Is Your Constant State of Nervousness and Worry a Sign of an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety-509985137Anxiety is an emotion we all experience. Feeling anxious is a normal reaction to stressful situations such as waiting for the results of a test, speaking in public or preparing for a job interview.  Anxiety is often synonymous with feelings of distress, nervousness, panic and fear.  These reactions are normally triggered when our bodies feel that there is danger or there is a threatening situation.

For most the feeling of anxiety is temporary and will subside once stressful or threatening circumstances are resolved.  However for an estimated 18.1 percent of adults living in the United States, anxiety does not go away and develops into a serious mental health disorder that affects their ability to lead a normal life.

There are six major types of anxiety disorders: panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorders, social anxiety disorders, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorders. Symptoms can be specific to a condition and can differ based on the individual.

The following symptoms of anxiety may be indicative of a developing problem, especially if they continue for an extended period of time:

  • Experiencing a constant state of worry or fear.
  • Having trouble concentrating.
  • Insomnia or other chronic sleep related problems.
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain during a state of panic.
  • A fear of being around people or being in public places.
  • Suffering from overwhelming compulsions, such as constantly washing hands.
  • Irrational fears of objects or activities that pose little to no danger.
  • Experiencing anxiety as a result of a traumatic event.

If the preceding symptoms occur on a regular basis and have become so great that they are interfering with your ability to function daily, it is recommended that you seek the help of a mental health professional.

The Department of Psychiatry at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center offers psychiatric consultation and treatment services.  Our team of mental health professionals consists of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, creative arts therapists and support staff who are dedicated to positive outcomes and work closely with each patient to provide necessary clinical treatment and services. To learn more about the Psychiatry Department at Jamaica Hospital visit www.JamaicaHospital.org  or call 718 206 5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What is Binge Eating?

BingeEat2.516509191Most of us have overeaten at some point in our lives and felt guilty immediately afterward. It usually happens at a holiday gathering or at one of your favorite restaurants, but what if it happens regularly? Consistently eating large amounts of food at once, and feeling upset after doing so can be considered a binge eating disorder (BED).

A binge is when you consume a large portion of food in a short amount of time – as much as 20,000 calories at once. BED is not the same as bulimia, another eating disorder that involves eating a great deal of food in a short period of time. People with bulimia are very concerned with their body image and attempt various methods to avoid gaining weight, including vomiting, taking diet pills or laxatives, or exercising too much. Those with BED, however, are not concerned with excess weight and therefore do not participate in these compensatory behaviors. For this reason, people with BED are often overweight or obese.

Characteristics of BED include: eating until uncomfortably full, eating when not physically hungry, eating alone, or waking up at night to eat. Binge eaters are usually excited while planning a binge and are frightened of being caught. After a binge, they feel a range of emotions including guilt, shame, disgust, self-loathing, or general numbness.

Binge eating may arise out of stress and an inability to deal with emotions, boredom, depression, or outbursts of hostility. It is very important to recognize binge eating disorder in its early stages and seek treatment before it leads to other health problems, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, or heart disease. Therapy sessions can help the individual deal with these psychological aspects of binge eating disorder.

If you exhibit binge eating behavior, it’s important that you seek professional help. This kind of eating will lead to increased weight gain, low self-image and other related health issues. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Mental Health Clinic, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.