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Anxiety

Summit Health and Wellness Center

Adult and Child Psychiatrists & Child and Family Therapists located in Norman, OK

Nearly one-third of all adolescents and adults develop an anxiety disorder over the course of their lifetime; between 8-23% of them face such severe anxiety that it’s disabling. At Summit Health and Wellness Center, Keenan Smart, MD, understands the challenge of overcoming anxiety and helps people from throughout Oklahoma by providing individualized therapy that fits with each person’s needs, medication management, and medical marijuana evaluations. To schedule an appointment for yourself or your child, call the office in Norman, Oklahoma, or use the online booking feature.

Anxiety Q & A

What happens when I have anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or apprehension that raises a red flag and alerts your brain to a potential threat. Your brain then jumps into action, triggering a boost of neurotransmitters and hormones that affect your entire body, giving you the energy to face the threat or escape.

This automatic reaction, known as the fight-or-flight response, is important. It gives anxiety the positive role of helping you deal with difficult situations like surviving your first day on a new job or preventing a car accident.

Once the threat is gone, your hormone levels should return to normal and your anxiety should go away. When you have an anxiety disorder, however, your hormone levels stay high and you continue to stay on alert even though there isn’t an immediate threat. 

This sets you up for a cycle of recurring anxiety that fuels your fear. Ultimately, your anxiety becomes so severe it makes you avoid people and places that trigger your fear.

What symptoms develop due to anxiety disorders?

In addition to the feeling of dread or fear, anxiety makes you feel irritable, restless, and tense. Anxiety also causes physical symptoms such as sweating, headaches, nausea, and frequent urination. Many patients have a hard time sleeping, constantly anticipating the thing they dread.

During a panic attack, the severe physical response you experience may make you think a heart attack is occurring. The symptoms include a fast or pounding heart, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

There are many different anxiety disorders, including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Specific phobia

All anxiety disorders cause dread, but each type also has unique symptoms. For example, phobias cause an extreme fear of a specific thing or situation, and social anxiety disorder is an intense fear of people and social situations.

How do you treat anxiety?

Dr. Smart of Summit Health and Wellness Center has extensive experience in different types of therapy that effectively help patients of all ages overcome their anxiety. 

After your initial evaluation, he works with you to choose the therapeutic approach that works best with your style and goals. You can also choose to use telemedicine for follow-up appointments throughout your therapy.

When needed for severe anxiety and panic attacks, Dr. Smart offers medication management for adults. He may also perform a medical marijuana evaluation to determine if you qualify for a license to use medical marijuana products.

If anxiety interferes with your ability to enjoy life or affects your child, call Summit Health and Wellness Center, or schedule an appointment online.