Anxiety can be a normal response to stress and is beneficial in certain circumstances. But when angst, nervousness, fear, worry, and distress become extreme, the feelings may be difficult to control and can negatively affect your day-to-day living.
Anxiety appears in many different forms. It can be general anxiety that you experience daily. It can also be one of many diagnosable anxiety disorders, including Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Panic Disorder.
Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health disorders experienced by Americans. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million adults — or nearly 18 percent of the population — in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness, uncertainty, terror, or immense dread.
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Many people with anxiety disorders do not seek help, believing their anxiety will just disappear on its own. While in some instances this is the case, anxiety disorder treatment is often necessary to help you make a full recovery from your anxiety symptoms.
Clearview Treatment Programs in Los Angeles, an anxiety disorder treatment center, can provide you the help you need to recover and regain long-lasting mental health and freedom from worry.
What Does an Anxiety Disorder Look Like?
Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, but the entire spectrum of anxiety warning signs center on excessive levels of the following:
- Irrational fear and dread
- Overpowering feelings of panic
- Uncontrollable obsessive thoughts
- Painful, intrusive memories
- Recurring nightmares
- Enduring physical symptoms such as a pounding heart, being easily startled, and unrelenting tension in muscles
- Sweating, trembling, or shaking
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Feeling unreal or disconnected
- Fear of losing control
These symptoms can come and go, but if they last at least six months, there may be an underlying anxiety disorder that needs to be addressed at an anxiety treatment clinic. Symptoms of some of the more common anxiety disorders are:
- Panic Disorder marks abrupt feelings of terror or “panic attacks,” which strike repeatedly and often without warning, making it almost impossible for those suffering from this form of anxiety to interact with others or travel through normal day to day activity.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or “OCD,” is characterized by repetitious and intrusive irrational or undesired thoughts. These obsessions often trigger ritualistic behaviors and compulsions, which seem unmanageable or cause simple daily tasks to become overly burdensome.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by a stark, prolonged, and inflated distress about everyday events. Intense worrying that lasts for six months or more, difficulty concentrating and carrying out daily activities, and feeling weighed down under the constant burden of anticipating the worst often leads those suffering from this form of anxiety to experience physical symptoms of exhaustion, tension headaches, and nausea.
- Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by a fear of social situations that often leads to complications in personal relationships. Often possessing irrational fears of being humiliated in public, people with Social Anxiety Disorder may have symptoms similar to panic attacks when in social situations, leading to a general avoidance of social interaction.
- Experiencing a disabling and irrational fear of something posing little or no actual threat is a phobia, and this fear or anxiety can be extremely disabling when it leads to heightened feelings of terror, dread, and panic. Specific phobias fixated on particular objects, people, or situations cause many to lose sight of their personal control and can lead to developing additional mental and physical health problems.
No matter what symptoms you might be experiencing, know that anxiety is treatable. When you arrive at Clearview Treatment Programs, your initial assessment enables us to understand exactly what your needs are and how best to treat your anxiety so you get the treatment you need.
Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses that can mask anxiety and its symptoms, making them worse. People with anxiety disorders are more likely to use or abuse alcohol and drugs in attempts to self-medicate and to reduce their anxiety.
Whether at our anxiety residential treatment or outpatient treatment programs, Clearview’s skilled staff will ensure you obtain the best care. Our combination of evidence-based treatments and mind/body therapies will give you the greatest chance of sustaining a long-term recovery from even the most severe cases of anxiety.
Can diet can help control anxiety symptoms and stress levels?
According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, people who consume fast food, processed foods, sweets, and alcohol tend to be more anxious compared to those who ate healthily, balancing their diets with such foods as colorful vegetables, wild-caught fish, and organic fruits. Nutritionists recommend that you eat natural foods and leafy greens, as well as other mood-improving sustenance such as dark chocolate, seeds, and nuts.
Can anxiety symptoms be reduced by engaging in exercise and/or active relaxation?
Scientific research shows 20 minutes of daily meditation or 30 minutes of daily exercise can greatly reduce the emotional impact of stress. These simple and medication-free ways of combating anxiety and stress can take effect almost instantly and lower tension and negative emotions long after the activity is done. Similarly to exercise, meditation has proven an effective tool for lowering anxiety levels. Attempting a deep state of relaxation is effective in reducing fatigue and stress.
How common is anxiety?
Anxiety is the number one mental illness in the United States. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Affecting an estimated 40 million people every year, it is common for those experiencing an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression, or vice versa. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. And while anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only about one-third of those suffering receive needed anxiety treatment.