Anxiety: A Serious Condition

By Dr. Mary Clifton

Have you ever mentioned feelings of anxiety and been told to ‘suck it up’, or ‘manage your busy schedule like everyone else’, or just ‘get it under control’?

I have treated so many people with anxiety in my 25 year practice of internal medicine. We treat anxiety with the same medications that we used to treat depression, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac or Paxil. When the brain is overwhelmed and struggling, and serotonin and norepinephrine and dopamine are depleted, some brains develop depression and some brains move toward anxiety. It’s important to note that both conditions emanate from the same root and are both serious conditions that require thoughtful approaches. Symptoms of each often overlap; however typically anxiety is considered a high-energy state and depression a low-energy state. Anxiety often causes more feelings of worry and panic, whereas depression is a lower energy state of feeling overwhelmed by everyday tasks, relationships and thoughts.

When you’re managing anxiety or depression, you want to look for solutions that are going to balance and stabilize your neurotransmitters and help to restore the neurotransmitters back to that healthy balance, where you feel confident, comfortable and capable of completing all of the activities you need to do to handle a busy schedule. Therapy, CBD, mindfulness practices and exercise are some ways to support and defend your mind and body during anxious times.

The next time someone tells you to ‘get things under control’ or ‘just relax’, remember that anxiety is just as serious as depression and has all the same consequences as a bout of serious depression. Anxiety can cause difficulty with appetite, sleep disorders, changes in levels of activity, and difficulty concentrating and making good decisions – the same effects of depression.  So if you’re having trouble with depression or anxiety, speak up. Tell someone today, and get some much-needed help. Please, take your anxiety seriously.