Midlands Cares: Understanding Anxiety
Tyler Ryan speaks with MUSC Health's Dr. Ryan Orland about causes and treatments of anxiety
COLUMBIA SC (WOLO) – Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issues in the United States, impacting more than 40 million adults.
According to MUSC Health’s Doctor Ryan Orland, “excessive worry would be the best way to describe it.” He goes on to say that it can “eventually cause health problems in some way or form.” The Doctor says that some of the initial signs can include sleeping issues, sore muscles, a racing heartbeat, as well as problems going to the bathroom.
Doctor Orland says that a heavy focus on root causes go back to childhood events, pointing out that there can be things from growing up that you carry like “weights on your shoulders.”
He says that there has also been an increase in the last couple years, as COVID had impacted nearly everyone. “Certainly, we’ve absolutely seen with COVID, there’s more financial concerns, personal concerns that might have been masked by going off to work every day, and now having to spend maybe more time with loved ones at home, or worried about finances. A little bit more than previous, certainly an issue I see pretty much every day.”
Other causes can be related to a major event, which can also be tied hand in hand with PTSD. “I’d say PTSD and anxiety go hand in hand, just like depression does,” he says, “and and in that same vein, just irritability and even more to severe extent bipolar spectrum. We are often asking questions about flashbacks and nightmares and those weights on your shoulders and, you know, just thoughts that you can’t get out of your head. And fortunately, PTSD is something that we do label people with sometimes or people label label themselves with.”
As far as treatment, Doctor Orland says there are several areas to focus on, including mindfulness, relaxation, exercises, journaling, deep breathing. He also says that support is a major thing as well. “it doesn’t have to be support groups, it could be family, friends, we absolutely need others and turning to others. I tend to think that people benefit from giving others help, just like getting help from others. And so that can be very therapeutic. Counseling, of course, can be a big part also,” he says.
When it comes to medication, Orland says that there is “no magic pill.” He feels that he needs to caution against too much medication. “In our attempt over decades to help people I think that we’ve tried to genuinely tried to help but we’ve also over prescribed certain types of medicines…rather than a pill.,” pointing out that people should “try to avoid those types of medicines for many different reasons regarding safety, effectiveness, long term preventing the problem, they’re not very effective there.”
Midlands Cares is ABC Columbia’s monthly look at mental health, hosted by Tyler Ryan, in a partnership with MUSC Health.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tyler Ryan is an award winning television and radio personality, writer, investigative journalist, and professional emcee. He appears daily on ABC Columbia’s Good Morning Columbia, as well as hosting the syndicated radio program Carolina Cares on the South Carolina Radio Network, and the iHeart Radio Network. Tyler also regularly appears as a criminal expert and journalist on regional and national crime based programs like Snapped and Killer Couples. You can contact him directly via EMAIL Or on the socials: Tyler’s Instagram // Tyler’s Facebook