How to See an MD About an Anxiety Disorder

1.

If you suspect you or someone close to you may have anxiety disorder, it is best to see your family physician first. Mention to your physician the suspected symptoms and the time of onset.

2.

After examination, your family doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is the best person to evaluate you for a final diagnosis. He or she has been trained medically to diagnose an individual with a disorder. A psychiatrist may perform psychotherapy as well as prescribe medication if necessary.

3.

Make sure to follow the treatment plan prescribed to you. Your psychiatrist may be your primary physician for both psychotherapy and pharmaceutical treatments. However, he or she may refer you to a psychologist for counseling. If you have a family, you may also be referred to a marriage and family therapist for further counseling.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure you discuss the disorder with your family and loved ones for support.
  • Do not discontinue treatments without consulting your physicians.
  • Anxiety disorders are marked by symptoms such as headaches, sweating, muscle spasms, palpitations and hypertension. They can be present from early childhood and are sometimes triggered by a stressful event. Anxiety disorders include pathological and abnormal fears and anxieties, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and separation anxiety. Feeling anxious can be daunting. Appropriate treatment is crucial to the well-being of the individual. Several treatment options are available, include lifestyle changes; psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy; and pharmaceutical therapy. Many studies have indicated that a combination of psychotherapy and pharmaceutical therapy is most successful.