Are you troubled by constant worry, fear, and doubt? Does your body speak your stress for you, with you commonly experiencing migraines, gastrointestinal distress, or tightness in your chest? Do you struggle with insomnia? Anxiety might be to blame. It doesn’t help that today’s demands are ever-increasing, that we’re wired around the clock, and that life doesn’t seem to be letting up.
Symptoms of Anxiety:
Anxiety can take many shapes and forms. Symptoms include:
- frequent worrying
- thinking constantly about the “what-ifs”
- stomach aches
- muscle tension
Collectively, anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorders among Americans. Some of the most commonly diagnosed disorders include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
Historically, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was categorized with these disorders, but now OCD and related disorders are categorized separately. These include Hoarding Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling) Disorder, and Excoriation (Skin-Picking) Disorder. Still, these disorders are associated with the experience and expression of anxiety.
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders:
Treatment can be short-term and typically includes evidence-based techniques, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a kind of therapy designed to reduce symptoms by reworking your thoughts (cognitive restructuring) and changing your behaviors. A specific type of behavioral therapy, called Exposure Plus Response Prevention (ERP) focuses on exposing yourself to your fears (or feared stimuli). The goal of this work is to acclimate to anxiety-provoking situations over time. Other approaches that can be used to address symptoms include techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), skills from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and general mind-body interventions such as mindfulness, deep breathing, meditation, and physical activity. Gatewell therapists are also trained to uncover some of the roots of anxiety, so that addressing symptoms isn’t a matter of applying a “band-aid solution,” which often results in the emergence of other symptoms.
When you enter treatment at Gatewell, you and your therapist will collaborate on the best approach and techniques that fit your symptoms and you as an individual. Interventions can shift over time with feedback from you regarding how you’re feeling and how the techniques are working. Our goal is to reduce your overall symptoms and help you cope with any that remain.