How Is Anxiety Treated
The good news is theres much we can do to help release you from the prison of anxiety and help you enjoy your life again. When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, the providers at Plymouth Psych Group offer knowledgeable and compassionate care that relies on the latest science and treatment modalities.
Our highly trained mental health providers offer different types of services to treat men and women who suffer from a wide range of mental health disorders, including anxiety. Our team understands the effect a problem like anxiety can have on your quality of life, forcing you into an existence governed by worry, fear, and dread.
We customize a treatment plan specific to your type of anxiety, symptoms, and goals. Whether you choose to control your condition through psychotherapy, medications, behavior modification, or a combination approach, the end result is that were able to help you gain the upper hand on your anxiety.
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What Is Separation Anxiety Disorder
This condition mostly happens to children or teens, who may worry about being away from their parents. Children with separation anxiety disorder may fear that their parents will be hurt in some way or not come back as promised. It happens a lot in preschoolers. But older children and adults who experience a stressful event may have separation anxiety disorder as well.
How Is Anxiety Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. Often they will use a detailed questionnaire to do this. The more detailed answers you can give about what you’re experiencing, the better.
You may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder if the symptoms are affecting your ability to function in some way, either at work, school or socially. The questionnaire may also pick up if you have depression and how severe the problem may be.
Your doctor will diagnose the type of anxiety disorder you have based on recognised criteria such as those listed in the DSM-5 .
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How Do I Know If My Child Has An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety-related problems in children share four common features. The anxiety:
- Is typically a fear or fixation that interferes with the ability to enjoy life, get through the day or complete tasks.
- Is puzzling to both the child and parents.
- Does not improve after logical explanations to address the worries.
- Is treatable.
Whats The Outlook For People With Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can often go undiagnosed and untreated. Fortunately, treatment can help. The right treatment can help improve your quality of life, relationships and productivity. It can also support your overall well-being.
You dont need to live with constant worry and fear. If you notice symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider. Its best to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Doing so can limit the problems that anxiety disorders can cause. Often, a combination of medications and counseling for anxiety can help you feel your best.
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What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder
With GAD, you may feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension even if theres nothing to trigger these feelings. Most days, you may worry a lot about various topics, including health, work, school and relationships. You may feel that the worry continues from one thing to the next.
Physical symptoms of GAD can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping problems.
When Is My Anxiety Harmful
Identifying what sort of anxiety youre dealing with can be somewhat challenging because how ones body reacts to perceived danger can be entirely different compared to another person.
Its likely you heard anxiety as a blanket term for that general feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. Its often a feeling grown in response to an upcoming event that has an uncertain outcome.
Every person deals with it at one time or another, because its part of our brains response to a perceived danger even if that danger isnt real.
That said, there are times anxiety can get serious and turn into anxiety attacks that initially feel manageable and then gradually build up over a few hours.
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The Relationship Between Anxiety And Depression
While anxiety is generally considered a high-energy state and depression a low-energy state, anxiety and depression are more closely related than you might think. A person with depression often experiences a lot of anxiety, possibly even to the extent of having panic attacks.1
Anxiety disorders involve more than common nervousness and worry. They can cause terrifying fear about things other people wouldnt think twice about. Many people with anxiety disorders fully comprehend that their thoughts are irrational. But they still cant stop them. Feelings of losing inner control haunt them. This angst is one of the entry ways for depression.2
Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of experiencing another episode. Agoraphobia, the fear of being somewhere where escape or help would be difficult in the event of a panic attack, may also accompany a panic disorder. If you have agoraphobia, you are likely to avoid public places such as shopping malls, or confined spaces such as an airplane.
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When Is Anxiety A Mental Health Problem
Anxiety can become a mental health problem if it impacts your ability to live your life as fully as you want to. For example, it may be a problem if:
- your feelings of anxiety are very strong or last for a long time
- your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation
- you avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious
- your worries feel very distressing or are hard to control
- you regularly experience symptoms of anxiety, which could include panic attacks
- you find it hard to go about your everyday life or do things you enjoy.
If your symptoms fit a particular set of medical criteria then you might be diagnosed with a particular anxiety disorder. But it’s also possible to experience problems with anxiety without having a specific diagnosis. Our pages on self-care and treatment for anxiety offer suggestions for help and support.
Who Can Diagnose Anxiety Disorders
If your provider finds no signs of physical illness, they may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They may use specially designed interview and assessment tools to figure out if you have an anxiety disorder. Typically, the provider bases a diagnosis on:
- Your reported symptoms, including how intense they are and how long they last.
- Discussion of how the symptoms interfere with your daily life.
- The providers observation of your attitude and behavior.
Providers also consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The American Psychiatric Association publishes the DSM-5. Its the standard reference manual for diagnosing mental illnesses.
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What Might Indicate That Both Anxiety And Depression Are Present
Traits that may signal the presence of both anxiety disorder and depression include:
- Irrational worries or fears that wont go away
- Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing or abdominal pain
- Difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
- Changes in eating habits either too much or too little
- Trouble remembering, making decisions or concentrating
- Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
- Loss of usual interest in activities or hobbies
- Feeling often tired and cranky
- Inability to relax and live in the moment
- Suffering from panic attacks, including the sense of losing inner control2
Try Supplements Or Change Your Diet
Changing your diet or taking supplements is definitely a long-term strategy. Research shows certain supplements or nutrients can help anxiety reduction.
- kava kava
- dark chocolate
However, it can take up to three months before your body is actually running on the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If youre taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor.
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What Causes Depression
Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. While it may occur at any age, it often begins in adulthood. As with many anxiety disorders, depression in children and adolescents may present itself as irritability more than low mood.4
As mentioned above, depression is often spawned from an anxiety disorder left untreated.
How Gad Is Treated
GAD can have a significant effect on your daily life, but several different treatments are available that can help ease your symptoms. These include:
- psychological therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy
- medication such as a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
There are also many things you can do yourself to help reduce your anxiety, such as going on a self-help course, exercising regularly, stopping smoking and cutting down on the amount of alcohol and caffeine you drink.
With treatment, many people are able to control their levels of anxiety. However, some treatments may need to be continued for a long time and there may be periods where your symptoms worsen.
If these initial treatments do not help, you will usually be offered either a more intensive psychological treatment or medication. These are described below.
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Do I Need Treatment For Anxiety
Thereâs a lot you can do on your own to relieve anxiety, but sometimes you need help. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety disorders.
Signs that itâs time to talk to a mental health professional include:
- Constant or nearly constant anxiety
- Anxiety that gets in the way of your daily activities, like work or social life
- Anxiety about things that donât actually threaten you
- Panic attacks
Check your health insurance policy to see what mental health services your plan covers. Then, review a list of your in-network providers to find one to connect with.
âYou donât want to add to your anxiety by paying big out-of-pocket fees,â Kissen says.
Your primary care doctor may also be able to recommend a mental health professional with experience treating anxiety and anxiety disorders.
Rosmarin notes that itâs important to find a provider you click with and trust. He also says therapy doesnât need to go on indefinitely to be effective.
âA course of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety may be eight to 10 sessions,â he says. âThereâs also data to suggest that people feel substantially better after just one therapy session for panic disorder.â
Treatment Of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can be successfully treated. The most common form of treatment is a combination of drug therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy .
Because most anxiety disorders have some biological basis, the most common drugs prescribed are anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs.
CBT involves helping people to turn their anxious thoughts and feelings into more rational ones. Sometimes people will benefit from being exposed in a controlled way to the object and situation they fear. Some CBT techniques have been developed to deal with specific disorders. For example, people with panic disorder can benefit from learning new breathing and meditation techniques, which can help them deal with their anxiety.
Support groups and learning more about the disorder can also help a great many people deal with anxiety disorders. Involving family and friends who are also affected by the disorder, can help people recover or learn how to cope with their condition.
The most important first step in treatment is to get a proper diagnosis from a specialist in anxiety disorders. Many people suffer for 10 years or more before getting the right treatment.
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Common Types Of Anxiety
Generalized Phobia-related Co-occurring with another mental health disorder
Generalized might be the most common type. As the name suggests, its a general feeling of anxiousness, dread, and/or and worry. It can persist on a daily basis and usually lasts for six months or longer.
Social and phobia are other common disorder subtypes that affect a large portion of the population. Phobia-related generally occurs only when you face your fear, such as with spiders or clowns, but you dont have symptoms any other time. Social is similar as symptoms present when around certain people or types of events.
PTSD, OCD, and panic related disorders are trickier to diagnose and treat. The symptoms fall on a larger spectrum, yet they have specific triggers.
Co-occurring disorders are common too, such as SAD and depression. One or both disorders could propel your worry and anxiousness to the point where you no longer know which symptom belongs to what illness. Keeping both in balance is important.
When To Get Help For Anxiety
If you think you have anxiety, there is never a bad time to reach out for help. Below are some signs it might be time to seek professional help for anxiety:
- You have thoughts that feel scary or out of control
- Anxiety is negatively impacting relationships you care about
- You feel like you cant be in public or around other people
- You are having trouble sleeping
- Anxiety makes it hard to do daily tasks like eating, cleaning, going to work, or child care
- You are thinking about hurting yourself
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Risks Of Untreated Anxiety Symptoms
The major risk is on your overall mental and physical health. Hospitalizations for physical and mental health are more common if you have an anxiety disorder.
As stated above, it can present physical symptoms within your body. Heart palpitations, for example, puts unnecessary strain on your cardiovascular system.
Each subtype can provoke severe reactions, including those that make you a danger to yourself or others. If you have thoughts of self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak with someone.
Quick Ways To Cope With Anxiety
If your anxiety is sporadic and getting in the way of your focus or tasks, there are some quick natural remedies that could help you take control of the situation.
If your anxiety is focused around a situation, such as being worried about an upcoming event, you may notice the symptoms are short-lived and usually subside after the anticipated event takes place.
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Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories: