Anxiety disorder and panic disorder, they’re medical conditions. In the old days it was considered taboo, and a sign of weakness, but really it’s a medical condition no different than asthma or hypertension or heart disease. These disorders are due to chemical imbalances in the brain, but also can present with physical manifestations. They can imitate stroke, they can imitate heart attack, they can imitate migraine headaches, they could imitate irritable bowel syndrome.

So that’s why we call anxiety the great imitator. About 50% or more of patients that walk through a primary care doctors door, every day, has a form of anxiety that goes completely undiagnosed and unmanaged. There’s not a test, there’s not an x-ray that can tell us about whether or not you have anxiety, it’s truly based on the good old fashioned history and discussion and communication that you have with your physician.

If you have questions, ask. Knowledge is Power. You can’t fix a problem until you recognize one exists.

Salerno Medical Associates’ Dr Alexander Salerno addresses Anxiety & Panic Disorder: Causes and Treatment. Learn why Knowledge Is Power.