Anxiety is an increasingly common condition, with anxiety disorders being the most common mental health concern in Canada. Our clinic physicians understand that anxiety can control your life when it’s left untreated, but The Medical Station wants you to know that these disorders can be successfully managed with proper education and support. Together with our skilled specialists, we can work with you so that individualized, informed treatment plans for anxiety and related disorders can be developed and implemented for our North York and GTA patients.
What is Anxiety?
We have all experienced anxiety – the feeling of nervousness, apprehension, fear, or worry, accompanied by a variety of physical symptoms, such as an upset stomach, trouble breathing, or even feeling as if you may faint. Anxiety may show up without a cause, or it may result from a real situation but may be out of proportion to what would normally be expected.
The Medical Station knows it is normal to feel anxious when our safety, health, or happiness is threatened; however, sometimes anxiety can become overwhelming and disruptive and may even occur for no identifiable reason. Excessive, lasting bouts of worry may reflect an anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
Anyone may experience the symptoms listed below during stressful times. However, individuals with anxiety disorders may experience them in absence of stress, with greater severity, or with the appearance of multiple symptoms together.
There are numerous symptoms & signs for anxiety, some of the common ones are:
- Neck tension
- Upset stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness in legs
- Sleep problems
- Unrealistic or excessive worry
- Rapid pulse or pounding, skipping, racing heart
- Nausea, chest pain or pressure
- Feeling a "lump in the throat"
- Dry mouth
- Trembling or shaking, sweating or chills
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD can be described as an ongoing state of mental and/or physical tension and nervousness, either without a specific cause or without the ability to take a break from the anxiety.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is characterized by uncontrollable anxious thoughts or behaviours. Individuals with OCD are plagued by persistent, unwelcome thoughts or by the urgent need to engage in certain rituals.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD affects people after terrifying events such as physical or sexual abuse, car accidents, war, or natural disasters. For more on PTSD, check out our blog on Veteran mental health.
Phobias: Phobias are irrational fears, and while an individual may realize their fears are irrational, thinking about or facing the fear can bring on a panic attack or severe anxiety.
Social Anxiety Disorder/Social Phobia: Social Anxiety Disorder is the extreme fear of being scrutinized by others in social or performance situations.
Panic Disorder: While most people have experienced a panic attack brought on by particular events or situations, the attacks in panic disorder often develop suddenly and for no apparent reason.
The Medical Station Offers Support for Anxiety Disorders
Some people believe that anxiety disorders can be overcome by willpower alone – unfortunately, for many this is not likely. Untreated anxiety disorders can lead to depression, substance abuse, and a range of other problems. If you feel as though your anxiety is causing a problem in your life, it may be beneficial to seek help. Some anxiety in life is normal, but anxiety that disrupts your quality of life is a serious problem.
Anxiety disorders are treatable, and the great majority of people with an anxiety disorder can be helped with professional and individualized care. Treatment plans may include counselling, medication, and psychotherapy and will vary depending on the patient's and the clinician's preference, and also on the particular anxiety disorder. The Medical Station clinic physicians and social worker are available to work with you to identify and develop the most effective plan to suit your needs. Additionally, The Medical Station has an extensive network of mental health professionals in North York and the GTA for patient referrals as necessary.