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
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.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
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)
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.
Social Anxiety Disorder
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
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.