The Drake Institute remains very aware of the current pandemic and will be doing our very best to provide a safe environment for our patients and staff. Learn More ยป

Anxiety: 5 Signs That It’s a Problem, and How We Can Help

Everyone experiences worry or stress during their lives, but anxiety disorders are another matter entirely, as worry overshadows every aspect of your life. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety disorders were already the most common mental health issue among Americans, affecting 40 million adults, as well as millions of children. 

Now, however, the Census Bureau reports that one-third of Americans show signs of clinical anxiety and major depressive disorder, and these numbers may rise even further as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our lives.

Whether your anxiety stems from current affairs or you’ve been struggling with the problem for years, David F. Velkoff, MD and his team here at the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine can help. We believe that you shouldn’t be imprisoned by your anxiety, and we do everything in our power to restore your much-needed peace of mind.

If you’re on the fence as to whether your anxiety is just worry or whether it could benefit from outside intervention, here’s a look at five warning flags.

1. Defining worry

Humans are no strangers to worrying, but a generalized anxiety disorder takes worrying to the next level. If you wake each day with dread and a feeling of impending doom, even if everything is seemingly fine in your world, this is one of the major signs of a more serious mental health problem.

Anxiety can hijack your brain, and no amount of logic can offset that feeling that “something” or “everything” is wrong. If your thoughts race and most of them are negative, even bordering on paranoia, it’s time to seek our help.

2. Panic attacks

With a generalized anxiety disorder, it may feel as if your heart is racing at all times. Some people report an increased awareness of their heartbeat and pulse, which seem to pound. As if the constant heart pounding weren’t enough, you may experience more intense panic attacks, which can create shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and tightness in your chest.

If this describes any of your experiences, it’s important to seek help.

3. Sleep issues

With generalized anxiety disorders, many people find relief only during their sleeping hours, which leads them to retreat and sleep in excess. Unfortunately, the flipside to this is that anxiety can also cause problems with insomnia.

The bottom line is that if your sleep patterns are thrown off by your anxiety, it can have a serious impact on both your physical and mental health, making intervention important.

4. Trembling and shaking

Another symptom our team encounters frequently is uncontrollable shaking or trembling. If you find that you can’t control certain body parts (like trembling hands) or you feel unsteady on your feet because your legs feel wobbly, these are signs that your anxiety is manifesting itself physically and you should seek treatment.

5. Can’t concentrate

Given the symptoms we’ve already reviewed, it’s little wonder that cognitive function can be affected by anxiety, namely an inability to concentrate or focus. If your mind is buzzing with anxious thoughts, focusing can prove to be very difficult, which can have a serious impact on your life.

If you want to regain your mental clarity, we suggest coming to see us so that we can help refocus your life.

If you’re trapped by debilitating anxiety, please know that there is help. We offer innovative therapies, including biofeedback and brain map-guided neurofeedback therapies, which help release you from your fight-or-flight mode. We also recommend psychotherapy, in which we help you sort through your emotions to better control the negative thinking.

To get started, all you need to do is call one of our two offices in West Los Angeles or Irvine, California. You can also book an appointment online

You Might Also Enjoy...

ADHD & Video Games: What's the Connection?

By Dr. David Velkoff - For many parents with ADHD children, it can be very confusing to see their child intensely focused on a video game. After all, ADD and ADHD are supposed to inhibit a child's ability to focus on a single task, so why are...

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Dr. David Velkoff - PTSD is a serious psychiatric condition that affects a variety of individuals--not just soldiers returning home from the battlefield. Indeed, many individuals suffering from PTSD have never had a first-hand encounter...

Why the ADHD Child Complains it is Unfair

By Dr. David Velkoff - A child suffering from Impulsive ADHD requires a great deal of patience and understanding. As parents and doctors, we have to understand that the impulsive child is not in complete control of their actions: the child's brain lacks...

What is Insomnia?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Insomnia is a serious condition affecting nearly a quarter of Americans and is characterized by an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Interestingly, insomnia isn't necessarily defined by the number of hours a person...

What is Anxious ADD?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Anxious ADD is one of the 7 theorized subtypes of ADD and is characterized by a severe feeling of anxiousness, nervousness, fear of confrontations, as well as symptoms of ADD. These symptoms are caused by a dysregulated brain, and...