Constantly Stressed Out?

 

A Behavioral Health Specialist Can Make all the Difference

Stress and worry are part of everyday life. But what happens when you become consumed by it; when it becomes difficult to simply get through the day?

MedStar Harbor Hospital’s expanded behavioral health program gives people who live in Baltimore and beyond a place to turn for care and treatment of this problem—best known as general anxiety disorder. It’s a condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, affecting relationships, work performance, and overall health and wellness.

“In addition to feeling consumed with worry, people with generalized anxiety disorder will often experience a number of physical symptoms as well, including nausea, excessive fatigue, muscle tension, and headaches,” says Reena Ardeshna, MD, a psychiatrist and part of MedStar Harbor’s team of behavioral health experts.

“Some will find it difficult to sleep, eat, or concentrate, or they may feel overwhelmed and exhausted by tasks that others consider to be simple, such as paying bills or going to the grocery store,” she notes.

Dr. Ardeshna says people with the disorder tend to worry excessively about health, safety, relationships, finances, and work. “We all worry about these things to some degree but people with generalized anxiety disorder worry about them so much, it makes it hard to function.”

Those with a family history of generalized anxiety disorder may be more prone to being diagnosed with the condition, however, life experiences and stress levels can increase the risk of developing the disorder. Research shows that in the United States, between five and 12 out of every 100 people will experience generalized anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.

“A lot of patients turn to their primary care physicians for the physical symptoms they are generalized anxiety disorder remains undiagnosed and untreated for an extended period.

Dr. Ardeshna stresses the importance of seeking care from a behavioral health specialist, sooner rather than later, if feelings of worry and anxiety seem to be taking over your life. “There are many treatment options available that can offer relief, once you are in the right hands.” Treatment typically involves medication, therapy, or a combination of both.

MedStar Harbor’s team of psychiatrists, nurses, and therapists determine the best plan of care for each patient, with adult inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, an intensive outpatient program, and an outpatient clinic, all available to support those who are suffering from anxiety.

“We account for the severity of the symptoms our patients are experiencing, along with their functional abilities, to provide the clinical care they need and deserve,” Dr. Ardeshna says.