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Last Medically Reviewed 15 November 2022
Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness that involves excessive and uncontrollable worry. This worry can manifest in many ways, including panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, and paralyzing fears. People with an anxiety disorder often feel like they are under siege and can struggle to function in situations that would otherwise be seen as normal. For some people, anxiety can become so intense and constant that it can even feel like they have no control over their lives. This is when anxiety becomes a disorder.
Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions — just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. It is the most common type of mental disorder in the United States. The good news is that anxiety disorder is highly treatable, and with the right combination of medication and therapy, most people can live full and productive lives.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY
Anxiety is characterized by mimicking “fight or flight” reactions to defend yourself from perceived danger. Some people have intense fears when circumstances are unresolved. They tend to catastrophize, fixating on the worst possible outcome. But people with an anxious mood are also prone to a more rapid onset reaction.
Anxiety can make it hard to concentrate or remember things. You may feel like you can’t control your worry or that it’s out of proportion to the situation. Your heart races, and you may feel nauseous, lightheaded, or dizzy. You may have trouble sleeping or feel exhausted from trying to manage your anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are by far the most commonly found mental health condition in the United States. An estimated 40 million adults live with an anxiety disorder, about 18% of the population (ADAA, Anxiety Disorders - Facts & Statistics 2022). But only 36.9% of people with anxiety disorders receive treatment.
An anxiety disorder is diagnosed when a person has symptoms of anxiety that last for at least six months and are not caused by another medical condition, such as a thyroid problem or taking certain medications.
Anxiety disorder symptoms can vary significantly from person to person, but some are commonly seen. People with an anxiety disorder may experience regular panic attacks, which can cause a wide range of intense physical and emotional symptoms. Additionally, people with an anxiety disorder may struggle to control their impulses and may engage in risky or self-destructive behaviors as a way of coping with their anxiety.
TYPES OF ANXIETY
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD causes people to have obsessive thoughts or fears that dominate their lives and keep them from living in the present. As a result, they are constantly concerned about their future. Two-thirds of the people in the United States are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. People with GAD can have a tough time managing their everyday lives.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
SAD can affect as many as 7% of people. Some SAD patients feel uncomfortable in social settings. Occasionally, people feel these emotions in the presence of casual encounters. Often people with social anxiety try to avoid social situations. In severe cases, there can be minimal contact with their family and other relatives.
Most people experiencing panic disorders suffer panic attacks. It is a severe, physically distressing episode. External events may cause panic but often occur without warning. Panic disorders affect about 33% of the population but are more commonly seen among women than males.
WHAT ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE TREATMENT
OPTIONS FOR ANXIETY DISORDER?
There is no blanket answer to this question, as the most effective intervention for anxiety disorder may vary depending on a person’s specific situation and needs. Symptoms can be treated through a mixture of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.
Inpatient Anxiety Treatment
Psyclarity Health specializes in addiction treatment and rehabilitation for disorders that frequently accompany it. If symptoms are severe, the safest option is to get treated inside. Clients receive support at all times during the day or night while in safe, sober conditions. Inpatient treatment is helpful for treating anxiety disorders and supporting any additional issues that may emerge. Individuals who have difficulties following outpatient therapy or require more intensive assistance to stabilize may benefit from this treatment level.
What to Expect During Residential Treatment for Anxiety
Admission to an inpatient facility usually begins with an assessment to ensure the client is an appropriate candidate for the level of care offered. This evaluation often includes a physical examination, psychological testing, and a review of the client’s history. If it is determined that inpatient treatment is the best step, the next phase is detoxification.
Detoxification is sometimes necessary for those who have been using substances to self-medicate their anxiety. During this time, clients will be closely monitored by a medical team to ensure their safety and comfort. Once detox is complete, clients will begin participation in individual and group therapy sessions designed to help them understand and cope with their anxiety. Our mental health treatment programs include many therapeutic activities such as Art and Music Therapy and practices that support psychotherapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In addition to traditional talk therapy, clients may also participate in alternative therapies such as yoga or equine-assisted therapy.
Therapy can help people with anxiety disorder to identify and understand their triggers, work through their fears, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. The use of cognitive-behavioral therapy, in particular, has produced promising results. Medication can also be an effective way to manage anxiety, as it can help regulate the chemicals in the brain responsible for causing it. Finally, self-care is essential for people with anxiety disorder, as it can help them to manage their symptoms and maintain their mental health.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Based on extensive research, psychosocial and cognitive-behavioral therapy is considered the strongest psychotherapy for anxiety treatment. Cognitive behavior therapies are practical therapies that help individuals unlearn bad habits. During treatment, the patient will be taught ways of switching to healthier alternatives.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a treatment that may help you heal from past life experiences that continue to affect you today. EMDR uses dual stimulation, such as eye movements, tapping, or tones, to engage a natural brain healing mechanism that aids in the “unlocking” of distressing thoughts or memories. As a result, it reduces the overall emotional and physical suffering linked with a memory or thought patterns while also changing an undesirable belief to an adaptive one.
Antidepressants may help control anxiety symptoms or depression. Medication-only anxiety treatment may take a little longer to work, but it can have lasting effects. However, medication can work better when combined with therapy.
Examples include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil). Anti-anxiety medications may also be helpful. These include clonazepam (Klonopin) and lorazepam (Ativan).
Benzodiazepines are a type of anti-anxiety medication. They work by slowing down the nervous system. This can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. Examples of benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan).
Stress Management and Mind-Body Healing (Holistic Wellness)
The holistic wellness treatment model includes yoga therapist programs, tai chi, meditation, and massage therapy. They can help calm anxiety and stress levels. In other words, it helps strengthen the connection with mind-body relationships. In this manner, the client can learn a number of healthy coping skills for better stress management which could even help prevent other mental health conditions.
HOW LONG DOES RECOVERY FROM
ANXIETY DISORDER TAKE?
Recovery from anxiety disorder can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. However, for some people, recovery may be a lifelong process. Always remember that everyone recovers at their own pace, and there is no single right way to do it. The important thing is to be patient and stay focused on your own journey.
What are some tips for staying motivated during recovery?
There will be times in recovery when you may feel like giving up. It’s important to remember that these feelings are normal and part of the process. These are some tips for staying motivated in recovery:
1. Set realistic goals for yourself. Trying to accomplish too much at once can be overwhelming and lead to disappointment. Breaking up your goals into smaller, more manageable pieces will help you stay on track.
2. Find a support system. People who empathize with what you’re going through can be a huge help. Knowing you’re not alone makes a big difference, whether it’s with friends, family, or a support group.
3.Take things one day at a time. Recovery is a process that takes time. Don’t get too ahead of yourself and focus on taking things one day at a time.
4. Be patient with yourself. Healing takes time, and there will be good days and bad days. Try to be understanding and patient with yourself throughout the process.
5. Seek professional help if needed. If you feel like you’re struggling to cope, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with skills and resources to help you through this difficult time.
How can I speed up my recovery?
If you struggle with an anxiety disorder, there are ways that you can speed up your recovery. First and foremost, seeking help from a mental health professional is crucial. This can include therapy and medication, which can both be very effective in treating anxiety disorders. There are also a few things that you can do on your own to help ease your symptoms. These include:
• Deep breathing, meditation, or other relaxation techniques
• Exercising regularly
• Eating a healthy diet
• Getting enough sleep
• Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
WHEN SHOULD YOU BE HOSPITALIZED
FOR ANXIETY DISORDER?
If you feel like you can’t control your life because of your anxiety, you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the US each year. 1 out of 5 people suffers from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives (ADAA, Anxiety Disorders - Facts & Statistics 2022).
Fortunately, there is help available. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, and 80% of people who receive treatment see a significant reduction in their symptoms. Don’t suffer any longer — you deserve to get your life back.
There are times when an individual’s anxiety disorder can become so severe that they need residential treatment. This is most commonly done as a last resort when all other anxiety treatment has failed. A treatment center may be necessary if a person is experiencing any of the following:
- A panic attack that occurs frequently and severely enough that it prevents normal daily activities
- Obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors that are significantly impacting the quality of life
- Extreme fear or avoidance of situations that generally wouldn’t cause anxiety, such as public speaking or flying
- Co-occurring disorders like mania, panic disorder, or severe depression, in addition to the anxiety disorder
- The need to engage in self-destructive or suicidal behaviors as a way of coping
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to a clinical professional as soon as possible. Residential treatment may be the best course of action to ensure your safety and help you get back to living a normal life.
Psyclarity Health offers several treatment plans, including inpatient anxiety treatment and outpatient programs. We are located all around the country. So, help is just around the corner.
Talk to our specialized treatment team about the types of anxiety treatment offered. There are many different treatment plans that have shown to be effective, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), EMDR, and medication. No matter what your situation is, we can help. With our extensive offering of therapies, we can teach you coping strategies to help you achieve long-term recovery and true healing. Find the anxiety treatment that works best for you and start living a better life today.
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