Anxiety and Panic Disorder " Marco is a 47-year-old real estate agent "

Case study ( 1900 views as of October 22, 2018 )

Marco is a 47-year-old real estate agent who left a major real estate chain 2 years ago to set up his own office. He has done remarkably well, with more referrals and business than expects, and frankly, more business than he can handle on his own. He is working 80-90 hours per week, and clients phone him "at all hours". During a late morning meal break between showings, he develops an episode of crushing chest pain and shortness of breath. This is not the first time Marco has experienced these symptoms, and the restaurant staff offer to call an ambulance.

Marco is a fit, non-smoking triathlete with no family history of heart disease. He's had spells like this before, and has had four emergency department evaluations where "everything came back normal". He's been referred twice to cardiology for treadmill tests, and he paid to have a private CT-angiogram, which was normal. On his last emergency visit, it was suggested to Marco that this could "just be stress".

Marco may still benefit from another evaluation in the emergency department to consider other causes for chest pain. However, evaluation of the role of stress, anxiety and the consideration of panic symptoms would be worthwhile as well. Marco could consider seeking help from a registered dietitian or a naturopathic doctor to understand how his diet and supplements could be changed to improve his level of stress, and some therapeutic physical activity like yoga could be beneficial as well.

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Conversation based on: Anxiety and Panic Disorder " Marco is a 47-year-old real estate agent "

Anxiety and Panic Disorder " Marco is a 47-year-old real estate agent "

  • 7 Common Anxiety Symptoms People Experience Many people wonder what anxiety feels like. While it’s different for everyone, there are some common anxiety symptoms that people experience. 1. A Sense of Panic Some people even visit the emergency room during a panic attack because they’re convinced that they’re having a heart attack or are dying. Panic attack symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, tightness in your chest, a feeling of choking, nausea and a fear you’re going crazy. 2. Sleep Problems If you have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), it can keep you up at night. You may stay awake overthinking and overanalyzing situations or get into a cycle where fatigue makes you more anxious as you get more and more overtired. 3. Muscle Pain When you feel stressed for an extended period of time, your body may start to tense up. During a panic attack, adrenaline often pumps through your body, constricting your blood vessels. If your muscles don’t receive proper blood flow, it can lead to aches and pains. 4. Restlessness People with anxiety are constantly responding to the fight or flight system, even though there is no real danger. With so much adrenaline coursing through your body, restlessness is generally the result. Restlessness can also be caused by a feeling of dread or danger, common during panic attacks. 5. Excessive Worrying Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, whether you worry about family, your job or money. But if you have generalized anxiety disorder, you get into a cycle of constant worrying and negative thinking that interferes with your daily tasks. 6. Loss of Control One of the most common anxiety symptoms is a sense of losing control. You may feel that if you can’t control everything in your life that something bad will happen. Worrying can exacerbate your sense of losing control, such as worrying about what will happen if you lose your job or if a family member dies. 7. Difficulty Focusing If you have generalized anxiety disorder, the worrying and rapid thoughts can distract you from daily life. Sleep problems, restlessness and muscle pain can exhaust you physically, also making it hard to keep your mind on your job, family or hobbies.
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  • If you are experiencing generalized anxiety disorder symptoms, see your doctor. Your physician may recommend medication, therapy or a combination of the two. Many healthcare professionals will also suggest dietary changes, increased physical activity, relaxation exercises and other lifestyle-based anxiety treatments.
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  • I think that one of the things people don't understand about anxiety is that it can leave you completely unable to do "anything else". So Marco can function for this job but then might be left unable to choose between steak or chicken for dinner.
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  • In this situation, where Marco has a lot going on, it may be the case that he feels he is always on the go and doesn't have much control over how his day plays out. To manage his anxiety, it may be worthwhile to make time for things like preparing his own meals. Taking time in the mornings to put together snacks etc, for example, may provide Marco with a few minutes to mentally prepare for his day. Anticipating a hectic day can be very helpful in managing associated anxiety.
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  • Anxiety can cause you to manifest real physical symptoms. It should not be taken lightly. Marco would benefit from speaking to a counselor that specializes in anxiety and stress management
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