What is anxiety disorder?
Anxiety is part of everyone’s life, and in many situations, anxiety is essential for helping people avoid danger and navigate risks. However, some people experience intense periods of anxiety that are unmanageable and overwhelming. In many cases, these individuals suffer from an anxiety disorder. There are several common types of anxiety disorder, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) - Generalized anxiety disorder refers to ongoing anxiety that occurs on most days over a six month period. This anxiety may cause the person to feel regularly on-edge, irritable, and tired.
- Panic disorder - This type of anxiety disorder results in panic attacks, which are short and sudden periods of heightened anxiety and fear. Panic attack episodes often result in heart palpitations, shortness of breath, shaking, and sweating. Panic attacks can occur due to a trigger event or due to a person’s ongoing worry about future panic attacks.
- Social anxiety disorder - Some people refer to social anxiety disorder as social phobia. Individuals who suffer from social anxiety disorder are extremely uneasy in social situations or in front of other people. They often feel fear that other people are judging them negatively. This extreme self-consciousness can result in people avoiding social interactions.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)- It’s normal to go through periods of increased interest or behaviors. It is also normal to feel concerned when a loved one is sick or in unsafe conditions. Someone may describe their latest interest in a favorite film series or artist as an “obsession”. However, when pursuing obsessions and engaging in compulsive behavior come at the expense of important activities – such as relationships, work, or everyday tasks – a person may be experiencing obsessive compulsive disorder.
In recent months, many people have experienced COVID-19 anxiety. Although COVID-19 anxiety is not a clinically recognized form of anxiety disorder, it does have unique characteristics. People with COVID-19 anxiety experience intense fear and worry about their own health and the health of others. Individuals feel extremely anxious around other people at work or in public locations, such as grocery stores. While feeling some anxiety about the virus is understandable, excessive anxiety is often unnecessary and can be extremely harmful to one’s mental health.
Anxiety disorders have a range of different causes, and many of these causes are outside of the affected person’s control. Contributing factors to anxiety disorder include a person’s genetics, brain structure, and medical conditions. Additionally, environmental factors, such as experiencing child abuse, suffering a serious injury, losing a loved one, or experiencing other trauma, can contribute to anxiety disorder.
Sometimes, people who suffer from anxiety can manage their mental wellbeing independently through stress management techniques. These techniques can involve meditating, committing to daily exercise, and limiting one’s responsibilities and schedule commitments. However, in other cases, people are unable to control their anxiety and must seek the help of behavioral health professionals.
What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder?
The different types of anxiety disorders differ on what triggers anxiety and how long feelings of anxiety occur. However, each type of anxiety disorder has several common symptoms. Common symptoms of anxiety disorders include:
- Experiencing an overwhelming sense of fear and worry
- Experiencing an increased heartbeat or even heart palpitations
- Feeling weak
- Experiencing difficulty speaking
- Being unable to focus on the present moment and a general inability to concentrate
- Shortness of breath
- Shaking or trembling
- Muscle tenseness
- Nausea and dizziness
People who suffer from anxiety disorders experience anxiety differently. Some people may experience all or just some of the above symptoms, and it is important to note that sometimes the above symptoms are not noticeable to others. Accordingly, it is crucial to be mindful that friends and family members who may otherwise seem fine may suffer from anxiety, too.
Sometimes, engaging in substance abuse is also a symptom of an anxiety disorder. People may turn to drugs and alcohol to manage other symptoms of anxiety, and substance abuse can quickly escalate to cases of substance addiction and chemical dependency. When people suffer from both anxiety disorders and substance abuse simultaneously, clinicians refer to the individual as having a dual-diagnosis and a co-occurring condition. Fortunately, behavioral health hospitals can treat anxiety disorders and substance abuse issues simultaneously.
How Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital’s multidisciplinary team can help with anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorders can affect individuals in a variety of different ways, and anxiety disorders can have significant negative impacts throughout a person’s life. Without proper treatment, anxiety disorders typically get worse over time, and people who suffer from unmanageable anxiety disorders should seek treatment as soon as possible.
At Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, our team treats a range of anxiety disorders, including general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, through inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Our outpatient treatment programs at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital include partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs. Treatment programs also typically involve a medication management component.
Our team at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital understands that each patient who suffers from anxiety disorder has different needs and requires a personalized path to recovery. Accordingly, we customize each treatment program to the patient’s unique needs and requirements.
Get treatment for anxiety disorder at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital
People who need help managing their anxiety can access treatment at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. To get started, the first step is to call our team at 832-834-7710. You can reach us 24/7, and a member of our team can help answer any questions you have about our behavioral health facility and treatment programs for anxiety disorder. Alternatively, you can contact us online, and a member of our team will reach out to you as soon as possible.
Our team can also schedule you or a loved one who suffers from an anxiety disorder for a free mental health assessment. The free mental health assessment allows our team to better understand the person’s unique needs and start building a customized treatment program for the person’s anxiety disorder.