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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Anxiety Disorder

11/09/2007

Question:

In april I lost my job and was under pressure as I also lost my driving license so I had to re-take the test before I could get a job. Got stressed about suppporting family paying mortgage etc. When passed test and got job i had a panic attack. I used to have them 10 years ago but went years without before this. Since having this attack I have had periods of chest pain on and off, headaches on and off, tiredness, depressive feelings(both on and off) and feelings of lighthead sort of dizzy but not actually dizzy though. Also feel anxious some days and fine on others. I regularly worry, I have heart problem even though I had 2 ECGs after panic attack. I also almost constantly worry about having a brain tumor and i think this increases the light head feeling as i seem to focus on it constantly.

Answer:

This sounds like you may have an anxiety disorder.  Like many people, you may have components of both a generalized anxiety disorder (worry about many things, until ultimately you even worry about worrying) as well as a panic disorder.

Check out the web links for some excellent sites that discuss both of these problems in more detail.

It is important that you seek treatment for your anxiety.  It is unlikely to go away on its own, and it is a serious medical problem.  Treatment is with counseling (usually cognitive behavioral therapy, or "talking and doing" therapy),medications (usually selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, like fluoxetine or paroxetine) or both.  You can start by seeing your primary care physician, who can help you with medication and help you find the mental health specialists you may need.

While treatment for anxiety is quite successful, it may be slow at first.  It is unlikely that you will be well in weeks.  Rather you will start to feel better in a few weeks, but treatment will likely needs months and even years for some people.  If you continue with your treatment, however, you can expect good results!

Related Resources:

anxiety disorders of america
NIH NIMH anxiety

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati