There are times in life when we all feel overwhelmed, nervous or anxious. Anxiety is a general feeling of dread or worry about a future or imminent event, with an uncertain outcome. For most people anxiety is a typical response to stressful situations, like public speaking of meeting new people. However, when dread or worry becomes extreme and consistent, and interferes with your ability to live your life, you may need anxiety disorder treatment.
What is anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders are significantly different from anxious reactions to everyday stresses. The disorder is marked by constant worrying and fear that does not go away over time. In fact, symptoms can get worse over time causing individuals with the disorder to avoid any potential triggers. Fortunately, with the right anxiety disorder treatment, symptoms can be managed effectively. Diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorder can include:
- The presence of excessive worry about a variety of topics, situations, or events. Worry has occurred for six months or more.
- Worry is not easily controlled and can rapidly change focus.
- Anxiety or worry are accompanied by at least three of the following co-occurring symptoms: edginess, fatigue, inability to focus or concentrate, irritability, physical symptoms, difficulty sleeping.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Sometimes, a person can have more than one anxiety disorder — for instance, panic disorder and phobias. Knowing which type of anxiety disorder or disorders you have helps form the right anxiety disorder treatment plan for overcoming the effects of the condition. While there are a number of different anxiety disorders, such as agoraphobia and separation anxiety, they also include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This is a chronic condition marked by persistent and excessive worry about activities, situations, or outcomes — even ordinary everyday things. Worry is out of proportion to the event and causes emotional and physical responses. Unlike other types of anxiety disorders, panic attacks are not generally associated with GAD.
This disorder is identified by the intense and chronic panic attacks sufferers experience. A feeling of overwhelming doom, dread, or panic are often experienced. Physical symptoms, such as chest pains, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath, are also common.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This disorder involves exaggerated feelings of fear, anxiety, and worry about social situations. Other symptoms include: fear of judgment, worry about embarrassment, or a negative interactions are common indicators of social anxiety disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders cause a wide array of symptoms that affect people to varying degrees. But the vast majority of anxiety disorders exhibit the same impact on emotional well-being, physical health, and behavior.
Emotional: People with anxiety disorders may experience irritability, anger, feel overwhelmed or just be generally upset — especially when confronted with a trigger.
Physical: Anxiety symptoms can manifest in physical responses. However, it is not uncommon to feel any number of physical reactions, such as:
- Tightness in the chest
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle tension
- Teeth grinding
- Itching or rashes
Behavioral: Chronic anxiety can cause behavioral changes that have far-reaching consequences. Avoidance, withdrawal, sleep changes, irrational thinking are all common reactions to triggers. Additionally, anxiety can cause extreme anger, unreasonable irritation with other people, and may lead to substance abuse disorder.
Causes of Anxiety Disorder
Current research has not found an exact cause for anxiety disorder, but evidence indicates that certain influences are at play. When seeking anxiety disorder treatment, your care team will take a thorough history to determine which factors may be the root cause. Genetics, environment, and previous trauma all play a role in the development of an anxiety disorder. Other factors include:
- A family history of anxiety disorders
- Certain personality trains, such as shyness and timidity
- Underlying medical conditions
- Brain chemistry
- Biological sex
While most people may experience episodes of anxiety from time-to-time, certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of onset of chronic symptoms. These indicators may contribute to developing an anxiety disorder:
- Trauma: Exposure to prolonged trauma — especially in childhood — can lead to anxiety disorder.
- Chronic stress: Major life events, like a death in the family or job loss, can create anxiety. Chronic stress from work or financial concern can also trigger the onset of anxiety disorder.
- Family history: Having one or more blood relatives — especially a close relative — with mental health disorders can increase the likelihood of developing anxiety disorder
- Chronic illness: Certain chronic illnesses, like rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease, can lead to anxiety.
- Drug and alcohol use: Substance abuse and withdrawal can cause anxiety or worsen anxiety symptoms.
Therapies Used to Treat Anxiety Disorders
At Neuroscience Research Institute, our goal is to deliver the best possible care in a way that caters to your unique needs. We want each individual who heals with us to have an individualized experience. There are common elements to our care, such as the evidence-based treatment modalities we use, the safe and supportive environment we offer, and the esteemed group of behavioral healthcare professionals you’ll work with.
You may also participate in a variety of individual, group, family, and experiential therapies that will shape the course of your treatment. Depending on your individual anxiety disorder treatment plan, you may receive medication management services as well.
Our therapeutic activities incorporate principles of:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- 12-Step education and support for women and men who have co-occurring substance use disorders
Anxiety Disorder Treatment in West Palm Beach
Untreated anxiety disorders can have a devastating impact on quality of life. If you or someone you love is suffering from an anxiety disorder, we can help. Our multidisciplinary team of caring and compassionate treatment specialists will help you navigate your disorder and help you get back to living life on your terms. Contact us today to find out more about our anxiety disorder treatment options.