Anxiety Treatment in San Diego

The National Institute of Mental Health recently released a report that stated at least 6.8 million Americans suffered from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and only 43.2% of this number were receiving treatment for the condition. This fact is quite alarming given that major depression also co-occurs with GAD, and there are many people who suffer from depression who end up doing self-harm, use of substances such as meth, Xanax or cocaine and even committing suicide. This is why most states have centers that address mental health concerns, such as the Divine House anxiety treatment in San Diego.

What are the Anxiety Disorders that People Mostly Suffer From?

anxiety treatment san diegoMost people who have anxiety live a life plagued by fear, uncertainty, and an inability to make it all stop. For most people, untreated or unaddressed anxiety could steadily worsen over time. It could get to the point where the effects of the anxiety could be so debilitating that it is practically impossible to continue with everyday activities, such as studying, working, or even maintaining normal relationships.

The closest description a person without anxiety could be given to understand the condition better is that it is like being constantly nervous or fearful but to an immense degree. All the symptoms that people would feel when they are afraid are magnified in a person with anxiety, and in many cases, the feeling stays for a very long time, or it doesn’t go away at all.

Being nervous is actually a survival mechanism built into humans so that they might be able to react to threats, danger, or stressful situations where the normal relaxed state would not suffice. The nervous feeling and all the accompanying effects, however, gradually fade once the stressful situation is over. In the case of anxiety, however, the state of being intensely nervous doesn’t stop, and could even worsen once it starts. This is what people with anxiety deal with on a daily basis.

As different people can manifest their anxieties in a myriad of ways, there are many kinds of fears, phobias, and anxieties that people suffer from each day. There are, however, five major categories that people mostly suffer from, including:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by inexplicable and unprovoked chronic feelings of fear, exaggerated worry, and chronic tension. This type of anxiety is perhaps the most prevalent among people based on their own account of how they feel when they get an anxiety attack.

The feelings of worry and tension are usually accompanied by physical symptoms, including restlessness, constantly feeling on edge, inexplicable and frequent feelings of fatigue, difficulty in focusing and concentrating, chronic muscle tension, and disruption of sleep patterns.

Most often, people who have GAD worry about everyday things such as job responsibilities and retention, personal or family health, or even things that most other people would consider to be mundane, such as properly performed daily chores, car or house repairs, or keeping appointments.

This anxiety disorder is characterized by unpredictable, repeated, and persistent bouts of intense fear. These intense bouts of fear could be accompanied by physical symptoms such as:

  • Chest pains
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sensation of being smothered
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Feeling faint
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensation of choking
  • Abdominal pain
  • Numbness or tingling of extremities
  • Sensations of intense cold or heat
  • Profuse sweating
  • Violent shaking or tremors

In many instances, people who suffer from panic disorder feel so fearful that they think they will have a heart attack or a stroke. While having a panic attack, people could be shaking so violently that they could drop whatever they are holding, or feel so weak from fear that they lose their footing and fall down. Many people who suffer from panic attacks often need to be brought to a hospital for treatment of injuries they sustained while having the attack.

This anxiety disorder is alternatively known as social phobia and is characterized by overwhelming and excessive self-consciousness when exposed to everyday social situations. Depending on the person who has it, social phobias could be associated with only one type of situation, such as a fear of speaking in public settings, or fear of eating or drinking with a crowd of people, or a fear of being approached by strangers.

There are people, however, who have such a severe social phobia that they may have an anxiety attack anytime they are around any number of people in any scenario. This is not the same as when people get performance anxiety in front of a large crowd or the intense nervousness that people get when doing a presentation before a panel, as these things will not cause the person to break down and completely lose all self-control.

Most people are familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of its prevalence among war veterans or people who have seen great conflict and violence, such as members of the police force. PTSD, however, is not limited to these people as it is also present in people who experienced domestic violence and abuse.

Furthermore, this condition mostly becomes deep-seated and might not immediately surface after the incident that caused it, but instead manifest when triggered sometime later. Many who suffer from PTSD often develop a co-occurring substance abuse disorder as they try to find a way to deal with the emotional and mental turmoil brought on by their disorder. Talk to us and know more about our PTSD treatment in San Diego before it’s too late.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has mostly become popularized by being depicted in many contemporary movies and TV shows, where people with OCD are seen as whimsical characters because of their unusual behavior relevant to their obsessions or compulsions.

This condition is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts which develop into obsessions or repetitive behaviors which then develop into compulsions. In some cases, people with OCD have both intense obsessions and compulsions that they are unable to control.

In many cases, these obsessions and compulsions could lead to felonies or even outright crimes, as the person is compelled by the disorder to act out or follow what their obsessions or compulsions dictate. It’s best to seek OCD treatment as soon as you can.

How are Anxiety Disorders Treated?

To this day, mental health specialists are still trying to find the root cause of anxiety in a bid to find a lasting cure for it. Being a disorder that affects the mind, however, there are no conclusive findings that could help create a cure-all for the different types of anxieties that plague humanity.

For now, the accepted treatments used for the different forms of anxiety are psychotherapy and medications that can be administered through an inpatient rehab, intensive outpatient rehab or a partial hospitalization program.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling and typically involves a patient conversing with a therapist to bring out what distresses them about their anxiety the most. It has been clinically proven that patients benefit from “unloading” or talking about the issues that bother them relevant to their anxieties, and at the very least, it gets them into a state that resonates better with treatment.

There are a number of psychotherapy approaches used in dealing with the many psychological and behavioral issues patients have, but relevant to anxiety there are two approaches that produce the best results: Cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an approach that many therapists prefer when dealing with anxiety disorders. This approach is generally a short-term treatment and focuses on teaching the patient the specific skills to recognize thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings. This is important to note because while many anxieties are triggered by external factors, there are also many instances where the patient unconsciously induces an anxiety attack because of the way they think, “working themselves up”, so to speak.

By being able to recognize specific patterns or sequences of thoughts that lead to the patient getting worked up into an anxiety attack, they are able to avoid these thought patterns, or at the very least, mitigate the overall effect of the anxiety attack as they already know it is coming. This allows them to control the internal source of anxiety, which is often a more complex matter to deal with than the external sources.

Many liken exposure therapy to the saying that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” As the name suggests, this approach involves having the patient face the fears that often leave them powerless, and in the process, build their tolerance to it to the point that they are desensitized to it, or at the very least, the overall effect is lessened to a degree that it is not debilitating anymore. This therapy banks on the same principle as vaccination, where a person is exposed to a small amount of what would make them sick so that the body builds a defense against it.

The exposure also comes with a surprising benefit: that of better understanding what the fear or anxiety is all about. This better understanding of the fear or anxiety significantly lessens the effect it has on the person, as fear mostly gets its power from the unknown factors that come with it. The understanding eliminates most of the unknown factors that give the fear or anxiety weight.

Medications

anxiety treatment in san diegoDepending on the type of anxiety disorder the person suffers from, there are a number of medications used to help relieve symptoms that come with it. There is, however, also a need to determine if the patient also has other mental or physical health issues that could interfere with the potency of the medication, or might trigger a complication when the medication is taken.

It needs to be stated that medications will not treat the actual anxiety. The medication is given so that the effects of the anxiety are better handled or kept at a level that is manageable. These medications, however, necessarily need to be able to directly affect the central nervous system, as the nature of anxiety is associated with mental health. This fact adds to the consideration that anxiety medications should only be taken short-term, as long-term use could have an adverse effect on the central nervous system as well.

Divine House Can Help You Deal with Your Anxiety Better

You don’t have to deal with your anxieties alone. Help can be found, and that is what we specialize in here at Divine House. We can guide you through all the stages of rehabilitation.

What you need to know is that the cause of your anxiety could be perfectly normal, and you are just too caught up in it to see it. We know this because we have helped countless others in dealing with their fears and anxieties as well. So talk to us now, so that you can get better sooner.