Anxiety is a reaction to stress that allows individuals to deal with demanding or dangerous situations. In some cases, anxiety may become out of control and eventually lead to the development of an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is a psychological condition that causes affected individuals to experience unease or distress to situations that are normal and do not cause distress to unaffected individuals. An anxiety disorder negatively affects an individual’s daily functioning and disrupts their work life, social life, and family relationships.
Anxiety disorder have been linked to neurotransmitter imbalances. Anxiety may cause a decreased sense of well-being and inability to relax, which increases the overall feelings of anxiety and distress. Anxiety disorder has not been found to be caused by one single factor, but is instead caused by multiple factors including the following
- Financial Issues
- Drug use
- Relationship problems
- Physical conditions (e.g., heatstroke, heart attack)
- Panic Disorder
In some cases, Anxiety may be the cause of a larger medical problem like asthma. For example, an individual with asthma may experience periods of time where they are experiencing a lack of oxygen. The body then responds to the lessening amount of oxygen with a feeling of panic, which then may cause anxiety and eventually may develop into an anxiety disorder.
Treatment of Anxiety
A lot of people experience anxiety and a portion of these people end up developing anxiety disorder. The ultimate goal for the treatment of anxiety is to allow the individual to experience a reduction in symptoms related to their anxiety and gain assistance in returning to a regular lifestyle. There are several treatments that help to ease anxiety and eventually eliminate the constant feelings of unease and dread in individuals with anxiety disorder. Depending on the individual’s personal factors and preferences, the treatments for anxiety disorder may include physical therapy, behavioral therapy, medications, and counseling. Some individuals may not want to treat their anxiety with medications and that is okay. Treatment for anxiety does not have to include medications.
One of the most common non-medical treatments for anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves teaching the individual with anxiety to identify their triggers that cause their feelings and symptoms of anxiety and how to respond to these triggers or avoid these triggers. Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on how the individual experiences and thinks about anxiety and how they are able to cope or avoid situations that trigger the anxiety through techniques that modify behavior. It has been found that cognitive behavioral therapy is very effective in treating anxiety and many individuals are able to see a reduction in their anxiety within 10 to 15 weeks. Another treatment that is commonly used in the reduction of anxiety is exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is a treatment that occurs in a controlled environment. In this controlled setting, individuals are progressively exposed to situations that typically cause anxiety for them. The overall goal of exposure therapy is to gradually desensitize the individual to triggering situations until the triggering situations become manageable and the individual is able to cope with their anxiety or completely eliminate their anxiety. Most individuals who undergo exposure therapy find that they have less anxiety attacks over the course of their treatment and eventually they may be able to eliminate their anxiety completely. Education regarding relaxation techniques are also a viable treatment for individuals with anxiety disorder. Relaxation techniques may include acupuncture and breathing techniques. The implementation of relaxation techniques may alleviate or eliminate an individual’s symptoms of anxiety through stopping it before it occurs or reducing the overall level of anxiety the individual feels.
Outpatient treatment for anxiety disorders include treatment options that are similar to those offered in an inpatient treatment facility. The difference between outpatient and inpatient treatment is that the patient does not have to stay overnight in an outpatient facility. Individuals attending outpatient therapy for anxiety must meet with their medical team each morning and then attend therapy appointments throughout the day. After completing therapy appointments, individuals may return home in the afternoon or at night.
If you or a loved one would like more information regarding treatment for anxiety, please contact us at 833-610-1174. We look forward to speaking with you.