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How to Manage an Anxiety Disorder

This month is Mental Health Awareness Month! This month we focus on fighting stigma, providing support, educating the public and advocating for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Mental Health America reports that 19.86% of adults in the U.S. are experiencing a mental illness. That is almost 50 million Americans! With the pandemic hitting the world in 2020, mental health has increasingly gotten worse. Anxiety disorders are at the top of the list for 2022.


MentalHealth.gov provides extended information on anxiety disorders plus the several other common mental health illnesses. Here’s what they say about anxiety disorders:


What is Anxiety Disorder?

It is more than just the occasional anxiety attack before a public speech or difficult problem at work. An anxiety disorder occurs for a longer period and becomes worst over time. Having this type of disorder could interfere with normal daily activities, such as work and relationships. Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Panic Disorder

A panic disorder is when you have panic attacks that are sudden feelings of terror for no reason. These attacks can occur anytime and anywhere. It is more common for women to deal with this than men. Also, it can start when someone is under a lot of stress. Some of the common symptoms are:

- Fast heartbeat

- Chest pain

- Breathing difficulty

- Dizziness


Phobias

A phobia is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little to no actual danger to you. There are many different types of phobias ranging from claustrophobia (fear of closed-in places) to acrophobia (fear of heights).


If a person cannot avoid their phobia, they may experience:

- Panic and fear

- Rapid heartbeat

- Shortness of breath

- Trembling

- A strong desire to get away


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is another type of anxiety disorder. The word “obsessive” comes from having repeated, upsetting thoughts. Then “compulsive” comes from the action of doing the same thing over and over to try and make the thoughts go away.


How to Manage Having Anxiety Disorder

Mayo Clinic provides coping mechanisms that you can be implemented to help manage anxiety disorder. Here are just a few:


- Stay physically active: Exercise can help with boosting your mood and health. It also serves as a great stress reducer. Start small with walking 30 minutes every day and work your way up from there.


- Make sleep a priority: Ensuring you get the appropriate amount of sleep each night is beneficial to your health. Read more about best sleep practices for you here.


- Identify triggers: Pay attention to the things/places that trigger your anxiety. Once you are aware of your triggers, you can be prepared with strategies of how to deal with your anxious feelings.


Find more coping mechanisms here.


If you or someone you know is dealing with anxiety disorder or any other mental health illness, reach out to your health care provider and get help. You don’t have to stay silent and manage this alone.


Tria Health and Mental Health

Many patients decide to take medications to effectively manage their mental health. There are a variety of mental health medications currently on the market, ranging from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to atypical antidepressants. Because there isn’t a test to measure to brain chemicals, it can be a trial-and-error process to identify the best treatment for a patient. If Tria Health is offered through your benefits plan, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one, private consultation with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. If you’re interested in exploring medication treatments for mental health, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.


Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742


Sources:

1. https://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/anxiety-disorders

2. https://www.mhanational.org/issues/2022/mental-health-america-prevalence-dat