Anxiety disorders can turn everyday routines into constant, stressful challenges. Symptoms often interfere with relationships and work and reduce the enjoyment of hobbies and activities.
On the outside, the behavior of someone with an anxiety disorder may seem irrational or hypervillgent. Even loved ones have a hard time knowing what’s going on. Anxiety disorders can impact every part of a person’s life.
The P.A.T.H. treatment centers help people work through the effects of anxiety disorders and educate clients on healthy ways to cope with their anxiety. The P.A.T.H. programs also provide dual diagnosis treatment programs for people with co-occurring addictions.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness, affecting up to 20% of Americans. Many people have their first experience with anxiety in childhood or adolescence. Unfortunately, without treatment, the disorder can have long-term impacts.
Anxiety disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
People with GAD suffer from constant fears and obsessive thoughts with either no clear cause or seeming out of proportion with real-life challenges. GAD can consume daily life as these obsessive fears take over, often leaving those suffering exhausted and tense.
People with panic disorder are more prone to experiencing panic attacks. Panic attacks are severe episodes of physical and emotional distress. External events can trigger panic attacks, but they often happen without any obvious cause or warning. Panic disorders often result in shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
People with SAD feel extreme self-consciousness and discomfort in social situations. Some people have these feelings even during brief, casual encounters. SAD affects up to 7% of adults. People with social anxiety may try to isolate from the world altogether. In severe cases, they maintain few relationships outside of their close family.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD causes recurrent, unwanted thoughts or repetitive behaviors. It can involve both. People with OCD may act on compulsive behaviors such as:
A phobia is a deep, irrational fear of a specific situation or thing and can be highly disabling. Someone battling a phobia may end up avoiding people, places, events or even objects that drive their fears. Up to 9% of American adults have at least one phobia.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorder symptoms mimic the “fight or flight” response that has helped protect us from danger for thousands of years. For people with anxiety disorders, this response is both heightened and more easily triggered. They may experience strong anxiety in situations even at times when there is no clear danger.
Several factors increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder. These include genetics, home environment, childhood experiences and repeated exposure to stress or emotional trauma. However, the exact cause of anxiety disorders is still not completely understood.
P.A.T.H. Anxiety Outpatient Treatment
Our treatment models for anxiety disorders aim to educate people on their anxious responses and symptoms. Over time, it becomes easier to recognize when symptoms arise and how to cope with the stress stimulus in a healthy way. Clients will learn techniques to manage their anxiety and stay in control.
Anxiety disorders often develop before or during an episode of major depression. Because of this, mental health programs aimed at treating anxiety disorders often treat depression as well. This is important because each illness can reinforce the other.
Treatment options for anxiety disorders include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a practical therapy that helps people unlearn harmful thoughts, beliefs, and behavior patterns. Through this process, clients learn how to replace these thoughts with healthier alternatives.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is an evidence-based treatment model that works to bring acceptance and change to the front of the clients’ minds. By working to accept our experiences, we can learn to balance out negative thoughts while also working to change how we feel about those experiences.
Group therapy programs help people with anxiety disorders learn from and support one another. When we connect with others, we often learn to better understand and cope with our experiences. Group therapy can also help clients to build peer support systems that can help outside of the treatment environment.
Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can help some people manage their symptoms. However, medication is most effective when it’s combined with therapy.
Let Us Help You With Your Anxiety Disorder
When you have anxiety, daily life can seem overwhelming. It can even make your world seem smaller than it really is.
At our P.A.T.H. Centers of Excellence locations, anxiety disorder treatment may help you expand your world again. Our expert clinical and medical staff use evidence-based therapy treatments, along with mindfulness models, to help clients manage their anxiety in healthy ways.
If you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, call us today at 713.528.3709 to find out how we can help you get your life back on track.