Anxiety is a normal part of life, but you may experience anxiety that is persistent and overwhelming. If it’s an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it can be disabling, and when anxiety interferes with daily activities, you may have an anxiety disorder. Fortunately, anxiety is highly treatable.
Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders affecting children and adults in the United States. An estimated 44 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders. Only about one-third of those suffering from an anxiety disorder receive treatment, even though the disorders are treatable.
The term “anxiety disorder” refers to specific psychiatric disorders that involve extreme fear or worry, and includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and panic attacks, agoraphobia, selective mutism, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, and specific phobias.
Other conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are closely related to anxiety disorders, which some may experience at the same time as depression.
Children, like adults, can also suffer from anxiety. Some symptoms may include agitation, difficulties settling down for bed, problems with transitions, inattention and poor focus, headaches or stomachaches, crying, overly high expectations, and school refusal. It may be difficult to identify anxiety in children, especially when symptoms can overlap with or present themselves as symptoms of learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders. As with adults, child anxiety is treatable and early diagnosis and treatment is essential.
Research is showing that anxiety disorders run in families, and have a biological basis, much like allergies or diabetes. Anxiety disorders may develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
Treatments and River City Clinic Staff Expertise
There are many highly effective treatment options for anxiety-related disorders. Once evaluated, the treatment plan can include evidence based therapies such as Counseling, Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Family Therapy, and EMDR. Our staff of trained Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, as well as Professional Clinical Counselors may also use alternative approaches like mindfulness, stress management, and guided meditation to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. They may collaborate with a medical specialist if medications are recommended.
“Even though not everyone will struggle with a diagnosable anxiety disorder, learning strategies to aid in relief from anxiety and to manage the anxiety experienced in everyday life can help you live the life you desire”