Anxiety Disorder Treatment

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults every year or about 18.1% of the U.S. population, making it the most common mental health illness in the country. Additionally, almost 30% of adults experience symptoms of an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of factors, including genetics and environmental factors as well as brain chemistry. Anxiety can be confusing because everyone feels anxious and experiences negative thoughts from time to time. Unlike nervousness precipitated by a stressful situation like a job interview, illness, or speaking in public, anxiety disorders can be all-consuming and can last up to six months or longer if left untreated.

 

The difference between situational nerves and a clinical diagnosis of an anxiety disorder is that clinical anxiety can be severe and debilitating. One of the most frightening symptoms of anxiety disorders is commonly referred to as “panic attacks.” These mental health episodes can occur out of nowhere, even while an individual is sleeping. Sometimes the person experiencing the panic attack may hyperventilate, feel a painful sensation in the chest, and feel like they’re dying.

 

Most people who have an anxiety disorder will have an accompanying diagnosis like depression or a substance use disorder as anxiety disorders are rarely the sole diagnosis in a person’s mental health history. Thankfully though, anxiety disorders are treatable conditions that can be successfully addressed with the right anxiety treatment and clinical care. Even those with more severe anxiety can learn to manage their symptoms and live a happy, fulfilling life. That’s why it’s vital to seek help from a trained professional who can prescribe the right course of anxiety treatment.

Common Anxiety Symptoms

Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, but some common symptoms of anxiety disorders include the following:

Note: Because these symptoms don’t always indicate the presence of an anxiety disorder, please contact your physician or mental health treatment provider to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Another symptom of an anxiety disorder is clouded thinking or brain fog which is sometimes referred to as mental fatigue. Individuals with mental fatigue may experience:
Anxiety disorders don’t only impact an individual’s mind and their emotions. They can also affect an individual’s physical health, leading to physical symptoms like shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, and chest pains. Anxiety and depression are also very closely related, and people with anxiety disorders may easily fall into depressive patterns or experience other mental health conditions.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety symptoms, including some physical symptoms, may come and go, but if they last at least six months, there may be an underlying anxiety disorder that needs to be treated. The most common type of anxiety disorder is generalized anxiety disorder. Other common types of anxiety disorders include:
There are several other types of anxiety disorders, including separation anxiety disorder. However, separation anxiety disorder is more common in children. If you think you may have an anxiety disorder because you experience negative thoughts and constant worry, contact Lifeskills today.
a women sitting beside a tree with her knees close to her looking away

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is a mental illness that’s characterized by excessive worries about daily life, which aren’t typically a source of constant dread for other people. For example, an individual with generalized anxiety disorder may worry that while walking to work, someone will accidentally knock a heavy object out of a window above, knocking them unconscious or worse. While this event is possible, it’s highly unlikely. Generalized anxiety disorder can also cause frequent heart palpitations or intrusive, worrisome thoughts.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) results in repeated, unwanted thoughts and rituals that interfere with daily life. For example, if you have OCD, you may leave your house worried that you left the oven on. Even after returning to your house three or four times, you still may not be convinced that your oven is off. Some coping mechanisms of OCD include rituals that will prevent something “bad” from happening, like washing your hands several times so you don’t get sick.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by debilitating panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden waves of terror during which an individual may convulse, have trouble breathing, or feel like they’re dying. Panic attacks usually subside after about half an hour, but they can leave an individual feeling fatigued and unable to continue with their day. While experiencing panic attacks once or twice in a lifetime is normal, repeated attacks in a week- or month-long period is a sign of panic disorder. Additionally, these acute anxiety episodes are different from generalized anxiety disorder.

Phobias

A phobia is an overwhelming and persistent fear of an object, situation, place, feeling, or animal. The phobia/fear can be so overwhelming that an individual may do anything they can to avoid being exposed to the source of their fear. The most common phobias include the following:

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, can make an individual unable to leave their house because they fear being judged by others. Not only is it difficult for someone with a social phobia to maintain friendships, but it may also be hard for them to keep a job, go grocery shopping, get their mail, etc. Individuals with social anxiety disorder are constantly worried about what others think of them, to the point that they may completely avoid all social interactions.

Dual Diagnosis

Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental health conditions or physical illnesses that can mask anxiety and its symptoms, making them worse. In addition, people with anxiety disorders are more likely to use or abuse alcohol or drugs in an attempt to self-medicate to reduce their anxiety. This is known as a dual diagnosis, during which an individual is struggling with an anxiety disorder as well as a substance use disorder.


Lifeskills is dually licensed to treat individuals with a dual diagnosis, or the often-co-occurring substance use disorder and other mental health disorders, including anxiety. We have a dedicated Substance Use Disorder Pathway that integrates the 12-Step philosophy with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and chemical dependency dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Within this pathway, the DBT modules consist of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The goals of the Substance Use Disorder Pathway include learning new skills, staying focused in the present moment, increasing interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation, and living an engaging life in anxiety disorder substance abuse recovery.

Our Individualized Anxiety Disorder Treatment Programs

At Lifeskills, we offer several levels of anxiety treatment based on where clients are in their recovery. Our levels of care for treating anxiety include detoxification services, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs, as well as transitional living. Clients move through their anxiety treatment program as they progress toward anxiety disorder recovery. Our treatment programs for treating anxiety include:

Anxiety Treatment at Lifeskills

No matter what symptoms one is experiencing, anxiety recovery is possible. At Lifeskills, our initial assessment helps us understand each client’s unique mental health needs so we can customize an anxiety treatment program for them, which may include anti-anxiety medications. At our treatment centers, our skilled staff ensures that each client receives the best individualized mental health care using evidence-based practices.


As the foundation of our evidence-based practices, we offer Six Clinical Pathways, and each is led by a doctoral-level or licensed clinician with additional national certifications in their area of expertise. Based on an assessment of clinical need, diagnosis, and medical history, each client is prescribed the most appropriate primary and secondary clinical pathways. Our Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Pathway is primarily used to treat mood and anxiety disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Throughout each client’s treatment, we’re flexible to ensure that their recovery journey is right for them.

Anxiety FAQs

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, people who consume fast food, processed foods, sweets, and alcohol tend to be more anxious compared to those who eat healthily, balancing their diets with colorful vegetables, wild-caught fish, and organic fruits. Nutritionists recommend that you eat natural foods and leafy greens, as well as other mood-improving sustenance like dark chocolate, seeds, and nuts to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders.
Scientific research shows that 20 minutes of daily meditation or 30 minutes of daily exercise can greatly reduce the emotional impact of stress and mental health conditions. These simple and medication-free ways of combating an anxiety disorder and stress can take effect almost instantly, lowering tension and negative emotions long after the activity is done. Like exercise, relaxation techniques are proven to lower anxiety disorder levels. Attempting a deep state of meditation using relaxation techniques is also effective in reducing fatigue and stress.
Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, are the number one mental health disorder in the U.S. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetic and environmental factors as well as brain chemistry. And it’s common for those experiencing an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression. Additionally, nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety. And while anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only approximately one-third of those suffering receive needed anxiety treatment.
No. In addition to anxiety, we also treat the following mental health conditions: bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depressive disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), process addictions, substance use disorder, thought disorders, and dual diagnosis.
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