How Do I Know If I have an Anxiety Disorder?

When it comes to determining if you have an anxiety disorder, it's first necessary to rule out the possibility of other medical conditions. Several physical ailments are known to produce symptoms similar to those of experienced in anxiety. Among these are hyperthyroidism, deficiencies or excess of calcium, and low blood sugar, as well as certain heart problems.

You should note that certain medications are known to induce anxiety in some users.

Once these other possibilities have been ruled out, a psychiatric professional may begin looking at a diagnosis of anxiety disorder. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, they may also recommend an anxiety treatment center.

Altus Treatment Center can assess your potential anxiety disorder and help you determine if treatment is right for you. When it comes to treating anxiety, comfortable and stress-free environments are important to recovery and dealing with anxiety. Our main treatment facility offers green spaces, lots of room to move around, modern group meeting and treatment spaces, and more.

What medications treat anxiety disorders?

Antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been shown to be useful for also treating anxiety disorders.

Other medications include Valium, Ativan, and Xanax. However, due to the potential risk of addiction and building a tolerance, they aren't as desirable for long-term use. They may also produce other side effects such as drowsiness, poor concentration, and irritability. These drugs may be prescribed during treatment at an inpatient anxiety rehab center, such as Altus Treatment Center, where they could closely monitor their effects. Our highly skilled psychologists will help you determine if medication is right for you.

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Anxiety and substance abuse

In some cases, patients with an anxiety disorder may not realize that their anxiety is a much deeper and more persistent disorder—one that may even require entering an anxiety treatment center to address adequately. As a result, they frequently end up abusing drugs or alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate. These substances often give them temporary relief from their anxiety-based reactions and sedate their minds. The professional staff at Altus Treatment Center are mindful of relapses and substance abuse surrounding anxiety and work with patients to overcome those barriers.

Not only does this type of substance abuse not address the underlying causes of the anxiety disorder, but it can also lead to psychological addiction and physical dependence on the abused substance.

In other cases, it's the drug abuse itself that has brought about the anxiety disorder. This addiction can either be directly caused by the excess use of drugs or alcohol, or can occur when the patient attempts detoxification. In light of these possibilities, if you're looking into an inpatient anxiety rehab center, and also have an addiction problem, make sure the facility you're considering is equipped to handle co-occurring disorders.

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What types of therapies are useful for treating anxiety disorders?

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on changing thinking and behavior patterns by first understanding them, and then being able to identify them in “real-time” situations. CBT has been shown to be very efficient and is offered in most anxiety treatment centers. You should note that the benefits of this form of therapy might take up to 12 to 16 weeks before you can see the full effects.

In CBT and similar therapies, emphasis is placed on the patient’s active and personal involvement in the recovery process. The treatment is designed to give the patient a sense of having some level of control and to develop skills that will translate across many aspects of life. Activities such as becoming educated about the problem, keeping records or a journal between appointments, and homework assignments that involve the real-world implementation of treatment procedures, all serve to make the patient more of a participant in their recovery.

Exposure Therapy: This therapy is related to CBT and is designed to assist the patient in reducing fear and anxiety responses. In this therapeutic approach, the patient undergoes gradually increasing exposure to some situation or thing that is causing their stress. The goal is to decrease the patient’s sensitivity to it over time. Exposure therapy has been particularly effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorders and phobias. Working with our highly dedicated and trained staff, patients can trust that the treatment plan they are receiving from Altus Treatment Center is right for their needs.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Also known as ACT, this approach incorporates strategies such as acceptance and mindfulness (living in the moment and experiencing things without judgment). A critical component of ACT is that the patient has a strong commitment to changing behavior. Also critical to success is that the patient develops greater clarity about their values. These practices can become powerful ways to cope with negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations. ACT teaches patients to accept experiences as they come, and try to place them in a different context that they can more effectively deal with it.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): You can see DBT as integration between some techniques taught in cognitive-behavioral and concepts derived from Eastern meditation practices. The key to this therapeutic approach is the acceptance of change. DBT involves learning mindfulness in both individual and group settings. Also, it emphasizes skills for interpersonal effectiveness, dealing with distress, and achieving emotional stability.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): This form of therapy, often referred to as IPT, is designed to be a short-term supportive psychotherapy. Its purpose is to address interpersonal issues that occur during states of depression or anxiety. The therapy typically involves 12 to 16 one-hour courses, once per week. Initially, the sessions focus on gathering information about the nature of a person’s depression and interpersonal experience. From there, they develop the skills for more effectively managing these states.

If you are unsure of where to turn to deal with your anxiety, contact Altus Treatment Center today. Our welcoming and understanding facility can provide you with the direction you need to take control of your anxiety.

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