When to Call the Doctor About Anxiety

Oct 02, 2023
When to Call the Doctor About Anxiety
Feeling anxious at times is normal, but when anxiety interferes with your quality of life, it might be time to seek professional care. Read on to learn what signs indicate you should call the doctor for anxiety.

Anxiety is a common human experience. It can show up in expected circumstances, such as before an exam or a big work presentation, but when it regularly affects your daily life, functioning, and well-being, you may be one of the 40 million adult Americans with an anxiety disorder. 

Here at Potomac Shores Mental Health and Wellness, we provide you with the appropriate guidance and support to manage or overcome excessive or abnormal anxiety.

Let’s look at when you should consider calling our Woodbridge, Virginia, office for a consultation to help you address anxiety and regain control over your life.

When anxiety interferes with daily life

One of the most significant indicators that it's time to call a doctor about anxiety is when it starts interfering with your daily life. If your anxiety causes significant disruptions in your work, relationships, or daily activities, it's a clear sign that you need professional help. 

Common ways anxiety may interfere with your life include:

  • Avoidance of social gatherings or interactions
  • Trouble with concentration
  • Inability to perform routine 

You may procrastinate doing important work tasks, neglect housecleaning, or avoid work altogether due to upcoming meetings or reports that are due.

Persistent physical symptoms

Anxiety often presents with physical symptoms, such as:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort

These symptoms can become chronic and debilitating. 

If you're experiencing ongoing physical symptoms related to anxiety, even in the absence of a clear stressor, it's a signal to consult one of our health care professionals. We can help determine whether your physical symptoms are related to an anxiety disorder or another medical condition.

Physical symptoms are part of the body’s natural response to stress or perceived threats. While they can be distressing, they’re generally not harmful in and of themselves.

Excessive worry and catastrophic thinking

Excessive worry that’s difficult to control and frequent catastrophic thinking can be signs of an anxiety disorder. If you find yourself constantly worrying about a wide range of issues, including those that are unlikely to happen or are beyond your control, it's time to reach out to one of our expert care providers. Anxiety disorders often involve distorted thinking patterns that we can help you address.

Sleep disruptions

Anxiety can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns. If you're struggling with persistent insomnia, frequent nightmares, or restless sleep due to anxious thoughts, it's important to seek help. Chronic sleep disturbances not only worsen anxiety but can also have a negative impact on your overall health.

Escalating panic attacks

Seek medical care if you experience regular panic attacks. These can show up as sudden and intense fear accompanied by chest pain, rapid heart rate, profuse sweating, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath. 

If you have four or more of these attacks and are always concerned about having another, your anxiety may be manifesting as a panic disorder

Reach out to us as we can offer ways to manage episodes and reduce their frequency.

Social withdrawal

Avoiding social interactions and isolating yourself from friends and family are common responses to anxiety. If you find that you're consistently withdrawing from social activities and relationships due to anxiety, it's time to seek help. Social isolation can exacerbate anxiety and lead to depression, so early intervention is essential.

Substance misuse as a coping mechanism

Using alcohol, drugs, or other substances to cope with anxiety is a serious concern. Substance misuse can worsen anxiety symptoms and lead to addiction. If you're turning to substances as a way to manage your anxiety, seek our support to address both the anxiety and substance misuse issues. We offer Suboxone® treatment when needed for opioid addictions. 

If you or a loved one experiences any signs of anxiety, it's time to reach out to our mental health professionals at Potomac Shores Mental Health and Wellness. 

At our clinic, we’re here to support you on your journey to better mental health. Don't hesitate to seek help – you deserve to live a life free from the burden of excessive anxiety. Call today or use this website to schedule your visit.