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Anxiety (cont.)

IN THIS ARTICLE

Prevention

You can help prevent anxiety attacks:

  • Avoid caffeine, such as coffee, tea, Mountain Dew, colas, and chocolate. Caffeine can keep you in a tense, aroused condition. For more information, see the topic Healthy Eating.
  • Do not smoke or use smokeless (spit) tobacco products. Nicotine stimulates many physical and psychological processes, causes your blood vessels to constrict, and makes your heart work harder. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Exercise during the day. Even a brisk walk around the block may help you stay calm. For more information, see the topic Fitness.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help control symptoms of anxiety or panic.

Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What is your major symptom?
  • How long have you had your symptoms? Do they come and go, or are they always present?
  • What triggers the onset of your symptoms?
  • What makes your symptoms better or worse?
  • Do you have other symptoms that may be related to your major symptom? These other symptoms may include:
    • Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
    • Nausea or vomiting.
    • Numbness or weakness.
    • Excessive sweating.
    • Feeling that you are not able to get enough air (air hunger).
    • Restlessness, irritability, or feeling on edge.
    • Feeling depressed.
  • Have you ever had a similar problem in the past? If so, how was it treated?
  • Has anyone else in your family ever been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, depression, or another mental illness?
  • Has anyone in your family committed suicide or tried to commit suicide?
  • What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help?
  • What prescription or nonprescription medicines are you currently using?
  • What herbal supplements are you taking?
  • Are you using alcohol or illegal drugs, such as marijuana or cocaine, to manage your symptoms?
  • Do you smoke or use other tobacco products?
  • Do you have any health risks?

While waiting for your appointment, it may be helpful to keep a diary of your symptomsClick here to view a form.(What is a PDF document?).

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