Taking Care of Your Anxiety During an Overwhelming Time

The Treatment Options for Anxiety, Nervousness and Regular Feelings of Worry

Author: Sherry Farney

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11.2% of adults aged 18 and over have regular feelings of worry, nervousness, or anxiety. In addition, the CDC found that large disease outbreaks, such as the coronavirus have been associated with mental health problems. During August 2020–February 2021, the percentage of adults with recent symptoms of an anxiety or a depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5%, and the percentage of those reporting an unmet mental health care need increased from 9.2% to 11.7%.

 Since the pandemic began, people who have never been anxious before have now developed anxiety, and many who’ve had existing anxiety have seen it start to worsen.

“The exact cause of why people get anxiety is not completely known or understood,” said Jeffrey Bossenberger, DO, a board-certified family medicine physician at McLaren Flint-Fenton Family Medicine. “There is a strong genetic relation. Anxiety and fear are natural protectors of the human body and it’s not known why some people have an exaggerated response to common anxiety triggers such as lack of sleep or fatigue, stress at work or school, fear of the unknown (such as pandemics), illness or traumatic life events, and isolation.”

Diagnosis of anxiety is most often a subjective diagnosis,” said Dr. Bossenberger. “We commonly see patients present to us with symptoms of chest pain, diarrhea, stomach upset, sweating, shaking, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, irritability and headaches.”

Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer with your anxiety in silence. There are a wide range of treatments that can help ease your anxious mind and help you get back to living a less anxiety ridden life.

“When it comes to anxiety, we always like to start with natural treatments first,” said Dr. Bossenberger. “These methods include cognitive behavior therapy, breathing exercises, spirituality, consulting with a psychiatrist or psychologist, exercising, reading, and meditation.

If that doesn’t work for patients or doesn’t seem to be enough, then we consider adding medications to the natural treatments for the patient to have the best possible outcome. Usually, a combination of the two seems to work the best.”