Top anxiety doctor and therapists near me in Dothan, AL

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Dr. Tommie Robinson, MD

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Dr. Yaw Otchere-Boateng, MD

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Dr. Sarat Yalamanchili, MD

  • Internal medicine
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Dr. Monika Patel, MD

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Dr. Mohammad Khan, MD

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Dr. Michael Roberts, MD

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Dr. David Filsoof, MD

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About anxiety

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Anxiety is a part of daily life. For instance, you may experience anxiety before an important presentation or test, or before you make a big decision. In many cases, anxiety can motivate us to prepare or practice for whatever makes us anxious. It is a normal, temporary reaction to a stressful event or circumstance.

People with anxiety disorders experience this feeling intensely and persistently. The fear and worry associated with anxiety may not go away, and may actually get worse over time. If left untreated, anxiety may eventually interfere with work or school performance, personal relationships, and other functions of daily life. Anxiety disorders are very common; the National Institute on Mental Health estimates that over 40 million adults in the United States (19.1%) have some form of anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders may be caused by several different factors, and manifest in several different ways. Anxiety is an umbrella term used to describe conditions such as agoraphobia (fear of places or situations that may cause panic), social anxiety, separation anxiety, panic disorder, and more. Each of these disorders is accompanied by different symptoms and complications.

If you are dealing with near-constant feelings of fear, panic, or worry, get in touch with a health care provider right away. As debilitating as anxiety can be, treatment can help.

If you are looking for more information about anxiety, check out the NIMH’s page on Anxiety Disorders:

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What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a condition described as the excessive feeling of worry, unease, or dread. Anxiety can be treated by a primary care physician, therapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist. Having anxiety about a situation or an impending event without a clear-cut outcome is a normal part of life. You may feel anxious before a major deadline at work while studying for a looming test, or while facing a big decision at home. Though most people feel anxious at some point in their daily life, when it becomes intense, episodic, and unmanageable, it may be due to an underlying anxiety disorder.

Not all those who have anxiety disorders are triggered by the same thing. There are many types of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and many types of phobias.

Are there different types of anxiety disorders?

Yes. The most common anxiety disorders include:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Generalized anxiety disorder is described as a chronic feeling of exaggerated worry or anxiety, though there may be no obvious source of what's causing it. These anxiety attacks are often episodic. People who have GAD may also have other anxiety disorders, as well as depression.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A person with OCD may have frequent manic thoughts (obsessive) and/or behavior (compulsive). Behaviors such as washing your hands many times, checking light switches, alarms, or the oven repeatedly, and/or the need to have something in a particular order to clear obsessive thoughts from the mind are some examples linked to OCD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This type of anxiety is brought about by a traumatic event in which a person was or could have been harmed, such as a natural disaster, a car accident, military combat, or domestic violence. Symptoms of PTSD may include flashbacks, severe anxiety, or obsessive thoughts regarding the event(s).

Panic disorder: People suffering from a panic disorder may feel sudden bouts of intense fear, or panic attacks, that are often paired with physical symptoms including but not limited to a fast heart rate, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, or the general feeling of being out of control.

Selective mutism: This is a complex anxiety disorder that affects children. A child who has selective mutism may have the ability to speak in safe, relaxed situations but may find themselves unable to talk in social situations. Though many kids will grow out of this type of disorder, in some cases if left untreated other anxiety disorders may develop and persist.

Separation Anxiety Disorder: A childhood anxiety disorder in which a child has excessive anxiety from a parent or guardian leaving the child, even for a short amount of time.

Substance-induced anxiety disorder: A person with a substance-induced anxiety disorder may have intense anxiety from overuse, use, exposure, or withdrawal from a particular substance or toxin.

Anxiety disorder caused by a medical condition: This is caused by a physical health problem. Conditions such as heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease or COPD, thyroid issues such as hyperthyroidism, and chronic pain can be linked to anxiety. Many phobias also fall under the umbrella of anxiety. These include:

Agoraphobia: People with agoraphobia have a fear of being in situations in which they cannot, or may not be able to escape. Places like shopping malls, subways, and crowded or open areas may cause those with agoraphobia to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Some people with agoraphobia may even find it hard to leave their homes.

Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder: A person with social phobia may find themselves unable to be in social interactions. Anxiety and extreme self-consciousness are symptoms that are linked to this disorder. This anxiety can be triggered by acute circumstances like having to deliver a public presentation, for example. Social phobia can also be felt more chronically, applying to a wide range of social scenarios.

Specific phobia: This is a phobia that is caused by a trigger that often poses little or no threat. This irrational fear can be of a specific object, situation, or activity. This category is wide-ranging and covers a host of topics such as acrophobia (fear of heights), agoraphobia (fear of crowded spaces), claustrophobia (fear of small or enclosed spaces), and ailurophobia (fear of cats).

What are physical symptoms related to anxiety?

For some people, anxiety is manifest at physical symptoms. These can include:
- Chest pains
- Heart palpitations
- Sweating
- Nausea
- Trembling
- Chills
- Feeling weak
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Increased heart rate
- Hyperventilation

Some of these symptoms including chest pains, heart palpitations, nausea, and sweating may also be signs of a heart attack. If you think you may be having a heart attack, you should call 911 immediately.

Connect on Sesame with a real, quality doctor in Dothan, AL who can assess your condition, address your symptoms, and craft an anxiety treatment plan that's right for you. Sesame works directly with mental health care providers - not insurance companies - to get you the care you need for affordable, cash prices.

What causes anxiety?

Though the causes of anxiety aren’t yet fully understood, anxiety does have a host of triggers including social situations, trauma, life events, specific phobias, medicine, and medical conditions. There are a lot of risk factors that make a person more likely to have an anxiety disorder.

These include:

Personality: Research has shown that some personality types may be more prone to bouts of anxiety.

Mental health disorders: Some mental health disorders such as depression are often linked to anxiety.

Traumatic experiences: Individuals who are exposed to traumatic events as children are at higher risk for developing anxiety as an adult.

Stress: Stress from an illness, work deadlines, divorces, or deaths in the family can make one more likely to have anxiety.

Genetics: Anxiety can be passed down through the family genes. If a person has a blood relative who suffers from an anxiety disorder there is a chance that person will also have an anxiety disorder at some point in their life.

Drugs or Alcohol: The withdrawal, use, or misuse of a drug can put a person at a higher risk for anxiety.

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What are the different treatment options for anxiety?

If you have symptoms of anxiety there are options that you may find useful. Treatment options include:

Psychotherapy counseling: Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy is a means of speaking to a therapist or counselor to help reduce symptoms linked to anxiety disorders.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is a form of psychotherapy known to be the best in helping with anxiety disorders.

Support groups: It may help to speak with others who have the same anxiety disorder. Support groups offer those with anxiety a way to heal with others and fill the void. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends calling 1-800-622-HELP (4357) to help find local treatment centers and support groups in your area.

Relaxation techniques: These techniques are useful when managing stress and other health problems such as pain and heart disease.

Anti-anxiety Medicines

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): When too much serotonin gets reabsorbed, it inhibits messaging between brain nerve cells or neurons. With the use of SSRIs, more serotonin is available for brain chemistry, which allows more messages to pass between brain nerve cells, thus helping your mood. There are some side effects to taking SSRIs, however. SSRIs often cause fewer side effects than tricyclic antidepressants and are useful in treating all types of anxiety disorders. It should be noted that those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) more often may need a higher dose of SSRIs.

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): SNRIs have a dual-action: Like SSRIs, this type of medicine increases the serotonin in the brain, but unlike SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors also increase norepinephrine. SNRIs have some common linked side effects including headache, upset stomach, gain in weight and/or blood pressure, as well as insomnia. SNRIs are just as effective as SSRIs, but not used for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Benzodiazepines (beta-blockers): Though this type of medication should not be used for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, benzodiazepines are used for anxiety management for those that are resistant to other forms of treatment. Benzodiazepines are useful in boosting relaxation while reducing physical symptoms linked to anxiety, like muscle tension by lowering your fight-or-flight reflex. Because the body builds a tolerance to this type of medicine it is more often prescribed for short-term use.

Tricyclic antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants are often prescribed when other treatments aren’t working. Unlike beta-blockers, this type of drug can be prescribed for long-term use. You should note, however, that there are serious side effects linked with this type of medicine. Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and a drop in blood pressure when you stand are some of the side effects linked to tricyclic antidepressants.

Buspirone hydrochloride: This type of drug is often tried in the early stages of treatment. It works with the neurotransmitters in the brain. It is recommended to avoid eating grapefruit if you’re using buspirone hydrochloride as it can make it more likely to suffer from side effects linked with this drug.

You may want to speak with a doctor about medical advice and treatment options if you have or think you have an anxiety disorder. can find you a high-quality doctor at a fraction of the price by connecting you right to the doctor with no hidden costs or surprise fees.

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