Have you ever asked yourself ‘Is my anxiety normal?’? The good news is, there is no such thing as normal!
Anxiety and depression are similar to other chronic illnesses in that it takes time to get them under control. Sometimes it can even take medication, depending on the type of symptoms you are experiencing. I liken it to diabetes or high blood pressure.
Most people know someone with these chronic illnesses. At times, medications are required to decrease the risk of recurrence in the future, however, sometimes, someone may be able to control their symptoms with diet and exercise.
In psychiatry, it is much the same. We use rating scales that can assist with establishing the severity of your symptoms, just like a blood pressure cuff or lab studies.
Reviewing these over time can help us see your progress and understand if changing treatment options is warranted, or if you don’t need the same treatment any longer. Usually for a first episode, if you are benefitting from medications, they are best studied to prevent a relapse after continuously taking for about a year.
After this time, you could start to decrease and discontinue. If you have had multiple or severe episodes, sometimes, these are warranted for longer to help keep your mood stable. Specific medications and treatment plans are tailored to each patient since we’re all a little different!
If you’ve like to learn more about anxiety and how therapy and medication can help, feel free to reach out.