Articles about Anxiety from Lori Calabrese, M.D. | The Ketamine Blog

When you feel that sense of dread or uneasiness about something in the present or in the future, that’s anxiety. Everybody feels that way at some point. An interview for a job, meeting your fiancee’s family, a major exam…. But for some people, the unpleasant dread can be overly intense and ongoing. When it’s so intense that it interferes with your life, causing you to miss work, or miss social opportunities…  then it may be a disorder. These articles about anxiety shed light on the difference between moments of anxiety, and a lifetime with a severe, debilitating disorder.
Anxiety can be as mild as a transient feeling of butterflies, or so intense and overpowering you think you’re having a heart attack so you call 911.

Types of anxiety disorders:

1. Social anxiety

is the overpowering and relentless fear of being watched and judged by others. It can cause you to feel afraid to meet new people, to believe everyone in the room is talking about you, and to feel intensely self conscious in the presence of others. This is a serious mental health condition that can prevent you from interviewing for jobs or excelling at the one you have, or from meeting new people and building relationships.

2. Postpartum anxiety

This is emerging as a serious disorder in woman, at least as prevalent as postpartum depression. It can express symptoms like panic, fear of harming the baby, poor bonding with baby, obsessive worrying, inability to eat, sleep, or relax. Also, it can include the obsessive fear the panic will never resolve.

3. General anxiety disorder

obsessive and continuous worry about one’s health, work, social contacts and interactions, as well as daily routine circumstances and experiences…that repeat almost every day for at least six months.

4. Panic Disorder

Characterized by repeated and overwhelming panic attacks with accelerated pounding heart rate, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, and feelings of impending doom. Often brought on by triggers, but not always. The attacks lead to a fear of the attacks, and a driving desire to avoid them, which can often lead to agoraphobia.

5. Test anxiety

Irrational dread of testing in spite of being well prepared. The anxiety can rise until the person’s displaying symptoms of panic like accelerated heart rate, headache, nausea and sweating. Can result in the mind going blank, and general functioning shuts down.

6. Phobia-related disorder

Agoraphobia – fear of enclosed public spaces, fear of open spaces
Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
Acrophobia – fear of heights
Dentophobia – fear of dentists
Claustrophobia – fear of enclosed, confined spaces
Aerophobia – fear of flying
Aquaphobia – fear of water
Zoophobia – fear of animals
Coulrophobia – fear of clowns – (not officially recognized but widely claimed)

7. Separation anxiety

Occurs in children and adults, and expresses as fear of being apart from people to whom they’re attached. They often worry that something terrible will happen to the person they’re connected to, and so avoid separation from that person as well as avoid being alone.

8. Selective mutism

A rare disorder in both children and adults where people don’t speak in specific situations, even though they have well developed language skills. It’s often associated with extreme shyness and fear of social embarrassment, and usually begins before the age of five.

9. Obsessive -Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Considered to be connected to anxiety disorders, but there is controversy as to whether it belongs here. At the very least, that person who suffers from OCD has feelings of anxiety and usually feels powerless to control the intrusive thoughts they have, or their reaction to them.
This is not an exhaustive list, but rather examples of anxiety disorders.

Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

Some people suffer from a cluster of anxiety disorders and mood disorders combined, while some struggle with only one.  Since anxiety disorders are best treated for the specific diagnosis, the more complex a person’s condition is, the more complex it may be to treat.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

demonstrates promising outcomes for some types of anxiety.  Cognitive behavioral therapy shows the most promising outcomes as a form of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy combined with anxiolytic medicines, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can be helpful, as well.

IV ketamine treatment has demonstrated favorable outcomes in some patients with some types of anxiety. Social anxiety can be debilitating and interfere with the desire to build life, family, and career. Ketamine treatment is one of the most effective treatments for social anxiety. There is exciting work being done with OCD patients and ketamine treatment also.
We invite you to continue reading the following articles about anxiety by Lori Calabrese, M.D.

Antepartum and Postpartum Anxiety: Moms Who Suffer Without Feeling Sad

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OCD: Better Treatment Targets For a Happier You

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD is a term that is sometimes thrown around mistakenly. It’s sometimes used to describe someone’s careful behavior… you know, like careful organization, attention to detail, or a tendency toward cleanliness, which of themselves are actually normal behaviors. Many of us may be particular about these things without giving them a second […]