Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - 43

Q

TOOL

It's the day of your daughter's
wedding, and you woke up feeling excited and energetic. Now it's
almost time for the ceremony, and you
feel jittery and short of breath.
Is it: Anxiety or heart attack?
ANXIETY. Your child's wedding is an
occasion when emotions run high. If
there's no history of blood pressure or
heart problems, then anxiety is the likely
culprit, Burke says. He advises taking
two minutes to breathe deeply and drink
a glass of water. If your symptoms don't
improve in a few minutes, seek care.

Q

You have been burning the candle
at both ends as a big work project
comes to a close. When it's over,
you should be rejoicing, but you feel
flat and emotionless.
Is it: Exhaustion or chronic
fatigue syndrome?
EXHAUSTION. "Exhaustion is a lot
more common, especially in today's
society, when most of America is
running a gentle sleep deficit," Burke
explains. Chronic fatigue syndrome is
not very common, and many who suffer
from it have had it in the past. "Absent
of a long history of it or a major health
change in your life, it's unlikely to be
that," Burke says.
As long as you are not losing weight,
are able to eat and are not having
extreme mood swings, take a long weekend, get a few days of good sleep and
then see how you feel. "If you do all of
those things and still can't get back in the
game, go to the doctor," Burke adds.

How Are You Feeling?
Take Psychology Today's mental health assessment at
psychologytoday.com/tests/health/mental-health-assessment.
It can help you decide whether you might benefit from seeing a
mental health professional.

Q

Your teenager has been feeling
low for a few weeks, and then she
brings home a bad grade on a big
test. She can't seem to stop crying.
Is it: Typical teenage angst
or depression?
DEPRESSION. In this situation, suffering school performance and the chronic
nature of the symptoms are concerning, Burke says. Typically, teenage angst
would not include impaired academic or
social functioning. "Issues with school
performance are a potential red flag for
depression," he says. Seeking care from
a physician is a smart move.

Q

For days, you've been irritated
with everyone-your spouse,
your boss, your kids-and nothing
seems to ease your annoyance.
Is it: Premenstrual syndrome
or generalized anxiety disorder?
PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME. If
you're within a week or two of starting your period, ask yourself whether
you have a history of PMS and if these
symptoms are in keeping with that

history. If symptoms have lasted for
several days, it's appropriate to wait a
few more days to see if they improve. If
symptoms persist, Burke recommends
visiting a family physician. Typically,
generalized anxiety disorder also
includes physical symptoms such as
dizziness, nausea and insomnia, he says.

Q

Your elderly grandmother seems
to have dramatic and frequent
mood swings, sometimes acting lovingly and other times lashing
out angrily.
Is it: Dementia or a side effect
of medication?
SEE A DOCTOR. The bottom line:
Don't try to diagnose this yourself.
"This is almost always worth a visit
to the doctor," Burke says. These
symptoms could point to several issues:
dementia, nutritional deficiencies,
thyroid problems, inappropriate
medication or overmedication.
Many problems that cause mood
changes can be addressed, and all
of them are best diagnosed and
treated early. ■

SPRING 2018

43


http://www.psychologytoday.com/tests/health/mental-health-assessment

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - 2
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Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover4
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