Anxiety Treatment Center in California
Getting a Treatment Plan for Anxiety
It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time when life throws you a curveball, but for people who deal with this problem consistently, it may be best to seek out the help of a professional anxiety treatment center.
Much like with substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder, when you find the symptoms of anxiety are interfering with your daily living, it’s time to think about getting mental health help.
There are several types of anxiety disorder:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): GAD is characterized by persistent and excessive anxiety about events, or sometimes even routine issues. Worrying tends to be disproportionate to the circumstances, difficult to control, and sometimes triggering physical side effects. Generalized anxiety disorder often co-occurs with depression or other anxiety disorders.
- Panic disorder: Panic disorder involves recurring episodes of intense fear or anxiety. These feelings typically peak and subside within 30 minutes when they manifest in the form of panic attacks
- Social anxiety disorder: Also commonly known as social phobia, this mental health condition is characterized by the fear, anxiety, and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of self-consciousness or embarrassment
- Separation anxiety disorder: This childhood disorder is characterized by anxiety out of proportion to the developmental level of the child-related to being separated from parents or caregivers
- Substance-induced anxiety disorder: Sometimes, misusing or abusing prescription medications or illicit drugs can trigger symptoms of anxiety and panic
Anxiety Disorder Treatment
If you find any symptoms of anxiety disrupting your day-to-day life, you should first schedule an appointment with your primary healthcare provider. They can check for any underlying medical condition that could be causing the anxiety or panic.
Assuming there is no physical cause, you may be referred to a mental health specialist. A psychologist can diagnose anxiety, and can also provide counseling in the form of psychotherapy. A psychiatrist, by contrast, is a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders.
Regardless of the type of anxiety, treatment usually takes the form of medications and psychotherapy, sometimes delivered in combination.
Table of Contents
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Generalized anxiety disorder can manifest at any stage in life, from childhood through to adulthood. While the symptoms of GAD are similar to those of panic disorder and other forms of anxiety, the best treatment is nevertheless tailored to this specific form of anxiety.
In most cases, a combination of psychotherapy and medication will improve the symptoms of GAD.
Beyond this, you can make sensible lifestyle changes, learn more robust coping skills, and practice techniques like meditation to further alleviate the symptoms you’re struggling with.
Generalized anxiety disorder sometimes co-occurs with other anxiety disorders or mood disorders. GAD also commonly co-occurs with substance use disorder. In this case, dual diagnosis treatment is proven effective.
The core goal of talk therapies like CBT is to change the way you think and behave after exploring the interrelated nature of your thoughts and feelings.
This approach is proven effective for creating permanent change in many people suffering from anxiety.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications to treat the symptoms of GAD.
If your doctor feels you would benefit from medication for the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, you’ll typically create both short-term and long-term medication plans.
Short-term anti-anxiety medications can help ease some of the physical symptoms associated with GAD, like stomach cramps and muscle tension. Common examples of this class of medication include:
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
You should not take these drugs – from the benzodiazepine class – for long periods as they carry a high risk of abuse and benzodiazepine addiction. When used exactly as prescribed and short-term, benzos are proven effective.
Some common antidepressants are also proven effective for treating generalized anxiety disorder. Examples include:
- Buspar (buspirone)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Luvox (fluvoxamine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Effexor XR (venlafaxine)
- Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
Antidepressants typically take several weeks to start working. You can also expect side effects including:
- Dry mouth
Your doctor may prescribe both anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants. In this case, you would usually only take the anti-anxiety medication for a few weeks, by which stage the antidepressants should be working.
Social Anxiety Treatment
While some people crave the company of others, for many suffering from a social anxiety disorder, the thought of any social gathering feels intimidating and entirely unwelcome.
Beyond feelings of self-consciousness and excessive worry regarding social interactions, a social anxiety disorder can cause the following physical symptoms:
- Rapid heart rate
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
With the right treatment, though, you can beat the crippling anxiety that holds you back and stops you from making the most out of life.
Treatment typically takes any or all of the following forms:
- Support groups
In therapy sessions, you can explore your thoughts and feelings with your therapist and probe the root cause of your anxiety.
Therapy can also help you to do the following:
- Create a plan to overcome your anxiety long-term
- Feel secure enough to discuss all your fears
- Develop skills to identify your triggers
- Build healthy coping skills
With psychotherapy sessions, you can learn to change some of the negative and flawed thinking that can lead to anxiety.
By getting to the root of your anxiety and taking a hands-on approach to treatment, you can start improving your social interactions.
You can find plenty of support groups for anxiety, both local and online.
You’ll be able to share experiences with peers undergoing broadly similar experiences, and you’ll get the opportunity to learn coping techniques from others just like you.
Social anxiety can be a severe and ongoing disorder, so your healthcare provider might prescribe medication.
Several medications are proven effective for treating the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. These include:
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors): SSRIs are typically used as a first-line treatment for social anxiety, as well as for depression
- SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors): If an SSRI doesn’t work, your doctor might prescribe an antidepressant from the SNRI class instead
- MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors): If you are diagnosed with social anxiety that is severe enough to trigger panic attacks, your doctor might prescribe some MAOI antidepressants. These can help reduce the intensity of panic attack symptoms
- Beta-blockers: While this medication is usually used to reduce high blood pressure, beta-blockers are also sometimes used to treat some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, like sweating, tremors, and rapid heart rate
- Anti-anxiety medications: Benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium are sometimes also prescribed to treat social anxiety disorder
Anxiety Attack Treatment
An anxiety attack occurs when you experience an overwhelming sense of fear, distress, or worry.
Sometimes, anxiety attacks slowly build, and sometimes they become worse as a stressful event gets closer.
Symptoms of anxiety attacks vary significantly from person to person, but commonly include:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Hot flashes
If you experience many of these physical symptoms, you should schedule a medical checkup. If there is no underlying medical cause, consulting with a therapist can help you devise the best course of treatment to combat anxiety attacks.
Outpatient Anxiety Treatment
The good news is, anxiety disorders can typically be treated through outpatient programs, meaning you don’t need to worry further about the cost or the restrictions of residential treatment.
A standard outpatient program or a part-time intensive outpatient program (IOP) should be sufficient for most mild and moderate cases of anxiety disorders. With more severe anxiety disorders, you may benefit from a partial hospitalization program (PHP).
Anxiety Treatment at Renaissance Recovery
Here at Renaissance Recovery Center, we have a mental health IOP (intensive outpatient program) that’s designed to help you combat even more severe cases of anxiety disorders.
Our team of mental healthcare professionals will draw up a treatment plan for anxiety based on your diagnosis and circumstances, ensuring you get the care and aftercare you need.
Rehabilitation can put an end to addiction
Call and ask the facility directly or call your own provider to determine if your insurance covers the treatment.