customized coping strategies on their own.
To extend the example, while some patients might need only two or three sessions with a psychiatrist to help treat their anxiety, others may need a longer, more involved course of treatment.
The Key Takeaway
The key takeaway here is simply this: since every individual is different, with a different set of triggers, influences, and experiences, the treatment of anxiety must also be different for each person.
As much as we would like to share a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treating anxiety disorders, it’s simply not possible. However, if you do find yourself in a place where you’re not able to deal with the demands of everyday living because of your fears and worries, then please do consider seeing a psychiatrist. Receiving the right help at the right time can mean the difference between prolonged suffering or taking control of your life in a way that works for you.
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