Anxiety disorders or Generalized Anxiety Disorder - is identified as a pervasive pattern of extensive worry, fear or dread about everyday situations and affecting or disrupting daily life.
While it is typical for individuals – adults and children - to experience occasional stress or worry, anxiety disorders include intense episodes that are difficult to manage and are disproportionate to the reality of the situation. Anxiety disorders typically last long periods of time, causing impairment in all aspects of your life, including work, school or in relationships.
Anxiety symptoms may start in early childhood or adolescence and persist into adulthood.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older. However, while anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only about one-third of those suffering symptoms seek treatment.
There are several subtypes of anxiety disorders in addition to Generalized Anxiety Disorder including:
Fear or worry about certain places or situations that triggers a severe panic of feeling trapped or helpless.
repeated and intense episodes of immediate panic manifested in shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, chest pains that may leads to avoidance of certain situations or places to prevent panic attacks from happening again.
excessive worry or fear about social situations or interactions that exhibit feelings of self-consciousness or embarrassment over other people’s perceived judgement of oneself.
a childhood anxiety disorder that induces excessive fear or worry over separation or fear of abandonment of parents or primary caregivers.
a childhood anxiety disorder that manifests itself in a consistent failure to speak in specific situations, primarily in school or social encounters. Children with this disorder have no issues speaking at home or with close family members.
Panic attacks and anxiety are often used interchangeably but are different. Anxiety is pervasive or excessive worry about a future event or situation which may include rumination, irrational thinking or cognitive distortions. Anxiety can be long-lasting and hard to control and may or not include bodily sensations connected to worry.
Panic attacks are abrupt feelings of panic triggered by a perceived immediate threat or danger. Panic attacks can induce rapid heart rate, shortness of breath and chest pains that sometimes are misidentified as a heart attack. Many times, the anxiety is surrounding the fear of a future panic attack and struggling with intense symptoms, so individuals begin to avoid places or situations that were thought to trigger intense bodily sensations.
While they are no definitive causes of anxiety, there are several factors that can trigger anxiety disorders. Those include:
a growing body of research have linked genetics and anxiety. Additionally, there is an assumptions that some responses to everyday situations are learned behaviors children by adults. If you had a primary caregiver that exhibited anxiety symptoms in response to everyday stressors, children may be prone to modeling those behaviors.
those who have experienced trauma or witnessed traumatic events are at a higher risk of anxiety.
those who are currently substance abusers or are withdrawing from drugs or alcohol are more prone to anxiety disorders. Additionally, those who experience anxiety may be more prone to turn to drugs or alcohol to lessen their symptoms.
those dealing with a medical condition or serious illness may experience anxiety disorders.
The anxiety, worry, or associated symptoms make it hard to carry out day-to-day activities and responsibilities. They may interfere with work or school and may affect relationships.
A diagnosis of anxiety requires an evaluation by a licensed clinician such as a psychiatrist or psychologist who specializes in anxiety. At Clarity Clinic, we offer anxiety disorder diagnoses and treatment for children, teens, and adults aimed at understanding the anxiety, as well as triggers associated with symptoms. At Clarity Clinic, we conduct anxiety assessments to determine the severity of the anxiety and identify any coexisting conditions that can frequently be a contributing factor to anxiety, such as depression, substance abuse and mood disorders.
Anxiety disorders are highly treatable using a combination of medication management and psychotherapy.
Our psychotherapists specialize in cognitive-behavior therapy to treat anxiety. Cognitive-behavior therapy is the most widely used psychotherapy treatment for anxiety disorders and research has shown it to be highly effective in the reduction of symptoms. Cognitive-behavior therapy or CBT is a short-term, goal oriented therapy that focuses on changing behaviors and thought patterns for those suffering from anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and social anxiety disorder, as well as post traumatic stress disorder. At Clarity Clinic, our therapists are trained in CBT interventions and strategies to help patients reduce their anxiety and worry and refocus and redirect their negative thought patterns to reduce their symptoms.
Our psychiatrists ensure a proper diagnosis and take care in specialized medication management for clients treating anxiety through pharmacological treatment. Working in conjunction with Clarity Clinic therapists, the treatment team works together to devise an individual treatment plan tailored to each client's’ symptoms.
Medications to treat anxiety include:
At Clarity Clinic, we have highly trained staff who specialize in diagnosing and treating anxiety. To schedule an appointment, click on one of the specialists below to schedule an initial evaluation to and discuss assessment, diagnosis and treatment options.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a reference manual used by healthcare professionals as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders – the symptoms of anxiety - specifically Generalized Anxiety Disorder -- are listed below and must occur more often than not for at least 6 months:
Many individuals with anxiety disorders also experience symptoms such as sweating, nausea or diarrhea. Additionally, the symptoms associated with the anxiety or worry disrupt daily activities and tasks, and make cause issues at school, at work or in relationships.