A mental health check-in on anxiety

A mental health check-in on anxiety


 must admit, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see winter turn the corner and usher in the spring this year in the same way I do under normal circumstances. I’m sure that many people reading this had the same thought and felt the same way. However, with the pandemic sweeping the globe, bringing along with it much uncertainty, fear, and anxiety, we should all be proud of ourselves for treading through those initial months. To be unequivocal on my stance: The issue has not yet been done away with; in fact, I urge everyone to continue wearing face-masks and to keep up with social distancing protocols as consistently as possible until further notice from healthcare professionals.

But whether you were working long overtime hours or stuck at home losing track of time as days seemed to sweep into nights, you’ve made it past the apogee of the initial panic. Now we are facing the “new normal” period, where the shock and anxiety have begun to ebb for many of us. However, for some, this unsettling life event may have brought about too much distress and far too much anxiety.

Anxiety is characterized by crippling worries and repetitive or obsessive intrusive thoughts. These interfere with a person’s peace of mind and negatively impact his or her quality of life. While anxiety can certainly fall within the “normal” range, an overactive mind that interferes with everyday living can be a sign of a neurological chemical imbalance. In a person who, without necessarily even realizing it, has developed a form of anxiety disorder, normal symptoms escalate rather than subside as they would in a healthy peer. This anxiety can continue to get worse over time and pervade every aspect of the affected individual’s life.

Furthermore, anxiety can be the result of past, present, or future situations and can even be experienced with no conscious connection to a specific source. Thus, at a time of an international disaster, it is something I have been seeing quite frequently. For this reason, I urge you to become aware of the state of your and your loved ones’ mental health, especially during and after an ordeal like the one we are experiencing this year. If you find yourself overtaken by an unreasonable level of fear, you may be one of the millions who have developed an anxiety disorder.

My colleagues and I have spent years training in the whole gamut of psychiatric challenges that pervade our society. We strive to help anyone who is grappling with mental health issues by developing individualized healing plans to fit your or your loved one’s specific needs and goals so that whoever it is that is suffering can live the rest of their life feeling their best. We offer psychotherapy, with medication when needed, to help our patients become aware of maladaptive patterns and behaviors so they can consciously catch them and change them to help them regain stability and control over their lives.

In light of the current anxiety-provoking covid-19 pandemic, we offer live, private and secure, one-on-one, HIPAA-compliant video-conference sessions from the safety and comfort of your own home via your smartphone, tablet, or computer. One click on your device will bring you into the private video-conference room. We are open to seeing as many patients by live video as currently possible at our practice, Tenafly Psychiatric Associates, LLC. Please feel welcome to call our office at (201) 568-8288 to make an appointment. Alternatively, interested new patients can fill out an online form to get started (visit: www.tenaflypsych.com/appointments). Please don’t wait to seek help if you or a loved one are feeling down. Be safe and well.

Tenafly Psychiatric Associates

Jay L. Friedman, M.D. is the owner and managing member of Tenafly Psychiatric Associates, L.L.C. in Tenafly, New Jersey. He has Manhattan offices at 310 West 72nd Street in the Upper West Side and 440 East 79th Street in the Upper East Side, as well. Dr. Friedman graduated from Princeton University in 1985. He is an instructor in Psychiatry as a voluntary faculty member at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He completed an internship in internal medicine at a Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons Program and he completed his residency in Psychiatry at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School as Chief Resident. His fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry was at New York-Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Friedman is appointed to the Medical Staff of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He is on the referral staff at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and on the affiliate staff at Holy Name Medical Center. Dr. Friedman is fluent in Hebrew and Yiddish.

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