Anxiety disorders range from feelings of discomfort to debilitating bouts of terror. Roughly 18% of the nation’s population — about 40 million Americans over the age of 18 — are affected by anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
When someone spends at least six months worried excessively about everyday problems, they could have an anxiety disorder. However, incapacitating or troublesome symptoms for shorter periods of time may also warrant treatment.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Of the 40 million Americans suffering from anxiety disorders, almost 7 million suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), 15 million suffer from social anxiety disorder, 14.8 million suffer from major depressive disorder, and 7.7 million are affected by post-traumatic stress disorder.
Types of anxiety issues include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder or social phobia
- Panic disorder
- Panic attacks
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Selective mutism (inability to speak in some circumstances when capable of speaking in others)
- Specific phobia (irrational fears around specific places, objects and situations)
- Agoraphobia (fears around being in certain environments, often public situations)
- Substance/medication-induced anxiety disorder
- Anxiety disorder due to another medical condition
- Other specified anxiety disorder (doesn’t meet requirements for other anxiety disorders, but has significant distress due to anxiety)
- Unspecified anxiety disorder
Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Anxiety disorder treatment should be tailored to each individual’s specific type of anxiety problem, their individual physical and psychological make-up and situation, and any co-occurring disorders and underlying issues such as trauma. Treatments shown to be effective for anxiety disorders include cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and biofeedback to control muscle tension. Medication, most commonly anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and antidepressants, may also be helpful.
The Ranch treatment center takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating anxiety disorders. First we conduct thorough biopsychosocial assessments to create a treatment plan that addresses both anxiety issues and any other challenges such as substance abuse, eating disorders and compulsive behaviors. We also evaluate how past trauma or other underlying issues might be getting in the way of healthy functioning. Treatment addresses these issues from all angles — physical, spiritual and emotional. Clients embark on an experiential treatment journey that includes individual, group and family therapy as well as equine therapy, adventure therapy, trauma-focused therapies and spiritual exploration. Learn more about our anxiety treatment program or call 888-844-5865.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
It’s normal for people to experience occasional anxiety due to life circumstances or stressors, but prolonged, intensive episodes of anxiety are indicative of a problem that needs professional medical and behavioral attention.
Symptoms of anxiety disorders vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but generally include:
- Inability to alleviate concerns even with knowledge that the situation does not call for the intense level of anxiety
- Excessive worry that interferes with everyday life
- Inability to relax
- Difficulty concentrating
- Insomnia and/or difficulty staying asleep
- Irrational fears or phobias
- Digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome
- Excessive nervousness or obsessing over one’s performance in social situations or when speaking or performing in public, both before and after the event
- Muscle tension, aches, trembling or twitching
- Panic attacks
- Constant self-doubt or over-questioning actions or decisions
- Regularly remembering/replaying negative experiences whether events were traumatic or just stressful
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hot flashes
- Feeling out of breath without physical exertion