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Anxiety, Ambulatory Care

Anxiety

is a condition that causes you to feel excessive worry, uneasiness, or fear. Family or work stress, smoking, caffeine, and alcohol can increase your risk for anxiety. Certain medicines or health conditions can also increase your risk. Anxiety may begin gradually and can become a long-term condition if it is not managed or treated.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Fatigue or muscle tightness
  • Shaking, restlessness, or irritability
  • Problems focusing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling jumpy, easily startled, or dizzy
  • Rapid heartbeat or shortness of breath

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain, tightness, or heaviness that may spread to your shoulders, arms, jaw, neck, or back
  • Feeling like hurting yourself or someone else
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded or faint

Treatment for anxiety

may include medicines to help you feel calm and relaxed, and decrease your symptoms. Healthcare providers will treat any medical conditions that may be causing your symptoms.

Manage anxiety:

  • Go to counseling as directed. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you understand and change how you react to events that trigger your symptoms.
  • Find ways to manage your symptoms. Activities such as exercise, meditation, or listening to music can help you relax.
  • Practice deep breathing. Breathing can change how your body reacts to stress. Focus on taking slow, deep breaths several times a day, or during an anxiety attack. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
  • Avoid caffeine. Caffeine can make your symptoms worse. Avoid foods or drinks that are meant to increase your energy level.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol. Ask your healthcare provider if alcohol is safe for you. You may not be able to drink alcohol if you take certain anxiety or depression medicines. Limit alcohol to 1 drink per day if you are a woman. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks per day if you are a man. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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