Should I go to the ER for Severe Anxiety?

Apr 01, 2023

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural human response to stress or potential danger. It is a feeling of apprehension or uneasiness, often accompanied by physical sensations.

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by excessive and persistent worry, fear, or anxiety. These conditions can range from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder, specific phobias, and more.
How to Know You Have Anxiety 

The quickest way to know you have anxiety is by getting a diagnosis from a doctor. However, you should already have noted a few signs that are different from your typical behavior and body response. Some of them are:

  1. Sweating

  2. Increased heart rate

  3. Rapid breathing

  4. Excessive worrying

  5. Notorious avoidance behaviors

  6. Trembling

  7. Intrusive and suicidal thoughts and impulses

  8. Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep

  9. Irritability and restlessness

  10. Difficulty concentrating or focusing

  11. Fatigue or exhaustion

  12. Loss of appetite or overeating

Do You Need Emergency Care for Anxiety?

Anxiety can be a normal and healthy response to a perceived threat, but it can also become excessive and interfere with daily life. Therefore, the general rule of thumb when managing anxiety disorders is to seek professional help if anxiety is interfering with or crippling your ability to go about your normal life routines.

Signs of Severe Anxiety

Do not hold back from seeking help from an ER near you for any level of anxiety. Frankly, everyone needs a little help getting but, leave alone with anxiety disorders. However, the following are indicators or severe signs of severe anxiety that you must seek immediate care to avoid life-threatening complications:

  1. Panic attacks – are sudden and intense feelings of fear or terror.

  2. Chest pains

  3. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  4. Obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors – particularly regarding suicide attempts.

​How Do Anxiety Disorders Affect Your Life?

The reason doctors encourage patients to visit emergency rooms for anxiety is that it can be a complex condition, affecting thoughts, emotions, behavior, and physical health. Some ways in which anxiety disorders can affect your life include:

  1. Impairing daily functioning – making it difficult to carry out daily tasks such as work, school, or household chores. People with anxiety have reduced productivity, which comes with feelings of frustration or guilt. It further leads to increased stress, encouraging a new cycle of anxiety.

  2. Poor personal relationships – anxiety disorders can make it challenging to form and maintain relationships. You may avoid social situations, struggle to communicate effectively, or have difficulty trusting others.

  3. Physical health problems – chronic anxiety can lead to physical problems, like headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, and sleep disturbances. The disorder can also weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight infections.

  4. Negative thought patterns such as catastrophizing, overgeneralizing, and all-or-nothing thinking – can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and make it difficult to think or act rationally.

  5. Co-occurring mental health conditions – anxiety often co-occurs with other mental health issues, like depression and eating disorders. These conditions can further complicate treatment and reduce the quality of life.

How Can You Overcome Anxiety?

Generally, you must seek professional help if you are experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Effective treatments are available to help you boost your mood, treat underlying conditions, and avoid reoccurrence through therapy and medication. After that, you should take up at-home lifestyle measures to better your life. Some tips to treat and overcome anxiety include:

  1. ​Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and yoga

  2. Regular exercise can help to reduce anxiety symptoms and improve overall mood.

  3. Stress management – first, identify the sources of stress in your life before managing them. They can include work and relationship stressors.

  4. Limit caffeine and alcohol – they both exacerbate anxiety symptoms.

  5. Self-care – engage in activities you enjoy that help you to relax. They can range from reading and painting to spending time in nature and listening to music.

  6. Challenge negative thoughts that may be contributing to your anxiety.

Ultimately, what works for one person may not work for another. Be patient with yourself as you seek medical support as necessary.