Occasional anxiety is a “normal” part of life. A person may feel anxious before taking a test or when a problem arises at work. But, anxiety disorder is more than “normal” fear and worry. In fact, it can get worse over time. Anxiety disorder treatment can manage symptoms and improve daily life.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to danger or the body’s “fight-or-flight” response. A job interview, an exam, or a first date can make anyone anxious. But, when anxiety is constant and interferes with daily life, it may be an anxiety disorder.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), nearly 25 million Americans suffer an anxiety disorder. Furthermore, a person can have more than one type of anxiety disorder.
The types of anxiety disorders are based on symptoms and triggers. The following are common anxiety disorders.
People with GAD suffer from excessive anxiety and worry. To be diagnosed, symptoms must be almost constant for six months. Also, they must affect work, social interactions, and daily life.
Symptoms of GAD include:
People with panic disorder have unexpected reoccurring panic att\acks. A panic attack is a sudden intense fear. A trigger such as a feared object or situation can trigger a panic attack.
People may experience the following during a panic attack.
A panic disorder can consume a person’s life. For example, they may avoid people and places they associate with panic attacks. The worry and efforts to prevent panic attacks can lead to the development of agoraphobia.
As discussed before, feeling anxious isn’t always bad. But, the fear with phobias doesn’t match the actual danger.
People with phobias:
Several types of phobias and phobia-related disorders include the following list.
Specific phobias sometimes called simple phobias is a phobia of a specific thing or place. Examples of specific phobias include:
Social anxiety or social phobia is an intense fear of social situations. It can also be a fear of performance. Some people with social anxiety may worry for weeks before an event. At the same time, fear may cause others to cancel plans.
A person with agoraphobia has an intense fear of at least two of the following situations:
The intense fear causes people with agoraphobia to avoid these things. They think it may be difficult to prevent a panic attack, which will be embarrassing. Unfortunately, this can cause a person to be housebound, leading to further issues.
Most people think only children suffer from separation anxiety. However, adults can also have separation anxiety. It is a fear that something terrible will happen if they are not with a specific person or people. This fear leads to clingy behaviors and horrifying nightmares.
Researchers are finding genetic and environmental factors that influence anxiety. Although the risks can vary for each type of anxiety disorder, common risk factors are:
Anxiety disorders cause panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, constant worry, and life stopping phobias. But at a center for understanding and treating anxiety, people can regain control of their lives. Therapy in treatment is often the most effective treatment for anxiety disorders.
Therapy helps heal the underlying causes of a person’s fears and worry. By doing so, a person learns healthy coping skills and views the situation is a less scary way. But, to heal, a person needs a complete diagnosis.
Because anxiety disorders differ, therapies are tailored to a person’s specific symptoms and diagnosis. The length of treatment also depends on the person and their disorder. Although many people see improvement in 8 to 10 sessions, others may need more time.
At Sana Lake BWC, we offer a variety of therapies for anxiety disorder treatment. Our certified professionals believe to reach Recovery for Life; they must heal the “whole person.” To do so, a combination of therapy, holistic treatments, and medication is used.
CBT is the most common type of psychotherapy (talk therapy) to treat anxiety disorder. It teaches people how to change their thoughts, behaviors, and reactions to fearful things and situations. CBT in treatment also teaches social skills. These skills are vital when living with anxiety.
CBT, as the name suggests, involves two main components:
In short, the basis of CBT is thoughts affect our feelings, not external forces. If a person’s beliefs about a situation or object are negative, then the experience will trigger anxiety. So the goal of CBT is for people living with anxiety to identify and correct the negative thoughts and behaviors.
Exposure therapy focuses on confronting the fears of those living with anxiety. By facing their fears, people can engage in activities they have been avoiding. Exposure therapy often includes relaxation and other holistic therapies.
Treating the “whole person” includes a combination of traditional and holistic therapies. Adding holistic therapies to anxiety disorder treatment plans can reduce stress levels and find an emotional balance.
Exercise is a natural stress and anxiety reliever. Research shows that just 30-minutes of exercise a day can significantly reduce anxiety. For this reason, a person should aim to exercise 3 to 5 times a week.
Relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety and increase overall wellbeing. These techniques include:
Hypnosis is often combined with CBT for anxiety. While a person is in a deeply relaxed state, therapists use different techniques to help them face their fears and not be scared.
Medication is not a cure for anxiety, but it can help ease the symptoms. Doctors or psychiatrists can prescribe medications for anxiety The common classes of medications for treating anxiety symptoms are anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and beta-blockers
Anit-anxiety drugs help reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. The most common anti-anxiety medications are benzodiazepines or benzos. Although benzos are the first choice in medications, they do have risks.
The most significant risk in taking benzos is the chance of becoming dependent. If a person takes benzos for an extended time, they build up a tolerance. This tolerance then requires a higher dose to find relief. For this reason, it is generally for short-term symptom management.
Buspirone is another anti-anxiety medication. It is a non-benzodiazepine and is for the specific treatment of chronic anxiety.
Antidepressants aid in treating depression, but they help in treating anxiety disorders as well. Antidepressants work by controlling the chemicals that control a person’s mood. But finding the right antidepressant may take trying a few.
Antidepressants need time to start working. So it is essential to be patient and give it time to work. Stopping antidepressants can lead to withdrawal symptoms, so it is crucial to talk with your doctor before stopping.
Although beta-blockers aid in treating high blood pressure, they can also relieve the symptoms of anxiety. These symptoms include rapid heartbeat, shaking, and blushing. When beta-blockers are used in anxiety disorder treatment, they are a short-term fix. They can also be used “as needed” for performance anxiety.
A person with anxiety disorder should seek treatment at a center for understanding and treating anxiety. Centers like Sana Lake BWC have certified professionals that are experienced in anxiety disorder treatment.
Depression and anxiety can occur at the same time. In fact, half the people with one disorder has the other. Although each condition has independent causes, they have similar symptoms and treatments. So if the feelings of sadness, worry, and fear are disrupting life, it could be co-occurring anxiety and depression.
Bipolar disorder is extreme changes in mood that ranges from highs to lows. Anxiety disorder is prevalent in people with Bipolar Disorder. In fact, they will have a dual diagnosis of at least one anxiety disorder.
Although anxiety disorders are known to affect women, co-occurring anxiety, and substance use disorder (SUD) affect men more. A person living with anxiety might find the symptoms too much to handle and turn to drugs or alcohol.
Unfortunately, this combination only makes the anxiety worse, which leads to using even more. This cycle leads to dependence and addiction. At a center for understanding and treating anxiety, doctors and therapists have training in treating dual diagnosis of anxiety and SUD.
At Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center, we understand the struggles of living with anxiety. We believe in achieving the best outcome in anxiety disorder treatment, which requires a “whole person” approach. Personalized treatment plans may include evidence-based therapies, medications, naturopathic and holistic treatments.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of anxiety or addiction, Sana Lake BWC can help. Contact us today and start your journey to Recovery for Life!