Most of us feel anxious, worried, and overwhelmed from time to time. These feelings are normal when they arise occasionally. But anxiety might be the problem when symptoms occur without identifiable triggers and become more frequent or persistent. Anxiety can be helpful at times, especially when there’s a threat of harm. But everyday feelings of anxiety can be harmful to your overall health and function.
It’s common to worry about everyday issues and how to solve them. But it’s not normal to worry about day-to-day issues until you start experiencing the physical manifestations of stress and anxiety-like shortness of breath and panic attacks.
The National Alliance of Mental Illnesses (NAMI) reports that over 40 million adults in the US suffer from anxiety disorders. People seeking anxiety disorder treatment in Los Angeles often have questions about the condition and how to get a diagnosis or options for relief.
Read on to learn more about what an anxiety disorder is, how anxiety disorders are diagnosed, and how talk therapy can help.
What Is Anxiety Disorder?
The American Psychiatric Association and the DSM-5-TR define anxiety disorders as having characteristics that include excessive anxiety or worry that occurs more days than not within six months.
If you or a loved one suffers from the following types of anxiety or symptoms, talk to a mental health professional about diagnosis and anxiety disorder treatment in Los Angeles.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports there are several types of anxiety disorders adults suffer within the U.S. Each anxiety disorder presents symptoms that disrupt the lives and daily functioning of people who suffer from severe anxiety to the point of debilitation.
Below is a brief overview of the characteristics of different anxiety disorders and symptoms.
#1. – Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – This is an anxiety disorder where constant worry and fear persist about many topics with no identifiable source of tension or concern.
#2. – Panic Disorder (PD) – People with panic disorder suffer from physical symptoms like shortness of breath and heart palpitations during extreme and unexplained anxiety moments.
#3. – Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – People who feel afraid of engaging with others in social settings to the point of being unable to speak or experiencing other debilitating physical or mental symptoms may suffer from a social anxiety disorder.
#4. – Specific Phobia Disorder – The condition causes extreme feelings of anxiety and fear about things that often pose no threat or harm to the individual. These feelings can be so severe that it impairs the ability to go to public or open places, like school or the airport. Specific phobia anxiety is often a life-long impairment.
Click here to learn more about anxiety disorders from the C.U.B.E.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed?
The first step to getting treatment for anxiety is to get a formal diagnosis from a licensed mental health professional. Mental health professionals diagnose anxiety disorders using an arsenal of tools to rule out medical issues and other conditions that can mirror an anxiety diagnosis.
Once a medical doctor performs a series of tests to rule out physical health conditions, they may refer patients with anxiety-related symptoms to psychiatrists, psychologists, or therapists for additional diagnostic testing.
Mental health professionals use diagnostic tests and questionnaires to determine if someone has a mental illness like generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety.<
Treatment for Anxiety
The next step after an anxiety diagnosis is for the therapist to work with the patient to determine the best treatment options based on symptoms and lifestyle. Anxiety can decrease performance in work and school activities and cause other difficulties in different aspects of life that can make the condition debilitating. Anxiety treatment options include prescribed medications, talk therapy, and holistic therapy.
Because everyone responds to medication and counseling differently. Medication is effective for some living with anxiety, but not everyone. Some people have adverse reactions, limited relief, or have issues with taking antidepressants and anxiety meds. Others experience treatment success with counseling alone. Most people living with anxiety rely on medication and counseling for optimal anxiety relief.
How Counseling Helps Anxiety Disorders
People living with anxiety can benefit from seeing a therapist or counselor so they can discuss their symptoms and learn how to deal with them. Talk therapy benefits include helping anxiety sufferers pinpoint and reduce or eliminate symptom triggers through cognitive-behavioral therapy and other talk therapy modalities.
Getting professional advice from a licensed psychiatrist or therapist helps people with anxiety cope, identify triggers and roadblocks, and develop a more positive outlook on life.
Regular talk therapy sessions with a licensed anxiety therapist can help reduce the long-term effects of living with anxiety disorders and make the immediate effects less burdensome.
Talking through the lingering effects of childhood trauma, emotional abuse, and other triggering events and stressors is beneficial for those who feel hopelessly stuck with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders, and panic attacks.
At the C.U.B.E., our anxiety counselors offer guidance, support, and developmental tools to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other poor and dark mood disorders in those who feel like they’ve run out of solutions to their issues.
To learn more about anxiety and stress disorders and to schedule an assessment for diagnosis or counseling, contact the C.U.B.E. at (213) 616-5821.