In the modern world, turning on the news is enough to induce anxiety. If your anxiety is persistent or intrusive, it may be more than a simple distraction. You may be one of 40 million American adults experiencing the effects of an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is currently the most common mental health condition in the country. If your nervous feelings are beginning to impact your quality of life, it may be time to pursue comprehensive anxiety treatment.
We’ve created this guide to help explain the causes, symptoms, and possible therapies for anxiety disorders. We’ll describe the most common conditions, as well as where to find the best help in South Florida.
Continue reading to learn the ins and outs of anxiety.
Most people experience some anxiety in their day-to-day lives. This stress usually has a clear trigger. More often than not, it resolves when the source of stress passes.
In the case of an anxiety disorder, the amount of distress is often disproportionate to the trigger. It can involve extreme preoccupation or involuntary physiological symptoms, such as palpitations. Many anxiety disorders lead to panic attacks, which can mimic medical emergencies.
Anxiety often impacts an individual’s overall quality of life. It can prevent you from completing tasks of daily living.
No two anxiety disorders look alike. In fact, two individuals with the same disorder may experience entirely different symptoms.
The following conditions fall under the umbrella of anxiety disorders:
Some anxiety disorders are more common in childhood. These include separation anxiety or selective mutism.
Several anxiety disorders also fall outside these categories. These include conditions caused by substance use or extant medical conditions.
Many factors affect who does and does not develop anxiety disorders. Often, heredity plays a significant role in your likelihood of developing a condition. If you have relatives with a history of mental health disorders, you are more likely to develop anxiety.
Researchers suggest that brain chemistry might also play a role. A chemical imbalance can cause the circuits in your brain to misfire. This can create a disproportionate fear or stress response.
Likewise, environmental stress, ranging from trauma to adverse childhood experiences, often play a role. Something as simple as grief can be enough to trigger chemical changes in the brain.
In some instances, an underlying medical condition can trigger feelings of anxiety. Always see your physician if you begin experiencing new symptoms. They can help rule out treatable medical conditions.
Symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary by diagnosis. Nearly all anxiety disorders involve heightened feelings of fear, stress, or preoccupation. You can expect to experience both physical and mental symptoms.
The most common symptoms of anxiety disorders include:
You might also experience anxiety or panic attacks. These are brief, intense periods in which you may feel overwhelmed by many of the above symptoms. It often feels like a medical emergency.
Individuals who experience panic attacks sometimes change their behavior to avoid triggers. This can lead to detrimental changes in routines. For example, an individual prone to anxiety attacks in the car may insist on less efficient forms of transportation.
Today, there are many treatment options available for individuals with anxiety. Most benefit from a combination of therapy and medication. A range of quality inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment facilities address the root cause of these disorders.
We’ll discuss some common anxiety treatment options below.
Individual therapy is often the first step toward finding relief for anxiety symptoms. You’ll meet one-on-one with a trained therapeutic practitioner. You can discuss your symptoms and concerns in a safe, confidential environment, free from judgment.
In individual therapy, you’ll learn specific coping strategies. Some therapists may assign “homework.” These tasks will encourage you to use new strategies outside of sessions.
Your therapist may also ask you to keep a journal. You might document panic attacks or reflect on experiences outside your comfort zone.
The support and accountability of a therapist goes a long way toward helping individuals live comfortably with an anxiety disorder.
Living with anxiety can be an isolating experience. Group therapy can help you connect with others experiencing similar symptoms.
A facilitator will help lead discussions and teach coping strategies. They’ll encourage accountability and connections between group members. Often, group therapy allows individuals to gain perspective on their own struggles and concerns.
An anxiety disorder is, foremost, a medical condition. Many medications can help address the underlying causes of anxiety.
Some SSRIs and SNRIs, typically prescribed for depression, can help address chemical imbalances. If you are prone to panic attacks, your doctor may also prescribe a fast-acting medication. Fast-acting medications are only taken as needed.
You will work with a healthcare provider to find the best medications for you and your body.
Anxiety impacts the body and mind. Thus, treatments that address your emotional and physical health can help with anxiety.
You can expect to take part in recreational therapies as part of your treatment plan. They might include exercise, art, music, and animal-assisted programs.
There is no reason to live with the debilitating effects of an anxiety disorder. If you’re struggling, we invite you to pursue inpatient or outpatient treatment at Comprehensive Wellness Centers. Our experienced, compassionate professionals will help you create a personalized anxiety treatment plan.
Comprehensive Wellness Centers is the premier source of anxiety treatment in Florida. We invite you to discuss your ideal treatment plan with an admissions associate. We can’t wait to welcome you to our healing, home-like anxiety rehab facility.