In the last few years, your doctor asked about stress at work and home and said you need to work on lowering your blood pressure. It’s a little high, she said, and you admitted you’re anxious most days. Your high blood pressure may be triggered by a stressful daily routine.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
You woke up today and you were anxious. That’s a normal part of life. But people experiencing mental disorders feel like that constantly, episodes of unbalanced and perpetual fear and worry about everyday living. Sometimes, anxiety hammers you repeatedly without warning, hitting its peak within a few minutes. In the worst cases, these emotions are huge compared to real danger and can persist for a long time. Treatment may help, including psychotherapy, self-help, or medicine like ketamine.
WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
High blood pressure, which happens when the continual power of blood on artery walls is high, could eventually lead to health issues, such as cardiovascular disease. Blood pressure is proven by two things:
- Quantity of blood your heart produces
- The amount of resistance blood experiences in the arteries.
The narrowing of the arteries and high volume of blood getting pumped may lead to high blood pressure. This can last for years without noticing any symptoms.
WHAT ARE ANXIETY SYMPTOMS?
You could be anxious if you experience any of these signs during the course of everyday life:
- Feeling impatient, worried, or tense
- Having a feeling of looming danger, doom, or panic
- Having a fast heartbeat
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weary or fragile
- Problems concentrating or thinking about something other than the current situation
- Having problems sleeping
- Experiencing bowel problems
- Having problems controlling your fears
- Having the desire to avoid issues that create anxiety
CAN ANXIETY CAUSE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
According to Mayo Clinic health experts: “Anxiety doesn’t cause long-term high blood pressure (hypertension). But episodes of anxiety can cause dramatic, temporary spikes in your blood pressure.
“If those temporary spikes occur frequently, such as every day, they can cause damage to your blood vessels, heart, and kidneys, as can chronic high blood pressure. Besides, people who are anxious or stressed are more likely to engage in unhealthy habits that can raise blood pressure.”
HOW DO YOU DIAGNOSE ANXIETY?
Diagnosing anxiety usually starts with a physical exam with a doctor looking for any signs of a hidden medical condition that could be causing symptoms. You may also need a psychological evaluation for diagnosis. During a mental health exam:
- The doctor will review mental history, reviewing your thoughts, feelings, and behavior to help validate a diagnosis and look for related problems. Anxiety can be present with other mental health disorders, such as depression.
- A therapist will compare symptoms to criteria in the DSM-5, printed by the American Psychiatric Association, to validate an anxiety diagnosis and talk about treatment.
HOW TO TREAT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure is a treatable condition that may require less effort than you thought. Measures can be taken to reduce hypertension by yourself when you have time. Steps might include:
- Shed extra weight and monitor your waistline
- Exercise often
- Eat healthier foods
- Reduce salt in your diet
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink
- Quit smoking
- Lower caffeine consumption
- Lower your stress
- Track your blood pressure if possible
- Visit your doctor yearly
- Find support
CONTROLLING ANXIETY NATURALLY
- Try deep breathing techniques.
- Controlling anxiety relies on knowing it’s happening and being cognizant of its symptoms beforehand.
- Stop drinking coffee and alcohol at the same time. That could be much harder later.
- Write down a missive with details about your panic attack – the triggers, the time it happened.
- Feelings of loneliness, pressure to succeed, depression, certain phobias, can be lowered by talking to a doctor, therapist, or trusted loved one.
HOW TO TREAT ANXIETY
While treating signs of high blood pressure are usually separate, managing anxiety can help you lower the chance of having short-term blood pressure. Treating anxiety, like depression or stress, normally starts with a physical exam, supported by a therapy appointment with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or another certified mental healthcare provider. A doctor will discuss a treatment plan, which can include psychotherapy, self-help, or ketamine infusion therapy.
If you think you’re experiencing anxiety or high blood pressure, call your healthcare provider or therapist to arrange an examination. Signs of both are treatable if they are acknowledged and dealt with swiftly. Your mental and physical wellness will decide the course of treatment, but the final choice is yours.
If you or a loved one have questions about the clinical use of ketamine to help treat the symptoms of anxiety we can help. Contact us today to learn about the innovative new treatments that are available.