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Anxiety Signals Start With Small Signs That Disrupt Life

Anxiety is often a common occurrence in everyone’s life. Sometimes common anxieties look like worry about job security, thoughts about making a financial commitment, concerns about relationship or social issues, or worry about being late to an appointment. Anxiety signals can be a warning to help anticipate difficulties or issues, and then taking steps to prepare for them. Anxiety becomes a problem when it interferes with daily living and ability to function.

Symptoms of Anxiety Signals That Increase Over Time

Very often, small indications of anxiety become chronic, meaning they occur more and more frequently, and slowly the symptoms of anxiety begin to make one feel uncomfortable, out of control, or helpless. The following anxiety signals or symptoms may have started out as small annoyances, but over time began to impact and disrupt daily living and functioning.

  • Muscle tension
  • Feeling physically tired and weak
  • Having difficulty with remembering small details, meeting times or appointments
  • Finding it difficult to unwind and relax
  • Complaining of having an upset stomach more and more often
  • Having sweaty hands, heart palpitations, or shortness of breath without a medical reason
  • Worry begins to take over your thoughts
  • Sleep issues, sometimes not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep

Anxiety Signals for Help

When small symptoms start to add up, combine, or become chronic and more disrupting, it is a signal to a developing problem, alerting you to seek out help and treatment. The first step to easing your worry and anxiety is to listen to the messages your body is sending you and make an appointment with a mental health professional experienced in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety.

Atlanta Anxiety Specialist

If your body is trying to get you to listen to the message that anxiety is affecting your life, then it is time to make the call to Dr. Hege, an Atlanta psychiatrist specializing in worry and anxiety treatment. Make the call for a confidential appointment with weekend and evening hours readily available to meet your life demands.

Bipolar Disorder More Than Just Ups and Downs

Bipolar Disorder affects 6 million adults in the United States. Many mistake the disorder for normal “ups and downs,” but in reality, receiving professional treatment is critical. Normal changes in mood are part of living and everyday life situations, but having bipolar disorder can cause mood swings that interfere with the ability to maintain relationships, jobs, mental and physical health – untreated, the disorder can have a negative impact on all aspects of a person’s life.

Bipolar Disorder versus Normal Ups and Downs

While there may be some similar symptoms and complaints between what is normal and what is not, there are specific differences experienced between the two as highlighted below:

  • Bipolar characteristics include seasonal changes in moods that tend to correspond to changes in the seasons, rapid cycling between moods which may be four or more drastic mood swings within a single year, development of psychosis
  • Normal ups and downs include moments of sadness following a traumatic event that may last for weeks, experience a lack of interest for once enjoyed activities, occasional mood swings which do not occur more than four times a year or which do not change a person’s life or the lives of those around them

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

While there are two poles of bipolar identified, major depression and mania, there is also a transitional period called hypomania where a person many find they feel good and are in better control of their behaviors. Some of the common symptoms reported for the two poles of the disorder follow:

  1. Major Depression issues include
  • Frequent crying
  • Sleep pattern disturbance
  • Emotional numbness
  • Having self-hatred or self-loathing
  • Loss of interest in previously important relationships or activities
  • Decreased libido or sexual dysfunction
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Having thoughts of suicide or making a suicidal attempt
  • May experience general anxiety or social anxiety
  1. Mania may include
  • Irrational thoughts and ideas
  • Poorly thought out decisions
  • Reckless or thrill-seeking behaviors
  • Easily irritable or agitated
  • Decreased sleep time
  • Substance abuse
  • Feeling overambitious to the point of detriment
  • May have delusions of grandeur, symptoms of psychosis, anger or frustration
  • May have physical symptoms such as pacing, twitching, weight loss, excess sweating
  • Racing thoughts from one thing to another

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

There is no cure for bipolar disorder; however, treatment can help to prevent the occurrence of episodes as well as control symptoms. The disorder will not clear up on its own although many patients avoid treatment – in the manic phase of this disorder they do not think that they have an issue, and during a depression cycle they either think help is not possible or that they do not deserve to be helped.

Bipolar Disorder Psychiatrist

Treating bipolar disorder is a challenge just in having the patient accept treatment, but help is available and treatment can be successful. Working with a trained psychiatrist who is able to accurately diagnose bipolar disorder is the first step in the treatment process. Call the office for a comprehensive and confidential evaluation.

Insomnia may be PTSD Sleep Disturbance

Studies on sleep disturbance and insomnia indicate that 70-91% of those with PTSD experience difficulty with their sleep patterns. Research shows sleeping issues are more varied and unpredictable in those with PTSD compared to those with a diagnosable case of insomnia.

Insomnia Disorder

Mental health professionals view insomnia disorder as a serious dysfunctional case of insomnia that may stem from medical or physical issues, environmental health concerns, or mental health concerns. Insomnia disorder belongs to a group of sleep-wake disorders where the classic symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep for sufficient amounts of time, or where one wakes up prematurely toward the end of the sleep cycle.

PTSD Sleep Disruption

Insomnia is one of the most common forms of sleep disruption. Those with PTSD exhibit unusually erratic night to night changes in their sleep patterns which are not typically consistent or predictable. In addition, they have an increased change of experiencing sleep disruption associated with nightmares which are reported in 19-71% of cases. Nightmares are one of the core symptoms of PTSD with the unwanted reliving of traumatic events during sleep.

Insomnia and PTSD

Trouble sleeping and nightmares are two symptoms of PTSD. Some of the other issues that may disrupt sleep if PTSD is an issue include:

  • Worry or negative thoughts about general problems; worry that they are in danger; worry that they will be unable to fall asleep
  • Those with PTSD may use alcohol or drugs to help them cope with their symptoms, which in fact will have a negative impact on restful sleep
  • Fear of falling asleep and having a nightmare
  • Many with PTSD feel the need to be on guard in order to protect oneself from danger, finding falling asleep difficult and often waking at the slightest noise
  • Medical issues that are commonly found in people with PTSD which include chronic pain and stomach problems which may make going to sleep a challenge.

PTSD Sleep Issues Psychiatrist

Many people experience insomnia in their life; however, if sleep disturbances are having a negative effect on your home, work and social life, it may be time for a mental health evaluation to determine the root cause of the sleep disturbance. Call the expert in evaluation and treatment of PTSD and sleep disruption – call Dr. Hege today for a confidential appointment that can lead to restful nights and dreams.

Multiple Psychiatric Diagnoses Need Skilled Management

Research data has shown that while approximately one out of every five Americans experience a mental health disorder, approximately 45% of those numbers have multiple psychiatric disorders, meeting the criteria for two or more mental health disorders. Multiple psychiatric disorders may occur at the same time or one after the other, with the combination often worsening the disease course, symptoms and complaints.

Multiple Psychiatric Disorders Also Known as Comorbidity

Having more than one medical illness is also known as having comorbidity or a comorbid condition, a fairly common occurrence. As an example, it is often found that many adults with substance abuse issues are nearly twice as likely to also experience mood and anxiety disorders; and vice versa. While substance abuse disorders commonly occur with other mental health issues, it does not mean that one causes the other even if one of the problems appeared first.

Multiple Psychiatric Illness a Challenge to Treat

Those who are diagnosed with multiple psychiatric disorders make treatment challenging. Adults in this group very often require higher doses of medication, longer periods of medication prescribed, and may be more resistant to treatment overall. It takes a skilled psychiatrist to make the correct multiple diagnoses and one experienced enough to accurately plan and strategize a successful treatment approach.

Multiple Psychiatric Disorders Evolve Over Time

Having one mental illness can change your life and the way you interact at home, on the job and socially. Having to live life with two or more mental illness disorders make everyday life more difficult and often impossible for many. Mental health diagnoses can evolve and change over time where combinations of issues can manifest in a variety of ways making a diagnosis even more difficult.

Examples of Evolving Multiple Psychiatric Disorders

There is no one set combination of multiple mental health disorders. Having one psychiatric illness such as PTSD for example can evolve into Social Anxiety Disorder, addictive disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, eating disorders, and so on. A diagnosis of Major Depression may also be impacted by cocaine or alcohol addiction, panic disorder, or poly-drug abuse. The combinations that impact one’s life vary with severity, and degree of impairment with the multiple disorders each be severe or mild, or one more severe than the other; in addition the severity or impact of both or one can also change over time.

Multiple Psychiatric Diagnostic Psychiatrist

Diagnosis and treatment is often difficult to get right. Finding the psychiatrist that is able to evaluate and treat for multiple mental health diagnoses is critical in the development of the right plan for you. Call Dr. Hege for a convenient confidential appointment and comprehensive evaluation of your individual concerns.

ADHD Spectrum Disorders Make Life Challenging

ADHD spectrum disorders affects 4% to 5% of adults. The disorder presents a number of ongoing challenges for individuals. Some of the traits associated with the disorder can undermine a person’s best of intentions throughout normal life situations. ADHD is divided into three different types: inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined type.

ADHD Inattentive Type

Being diagnosed with the predominantly inattentive subtype of ADHD, which is also called ADD (attention deficit disorder) finds more women than men falling into this category. This type of ADHD/ADD spectrum disorder is often missed by professionals without the background and experience to recognize the more subtle symptoms and complaints.

ADHD Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

For those with the hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD, all aspects of their life are typically challenged due to problems with focus, restlessness, forgetfulness, organization, distractibility and memory issues. Receiving a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional can accurately pin-point if this type of ADHD is the problem or if another diagnosis is discovered.

ADHD Combined Type

The most common type of ADHD is the combined type, characterized by inattention, distractibility, hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. For those with the combined type, they may find they are full of ideas, yet impatient and restless where plans and thoughts become lost and never fully realized. The symptoms and complaints with this diagnosis may vary widely and as with the other sub-types of ADHD, the treatment plan depends on an accurate and complete diagnosis.

ADHD Disorder Symptoms

Some of the more common complaints and symptoms of ADHD spectrum disorder follow. ADHD/ADD is not just a black and white diagnosis. All the symptoms fall on an ADHD spectrum where some traits may be a constant challenge for you, others less often, or rarely:

  • Poor attention to detail and making simple errors due to not paying attention or rushing things
  • Easily distracted; struggle to finish long or complex tasks; trying to work on several things at once; feeling disorganized at home or work; noise and activity distracting; tend to daydream; is absent-minded
  • Poor listening skills; tune out during a conversation; lose track of what you are talking about
  • Do not follow instructions well, jumping in without reading directions or guide; difficulty sticking to routines, schedules or plans; dislike repetitive tasks
  • Often misplace or lose common items like a phone, keys or remote; work space is often cluttered; often forgetful and lose track of what is being worked on; buy things already owned forgetting you have it
  • Feel restless and often fidget; often feel the need to get up and move around; very difficult to sit still and listen quietly
  • Difficulty with waiting your turn; often blurt out thoughts and ideas; interrupt and intrude when others are talking; often very talkative and dominate the conversation
  • Hard to unwind and relax; falling asleep is difficult; feel like you are driven by a motor and often go, go, go, until crashing
  • Easily bored and often move on from one idea to another, one job to another, one hobby to another

ADHD Spectrum Disorder Psychiatrist

Life is challenging enough without ADHD. Call Dr. Hege for a comprehensive evaluation for an ADHD spectrum disorder diagnosis. Correct treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis. Call the office today for an appointment.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is Worry Out-of-Control

Experiencing anxiety is a normal part of life, with general and specific worries related to health, family, work, finances, or change. While some anxiety may motivate you to take action, developing Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, disrupts your life and the lives of those around you. GAD, both a physical as well as a mental health disorder, is the most common and widespread type of anxiety affecting millions of people around the world. With professional help, GAD is treatable.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Defined

Typically, those with GAD suffer from relentless, unspecified worry about general everyday things. For those with generalized anxiety disorder there is a general feeling of unease or dread that follows your thoughts as you move about the day. The tension and worry is less intense than a panic attack but becomes a chronic situation making normal life and relaxation impossible. GAD is a common anxiety disorder that involves chronic worrying, tension, and nervousness without a specific reason which can affect one’s health and physical well-being.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Triggers

The worry about everyday things or the future is a common complaint from most people; however, with GAD the worry rises to a new level where daily activities are filled with exaggerated worry and tension without relief. For those with generalized anxiety disorder a simple comment, about work or family for example, can spiral thoughts out of control disrupting home life, job performance, and social relationships. Triggers to anxiety can be simply the thought of getting up and going to work, going grocery shopping, a news report, or not being able to get in immediate contact with a friend or loved one.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Physical and mental health symptoms make it hard to function, and they interfere with daily life. Having any of the symptoms below that re-occur and interfere with your daily life and happiness could be helped with treatment from an experienced mental health professional.

  • Persistent worry about everyday things
  • Difficulty controlling worries or feelings of nervousness
  • Feelings that you worry more than you should
  • Difficulty with falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Feeling restless and having difficulty relaxing
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches or unexplained pains
  • Finding yourself sweating a lot, feeling short of breath or light-headed
  • Feeling irritable, on edge, tense, or nervous
  • Complaints of fatigue, tiring out easily, or having low energy
  • Worry or anxiety, magnifying small events out of proportion
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Muscle tension to back, neck, shoulders
  • Feeling that your anxiety and worry is interfering with your daily life

Treatment for GAD

A psychiatrist specializing in anxiety disorders for a comprehensive evaluation is the first step in developing an accurate treatment plan. Medical issues or other mental health issues may make a GAD difficult to diagnose. GAD is often treated with medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and other strategies that your psychiatrist recommends.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Doctor

GAD is mentally and physically exhausting. Break free from the chronic worry, calm your anxious mind, and get back to living. Call the office today.

Finding an Addiction Specialist in Georgia

Finding the right psychiatrist for you that understands the addiction process, who can perform accurate comprehensive evaluations, develop a successful treatment plan and has decades of experience that can meet your specific needs and issues often involves a long frustrating search. Finding a psychiatrist who is also an Addiction Specialist dramatically shortens the list of potential psychiatrists.

Addiction Specialists Board Certified

Addiction psychiatry is a sub-specialty of psychiatry with certification given by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Only psychiatrists may receive the addiction psychiatry sub-specialty certificate after meeting specific additional criteria and a certification examination.

Addiction Specialist Certification

A psychiatrist who is a specialist in addiction has professionally demonstrated the knowledge and skill to provide prevention, screening, intervention as well as the treatment for substance use and addiction. Any recognized psychological and physical complications of addiction are also addressed in the treatment plan. Addiction may include one or multiple types of substance abuse including either illegal drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or prescription medications.

Addiction Medicine

Psychiatrists who dedicate themselves to improving the quality of provided treatment, keeping up-to-date on current education and research data, educate others and promote the comprehensive care of patients with addiction may hold membership in The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The ASAM is the leading addiction medicine professional society in the U.S. for those professional who focus on addiction and its treatment.

Board Certified Psychiatry

While physicians or psychologists need to be licensed, they can legally practice without having board certification. Board certification is an additional voluntary process where competence in a specialty area is demonstrated, where testing by peers has proven the level of skill and knowledge is at the very top of the medical profession. Board certified psychiatrists are often seen as leaders in their field who help shape the course of their medical profession for years to come.

Addiction Specialist Locally

Dr. Darvin Hege, psychiatrist, located in the Atlanta area, is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as The American Society of Addiction Medicine, with more than 25 years of successful addiction evaluation and treatment. Call the office for a confidential appointment and put an end to your frustrating search for the right addiction specialist.

New Year’s Resolutions Include Mental Health

It is time once again to start thinking about setting New Year’s resolutions. While most people plan to work on or accomplish many great goals which include weight loss, working out, eating healthier meals, or quitting smoking for example, few think about setting mental health New Year’s resolutions.

Mental Health New Year’s Resolutions

Working to achieve or improve one’s own mental health is as equally important as becoming physically healthier. In fact, becoming more mentally clear, stable, or generally “happier” in life can have an impact on general health and feelings of well-being. It may seem easier to stop smoking, find a new job, make new friends, lose weight, or achieve any other goal you are working toward when your mental health is at its optimum level.

Changing “I Should” to “I Would Like”

With the New Year upon us it is a great time to take stock of how you are doing, or how you are feeling, as well as looking at where you may like to make a change. Mental health resolutions are positive goals – think of any changes you want to achieve as “I want to be,” or “I would like to be.” Avoid telling yourself that you “should” do this or you “should” do that as you are working to improve an aspect of your life, not judging current behaviors.

New Year’s Resolutions About You

When thinking about what resolutions to work on in the new year, make your mental health a priority. While losing weight or quitting smoking are very positive goals, remember that your mental health can make a big difference on how you and your family enjoy the new year together.

Mental Health Psychiatrist

Do something nice for yourself – make an appointment where any mental health issues you may be experiencing can be accurately evaluated and treated. Call the office for a convenient confidential appointment and put all your new year resolutions on the positive track to live better and feel better.

Holiday Blues May Signal Need for Help

During the holiday season, starting around Thanksgiving and going into the New Year, people may find themselves suffering from the holiday blues where the social demands of the season, inability to be with friends and family, along with unrealistic expectations and financial issues bring stress and depression. The mixed emotions of the holiday season may bring sadness or anxiety along with feelings of excitement and hope. Personal struggles during this time may make one feel isolated and alone.

Holiday Blues Physical Symptoms

For many, the holiday blues or seasonal depression, may be exhibited in physical symptoms that are also stress responses. Some of the symptoms include headaches, overeating, excessive drinking or substance abuse, difficulty sleeping, feeling tense or stressed out, or complaints of being too tired or fatigued. For those that do not develop clinical depression, the stress and anxiety can and often does develop into the holiday blues.

Holiday Blues vs Mental Illness

Holiday blues are different from a diagnosis of mental illness; however, short term mental health issues need to be taken seriously as they may lead to clinical anxiety and depression. While symptoms may be temporary during the holiday season, the blues can become a problem that needs to be addressed if they last more than two weeks.

Seeking Help for the Blues

If you find yourself feeling down or blue when winter arrives every year, with those negative thoughts and feelings lasting after the holidays have passed, you may have seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Having the holiday blues may actually be SAD which is a form of depression brought on by the change of seasons. Talking with a mental health professional about your symptoms is the first step toward finding a treatment that works for you.

Dr. for Holiday Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder

Don’t miss out on all the joy and fun of the holiday season. If you are experiencing the blues of the season, feeling depressed or anxious, call Dr. Hege for a confidential appointment where a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan can help put you on the positive track to enjoying life once again.

Sex Differences in Mental Illness Between Men & Women

The American Psychological Association reports the results of a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology that shows sex differences in mental illness. Women more likely to receive a diagnosis of anxiety or depression, while men display higher incidences of substance abuse or antisocial disorders. In addition, women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men, at 29% and 17% respectively.

Sex Differences in Expression of Emotions

Diagnosis and percentages of many mental health disorders are affected by the gender differences of internalizing or externalizing emotions. Study on sex differences found that women with anxiety disorders typically internalized their emotions, resulting in withdrawal, loneliness, and depression. Men were found more likely to externalize emotions, leading to aggressive, impulsive, and non-compliant behaviors.

Sex Differences of Four Common Mental Illness Types

Looking at four common mental health disorders, gender differences are easily identified:

  • Depression – One in four women require treatment at some point in their lives compared to one in 10 men.
  • Anxiety – Women are 2x as likely as men to experience an anxiety disorder. Approximately 60% of those diagnosed with phobias or obsessive compulsive disorder are women.
  • Eating Disorders – This type of disorder is more common in women than men; 1.9% of women, compared to 0.2% of men may experience anorexia in any given year. Up to 1% of women report bulimia during the course of a year.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – More women than men are affected by PTSD. The risk for the development of PTSD after a traumatic event is 20.4% for women and 8.1% for men.

Social Factors Related to Gender Differences

Looking at gender or sex differences, there is also a sex-based difference in the perception of distress and patterns of seeking help. Women tend to report a greater number of physical and psychological issues and are more likely to seek help than men. Women, possibly due to seeking help quicker and more often, are prescribed psychotropic medications more often than men.

Society affects perceptions of acceptable behaviors with men often criticized for expressing feelings of worry or weakness, or intolerance for women expressing anger or antisocial behavior.

Psychiatric Treatment Sensitive to Gender Differences

Call Dr. Hege for a confidential appointment to discuss any mental health concerns that are impacting your daily life and relationships. While we may have differences in how we react or respond to life challenges and stress, a comprehensive and accurate evaluation with development of a successful treatment plan is just a phone call away.