Anxiety Treatment In Novato, Marin County, California

anxiety treatment

Make no mistake, anxiety is very common. Around 20% of Americans currently have anxiety. That number does not include children and teenagers. 

Learning more about anxiety is necessary to prevent or manage it better.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is increased feelings of worry, tension, and stress because of a perceived distressing situation.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to external pressure. It is the body’s defense against problems and a way of ensuring survival. When a person faces danger, the body releases a hormone and a rush of adrenaline. 

This hormone causes a chain reaction that leads to a fight or flight response from the person. 

Anxiety usually subsides when the danger subsides. However, if anxious and intrusive thoughts persist for prolonged periods, it becomes anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders are more serious and can disrupt your daily activities.

What does Anxiety Feel Like?

A person who is anxious will feel tense, nervous, and on high alert. They are also prone to panic. A person who is suffering from anxiety disorder will feel the same way. 

The only difference is that their anxious thoughts are prolonged and more severe.

What is the Difference Between Panic Attacks and Anxiety?

Anxiety is an increased level of worry or stress about a present or future event. Panic attacks are more sudden and surprising. 

Someone suffering from panic attacks will experience dizziness, numbness, and breathlessness. However, panic attacks typically do not last as long as anxiety.

What Causes Anxiety?

Several things can cause anxiety. They include

  • Stress- Personal and environmental stress play a major role. This includes the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, or something else. It can also include childhood neglect and bullying.
  • Genetics– A family history of anxiety increases your chance of developing anxiety.
  • Medical Conditions- Some conditions can negatively affect anxiety levels. This includes lung or heart disease.
  • Use of illicit Drugs and Substances- Abusing drugs can lead to a lot of mental and physical issues. Anxiety is just one of them.

What are the Types of Anxiety Disorders?

Selective Mutism

This type of anxiety affects children. It prevents them from expressing themselves in specific situations. This might be at school or at home.

Selective mutism can disrupt the child’s development.

Agoraphobia

This is a fear of visiting places that cause panic or anxiety. These places might also make the person feel embarrassed or trapped.

Separation Disorder

This anxiety disorder starts during childhood. It is a fear of separation caused by the abandonment of a parent or guardian.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People who suffer from this form of anxiety experience consistent worry and anxiety. 

The level of anxiety and worry they express often does not match the gravity of the event. The event or situation might be a minor or important event. 

Generalized anxiety disorder can affect a person physically. Having this form of anxiety does not stop you from having others.

Social Anxiety Disorder

People who suffer from social anxiety disorder often feel anxious or embarrassed in social settings. 

Most of their anxiety comes from the fear of being embarrassed or judged by others.

Substance-Induced Anxiety

As the name implies, this form of anxiety is a direct consequence of abusing illicit drugs and substances. It can also be a withdrawal symptom. It can also be caused by the side effects of some prescribed medications.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a state of sudden intense terror. It is usually swift and heightened. 

As earlier stated, people who suffer from panic attacks or disorders will experience symptoms such as dizziness and breathlessness.

Other Forms of Anxiety

Certain medical conditions can cause anxiety. Thyroid and lung disease are classic examples. 

Anxiety can also be triggered by a particular object or event. In some situations, an object or event-induced anxiety can lead to a panic attack.

What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

  • Insomnia
  • Numbness
  • Feelings of helplessness and doom
  • Sweaty hands
  • Nausea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Fear or panic
  • Restlessness
  • Tensed muscles
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive worry over an object or event
  • Dizziness

Risk Factors for Developing Anxiety Disorder

  • Childhood Problems- People with a history of childhood trauma or abuse might develop anxiety disorders in the future.
  • Drug and Substance Abuse- Anxiety is often a symptom of drug abuse. So, the risk of developing anxiety disorder is higher.
  • Traumatic Events- People who have experienced highly distressing or negative events have a higher chance of having anxiety disorder
  • Other Medical Conditions– Chronic health issues can contribute to anxious thoughts and feelings
  • Shyness- Children who are shy or withdrawn are more likely to have an anxiety disorder.
  • Family History of Mental Disorders- If your family has a history of mental health problems, you have a higher chance of developing an anxiety disorder.

Diagnosing Anxiety/Anxiety Disorder

Diagnosing anxiety is done by a healthcare provider and mental health specialist. If you believe you have anxiety, see your doctor immediately. 

They might conduct some physical evaluation to rule out any physical medical condition.

Seeing a mental health expert is necessary if you have an anxiety disorder. To present a diagnosis, they might ask for a psychological evaluation. 

The mental health expert will also use the guidelines in DSM-5 to accurately diagnose your condition.

What are the Likely Treatments for Anxiety?

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy aims at teaching people the effect their emotions have on their behavior. Throughout the therapy, the therapist will offer suggestions on how to manage your condition better. 

A popular form of psychotherapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This therapy helps patients to transform negative thoughts into positive ones.

It also teaches ways to better handle anxiety and tough situations.

Golden Gate Recovery is your best bet if you are thinking of going for therapy. They have experienced mental health professionals and therapists that are ready to provide any assistance needed.

Medications

Several medications can be used to treat and manage anxiety disorder. They include

  • Benzodiazepines- They reduce anxiety levels in the body. It should only be taken with a doctor’s prescription. Examples of this drug include Xanax and Klonopin. Because of their addictive nature, benzodiazepines should be taken for short periods.
  • Bupropion- Bupropion is an anti-depressant. It is prescribed to manage the symptoms of anxiety disorder
  • SSRI and SNRI- These are specific antidepressants that affect serotonin levels in the body. Examples include escitalopram and venlafaxine respectively.
  • Anti-psychotics- These are usually add-on drugs that aid other medications. They are administered in lower doses.
  • Buspirone- This drug is taken to reduce chronic anxiety. Its effects are felt after a few weeks of administration.
  • Anticonvulsants- These help to reduce anxiety levels in the body. This drug is mainly for epileptic patients.

Natural Remedies

Some lifestyle changes and habits can also help if you have an anxiety disorder. They include

  • Try to get enough sleep. If you have signs of insomnia, contact your doctor
  • Restrict your caffeine intake. Taking large amounts of caffeine can make your anxiety worse.
  • Try to do some exercises
  • Have a healthier diet
  • Meditation and yoga can make all the difference
  • Try to learn more about your condition. This will help you manage it better.

Is Anxiety Disorder Curable?

Anxiety disorders can be managed with effective treatment. Depending on its severity, symptoms might fade within months or years of treatment. 

However, anxiety is part of who we are as humans. So, you will still get anxious. However, it will be normal anxiety that lasts for a short period.

Get Help as Soon as Possible

If you have signs of anxiety disorder, seek help immediately. Organizations like Golden Gate Recovery are always ready to help.

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