Characterized by feelings of chronic worry and/or fear, anxiety disorders pose immense challenges to daily life and well-being. For instance, living with an anxiety disorder may make it difficult to explore new situations and experiences, cause an individual to withdraw from friends and family, or merely prevent an individual from leaving their house. Meanwhile, many individuals with anxiety disorders may turn to alcohol or other drugs to self-medicate, making them vulnerable to co-occurring disorders and more complicated treatment. Nevertheless, it is necessary to understand that treatment can help individuals learn how to manage anxiety disorders, ensuring that each person can live a worthwhile life without the symptoms of worry or fear limiting their potential.
At Avalon Malibu, we believe that the process of healing is one of self-realization that involves accepting and embracing limiting beliefs and symptoms as a doorway to freedom. We take a holistic approach to treatment for anxiety disorders, trauma, other mental health disorders, and substance use disorder (SUD) by incorporating treatment modalities that address the whole person – the mind, body, and spirit. Thus, anxiety treatment can help individuals not only break old patterns and shed limiting beliefs but also ensure that they can become the best version of themselves in recovery.
Understanding Anxiety Disorders
To understand how anxiety treatment can help individuals with anxiety disorders, it can be helpful to address what anxiety disorders are as well as recognize what factors may contribute to their development. First and foremost, anxiety disorders are a category of mental health disorders marked by ongoing symptoms of worry or fear that do not cease over time. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Phobia-related disorders
Each anxiety disorder triggers unique signs and symptoms. For instance, according to the National Insitute of Mental Health (NIMH), GAD “usually involves a persistent feeling of anxiety or dread, which can interfere with daily life.” As a result, those with GAD may experience chronic irritability, exhaustion, restlessness, and an inability to control feelings of worry. Meanwhile, panic disorder is characterized by “sudden periods of intense fear, discomfort, or sense of losing control even when there is no clear danger or trigger. ” Thus, those with panic disorder may experience feelings of impending doom alongside uncomfortable physical symptoms when faced with panic attacks.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
Similar to other mental health disorders, multiple factors can increase an individual’s risk of developing an anxiety disorder throughout their lifetime. As explained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), anxiety disorders are caused by complex interactions between both biology and the environment. On the one hand, genetics can play a role, such as having a sibling or parent with an anxiety disorder or merely enduring brain function and chemistry that make an individual more vulnerable to worry. Meanwhile, environmental factors such as trauma, learned behaviors involving ongoing worry, perception of external threats, and lack of social support can also contribute to the development of an anxiety disorder.
Treatment Can Help Heal Anxiety Disorders
As explained by Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, “Anxiety disorders should be treated with psychological therapy, pharmacotherapy, or a combination of both.” Various psychological approaches may be used to help individuals best manage their anxiety disorders, with the most common approaches being cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Both of these approaches to talk therapy aim to help clients better understand the connections between their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. More specifically, CBT aims to challenge and modify maladaptive cognitions and beliefs, whereas DBT utilizes mindfulness skills to increase distress tolerance while strengthening emotional regulation skills.
Pharmacotherapy, otherwise known as medication management, is another valuable method used to treat anxiety disorders. This form of treatment can help individuals who may be experiencing severe or debilitating symptoms of anxiety disorders by calming the nervous system. Often, anti-anxiety medications are used not only to reduce the severity of symptoms but also to enhance the therapeutic process, making treatment more effective overall. Throughout treatment, individuals may be able to properly wean off medication while still participating in therapy, ensuring greater independence and well-being throughout long-term recovery.
Coping With Anxiety at Home
Although treatment can help individuals with anxiety disorders in numerous ways, there are also helpful coping techniques that individuals can utilize outside of treatment to navigate chronic feelings of stress, worry, and fear. When facing uncomfortable physical or mental symptoms of anxiety, individuals can:
- Lean into the social support of friends and family
- Engage in mindfulness practice, such as breathing exercises or meditation
- Utilizing exercise to reset the nervous system
- Limit caffeine intake
- Engage in self-care activities, such as taking a bath
- Distract the mind with a good book
How Anxiety Treatment Can Help at Avalon Malibu
At Avalon Malibu, we understand the many ways that anxiety disorders can impede daily life. Likewise, we want to assure those struggling with anxiety that healing and recovery are not only possible but also within reach. With proper treatment, those living with anxiety disorders can reinvent their lives, free from the controls of fear or worry.
We offer residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), and general outpatient programs to meet the unique needs and recovery goals of every client we serve. No matter where an individual stands on their journey to recovery from anxiety disorders, we have the professional guidance and holistic support needed to foster a well-rounded and successful recovery.
If you experience ongoing symptoms of worry or fear that do not dissipate over time, you may be struggling with an anxiety disorder. While there are helpful coping mechanisms you can use to address your symptoms at home, professional treatment is often necessary to overcome anxiety disorders and to reestablish well-being in recovery. At Avalon Malibu, we understand the challenges that anxiety disorders pose to daily life and well-being and are dedicated to guiding clients on their journey to wellness. With a wide range of evidence-based and holistic treatment options and programs offered, we have something for everyone needing refuge from anxiety symptoms. Learn more about how treatment can help by calling (844) 857-5992 today.