The Importance of Therapy for Anxiety
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Feelings of anxiety here and there are expected in typical day-to-day life. Financial concerns or worries at work are common triggers of standard anxiousness. However, anxiety disorders are much more than these temporary concerns. Individuals facing such disorders endure more severe and more persistent feelings of anxiety. These feelings do not simply fade away. When left untreated, they tend to worsen.
Without seeking proper guidance and care, anxiety can lead to other more severe mental health conditions. These include depression, substance use disorder (SUD), chronic illness, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.
A Glance Into Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety affects more than 264 million individuals worldwide and nearly one in five American adults each year. It is considered to be one of the top leading mental health disorders in the world. Anxiety comes in many types, and symptoms vary depending on the different types.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is an anxiety disorder involving recurring anxiety and excessive worry or stress. Additionally, feeling tense and on edge even when stressful situations do not arise is a hallmark of this kind of anxiety disorder.
Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
Having social anxiety disorder involves overwhelming anxiety and extreme self-consciousness during social situations. It can be triggered by one specific kind of event or multiple. In more severe cases, it may be triggered by simply being around other people at any time.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
This disorder involves recurrent, unwanted thoughts or obsessions. It may also include repetitive behaviors, which are referred to as compulsions. Compulsions may consist of repetitive hand washing, counting, or cleaning. Compulsions are performed to alleviate persistent and unwanted obsessions. However, this only allows temporary relief.
Individuals with panic disorder have sudden and recurring episodes of intense fear. These are often paired with physical symptoms such as chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This anxiety disorder can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event involving severe physical and emotional harm or the threat of harm. These events may include physical or sexual assault, natural disasters, serious car accidents, or military-related combat.
Regardless of the type of anxiety an individual might face, treatment is available. Proper diagnosis is the first step in seeking to overcome an anxiety disorder.
How Treatment Can Help
As with any mental health condition, professional treatment is the most effective method for managing anxiety. When dealing with anxiety, much focus goes into how a person thinks. These disorders attack an individual’s mind and create excessive worry and stress.
With some anxiety disorders, there may be no obvious trigger that surfaces anxious feelings. In others, there are clear triggers that spur heightened levels of anxiety. Treatment varies from case to case and fully depends on the type of disorder and the individual’s personal circumstances. In all cases, treatment has proven to be effective.
In some cases, residential-style anxiety treatment may be needed. Conditions such as panic disorder and PTSD can sometimes be debilitating and these individuals can benefit greatly from an inpatient treatment plan.
In these programs, there is a plethora of benefits provided. They take place in a cozy home-like environment where participants have 24-hour access to a healthcare team. Participants can focus solely on their mental health recovery without the distractions of daily life. Camaraderie is also an excellent aspect of these programs as people with similar challenges can interact and bond over their journeys.
Most anxiety disorders are treated through outpatient programs. These are very beneficial to the working adult or family caretaker. Flexible scheduling is a primary advantage of outpatient treatment. Individuals can fully customize their treatment plan to work around the many responsibilities of life.
Access to exceptional care and treatment is consistent with both inpatient and outpatient programs and both are effective methods. Which option an individual requires is dependent upon their diagnosis and severity of symptoms. Additionally, if camaraderie is particularly appealing but an inpatient program isn’t necessary, support groups are an excellent supplement.
Therapy and Anxiety
Regardless of which level of care an individual chooses, therapy is the primary rock-solid foundation for any anxiety disorder. Multiple forms of therapy are found in both programs.
Due to the nature of anxiety and its effects on an individual’s mind, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often the most beneficial and effective form of treatment. CBT focuses on the way a person thinks in a problem-solving style. Individuals learn to identify triggers or problems and gradually retrain their thought processes for more positivity and productivity.
In addition to therapy, one’s care team may prescribe anti-anxiety medication. Common medications associated with anxiety include antidepressants and prescriptions for sleep. Additionally, because anxiety can lead to depression or other issues, treating these co-occurring conditions can greatly improve anxiety and overall mental health. Depression and anxiety both can disrupt sleep duration and quality. Without proper rest, symptoms can worsen, so treating sleep-related issues can improve anxiety and depression symptoms.
Everyone is different and not all require the same treatment. Seeking a proper diagnosis and thorough assessment can help you to determine what path is best for each individual. Being proactive and reaching out is a phenomenal step to be proud of. Through a journey of self-discovery and positive mental health steps, anyone can live the life they deserve, free of anxiety.
It can be challenging to manage life when you’re in the grips of anxiety. Every day can feel like a struggle but there is a life to be lived outside of the symptoms of anxiety. You don’t have to face this alone. Let Alter Behavioral Health walk with you down this path and shoulder the burden so you don’t have to. With proper treatment, you can live again, brighter and healthier, the way you deserve. Call Alter Behavioral Health today at (866) 691-4386 for more information and to get started on the first step to the rest of your life. You deserve the best. Let us help you get there.