Gerry Barnaby (host)- Hey, what's up, Barnaby here. You were smart to check in with hellolife.net because we're all about making sure you have a great life. And, you know, Dr. Chamberlain, he's a family medicine specialist. We've been getting a lot of emails recently, folk wondering, "What is the difference between anxiety and anxiety disorders?"
Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain- Well, that's a really good question. We all experience anxiety from time to time and that's normal, getting the butterflies in your stomach, you're going to do a speech, you're going to do something you don't normally do...
C- ...and that's not a disorder, it's not a problem. But, some people have anxiety symptoms that are either all the time of interfere with their life in a way that it's a real problem. It interferes with their life or it's not reasonable, even the person themselves can recognize, "this isn't normal, this isn't right," and that's really an anxiety disorder, when that occurs.
B- Do a lot of peopel just think, "well, maybe this will go away," and so they leave it untreated for a long, long time?
C- Yea, a lot of people with anxiety, or anxiety disorders, think it's normal at first and usually it builds and builds to the point where they realize, "there's just something wrong here and I need to do something about it."
B- Ok. There's different types of anxiety disorders?
C- There's really five categories of anxiety disorders. They've been broken down into, generalized anxiety disorders, which is, kind of a generalized angst, generalized just being anxious most of the time. There's obsessive compulsive disorder, is actually a subset of anxiety. Post traumatic stress syndrome is a subset of anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorders, is afraid of being out in public or around people. Also, panic attacks are a form of anxiety disorders.
B- So, what do we do about this sort of thing? Do we go to someone specific for a diagnosis? Is it a psychologist?
C- There's a lot of things people can do, there's things they can do at home, there's books that help out with anxiety, there's different types of medical professionals: there's psychologists who can help with therapy, there's psychiatrists with medications, there's a normal family doctor or their normal primary care physician is a good sounding board to this figured out and to start working on things.
B- That's interesting though, because if you are suffering from this, then maybe you're not thinking clearly enough to take the step to go see a doctor. So, do you find that to be common? That people are just absolutely resitant saying, "You know what? This, to me, would make me seem like I'm, quote-unquote, crazy. So, I don't want to go there, I'm not going to find out more about it, because I don't want to be that."
C- Yea, I've had a lot of people, where they don't want to get help because they don't want to be labelled as something. A lot of people, since they've experienced it for so long, they think it's normal for them. "Well, I'm just this way. I can never be different, other people might be different, but I can never be different." They don't realized that there can be changes and they can be different.
B- It is hard to stand by and watch if you're the spouse or loved one of a person suffering from one of these anxiety disorders. Any advice to the people that are on the sidelines watching a loved one kind of spiral out of control, how to intervene? Is there a forcible way to do it if it comes to that?
C- Usually forcible ways don't work well. Sometimes family members say, "I just want to tell them to snap out of it," and that's usually not very helpful. But, encouraging them to look for ideas for help would be a good way. So, encouraging them to get help versus telling them to suck it up or just stop it.
B- Yea, that never works does it?
C- Never works...no
B- Yea, it's like tellling someone who has a weight issue, and just say, "just eat less, exercise more." It is just a troubling circumstance having an anxiety disorder and we have to be sympathetic to it and take steps possibly to help that person to a better reality.
B- You know what? That's what you're going to find right here. Little tid-bits or advice about things that are affecting you, because this is, after all, a Smart Living Network, that you're looking at right here, it is hellolife.net.