can I go to the ER for anxiety

Can I go to ER for Anxiety?

12 Dec 2022

Generally, it’s normal to feel nervous or anxious about something from time to time. However, if you have serious anxiety that interferes with your day-to-day routine or extreme feelings that are difficult to control, there’s a reason to be concerned.

In extreme cases, anxiety can result in significant discomforting feelings and sensations, prompting you to visit an ER near you for immediate medical attention. Read on to understand more about anxiety, its types, and when to seek emergency help.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response or reaction from the body. Anxiety is most commonly associated with stressful situations like going for an interview or sitting for an exam.

While anxiety affects millions globally, it’s often overlooked. Generally, the level of anxiety greatly varies from one person to another, especially based on the cause.

Types of Anxiety

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

People with generalized anxiety disorders have chronic anxiety and other anxiety disorders. It doesn’t have to be trigged and is experienced daily. One can develop GAD as a child or adult. Fortunately, you can manage it with medication, physiotherapy, lifestyle changes, and more options. Symptoms can include:

  • Overthinking certain things to all possible worst case scenario
  • Persistently worrying about everyday things
  • Perceiving certain situations as threatening even when they aren’t
  • Unable to let go of fear, thought, or worry
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty
  • Indecisiveness and extreme fear of making the wrong choice
  • Persistently feeling restless or unable to relax
  • Trouble concentrating or sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Panic Disorder

It’s a serious type of anxiety where a person experiences sudden moments of severe fear accompanied by physical symptoms, even when they aren’t in danger. Symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Throat tightness or feelings of choking
  • Headache
  • Numbness or tingling feelings
  • Nausea and bowel pains
  • Feeling dizzy, faint, or detached
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Fear of dying
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The anxiety is triggered by a terrifying past event that might have caused great harm or fear – either witnessing it or experiencing it. These can include accidents, assaults, military combat, and natural disasters. Symptoms include:

  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Uncontrolled feelings or memories about an event
  • Self-destructive behavior like alcohol abuse or driving too fast
  • Irritability or angry outbursts
  • Trouble concentrating or sleeping
  • Overwhelming shame or guilt
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Recurrent distressing memories of a traumatic event
  • Avoiding talking or thinking about a traumatic event
  • Avoiding certain activities, people, or places that remind you of a traumatic event
  • Negative thoughts and mood
  • Memory problems
  • Lack of interest in events you once enjoyed
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Social anxiety disorder

As the name suggests, social anxiety is triggered by social interactions. While it’s normal to experience mild anxiety when going on a first date or giving a presentation, social anxiety disorder causes significant anxiety, fear, or embarrassment that often leads to avoidance. It can significantly affect your daily routine, school or work performance, and relationships. Symptoms include:

  • Fear of embarrassing yourself
  • Bad thoughts that people will judge you negatively
  • Intense fear of interacting with strangers or in social events
  • Fear that others will notice you’re anxious
  • Blushing, sweating, trembling, or speaking with a shaky voice
  • Avoiding certain things out of fear of embarrassment
  • Expectations of the worst possible consequences in a social situation
  • Upset stomach or nausea during social events
  • Trouble catching your breath, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Muscle tension

When to See a Doctor

While some mild anxiety in certain situations is normal, you should consult a doctor if you suspect you have an anxiety disorder.

If not addressed, some anxiety can worsen over time, exposing you to further dangers and complications. Thus, it’s always best to consult a doctor to determine whether you have a problem and address it on time before it worsens. Sometimes the symptoms could be a sign of an underlying health problem like cardiovascular disease.

When to Visit an ER for Anxiety

Generally, you should visit an emergency room near you if you experience severe anxiety or uncontrollable panic episodes that last more than 30 minutes. Other severe symptoms that can prompt you to seek emergency medical care for anxiety include:

  • Severe hyperventilation or tachycardia
  • Chest pains
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Thoughts of attempting suicide or hurting yourself or others

Schedule an Appointment Today

Would you like to learn more about anxiety disorders? Or perhaps you need emergency medical care for severe anxiety? Memorial Village Emergency Room offers 24-hour emergency care.

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