Doctor talks about treatment for anxiety in adults

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new report by the United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends anxiety disorder screening for adults. Anxiety and depression are often triggered by one another. Nearly half of people diagnosed with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety.

Have you ever felt like your heart was beating out of its chest? Or suddenly felt hot and light-headed? You may be experiencing anxiety and it’s completely normal, according to License Clinical Social Worker Lori Osachy.

“Anxiety is in a lot of ways a healthy emotion. In a lot of ways, it signals when something is wrong,” Osachy said.

What’s not normal is when that anxiety becomes persistent and lingers. That’s a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder also known as chronic anxiety. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is encouraging adults 64 years old and younger – including pregnant and postpartum mothers – to get tested for it.

“We’re not talking about healthy anxiety here we’re talking about chronic anxiety that does not get better and it creates all kinds of negative emotional and physical difficulties. I would think that screening would identify this existing anxiety,” Osachy said.

Untreated anxiety can lead to depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in six adults will suffer from depression at some time in their life. Osachy recommends seeking treatment before it progresses.

“Sometimes medication can help in the short term. But cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy are very powerful techniques that help people challenge their thoughts and create rational responses for those rational thoughts which help the anxiety decrease,” Osachy said.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.