We all experience anxiety, uncertainty, feeling on edge, and fear to some degree at various points in our lives. Things like public speaking, flying on a plane, and driving in heavy traffic can all be common sources of anxiety and don’t necessarily reflect anything out of the ordinary. Though these feelings are unpleasant, they arise in response to external situations that do require some amount of caution and alertness and therefore serve a function. For people living with an anxiety disorder, this isn’t always the case.
While most of us can cope with mild anxieties and the situations that cause them, for some people, these feelings may not always be related to external conditions. They can be so intrusive and intense that they interfere with everyday life. Persistent, excessive worry and fear in situations that aren’t threatening may be a sign you have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are developed from an intricate set of risk factors, from brain chemistry to genetics, to personality, and even traumatic life events. Anxiety disorders affect an estimated 40 million people in the US alone.
Types of Anxiety Disorders We Treat Through IOP
At LAT, we understand how difficult it can be to tackle an anxiety disorder on your own. We offer industry-best treatment services in the Los Angeles area for a variety of anxiety-related conditions and disorders, including:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is the most widely diagnosed anxiety disorder. It often co-occurs with major depression and other mental health conditions and may be hard for those experiencing it to recognize due to its wide range of symptoms.
Signs of GAD
GAD is predominantly characterized by excessive worrying about everyday life. This can include exaggerated fears about personal health, work, social interactions, accidents, or any other aspect of life, often resulting in trouble completing routine tasks due to those anxieties. Other symptoms include difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep problems.
Typically, more easily recognizable than GAD, panic disorder is known for the panic attacks it causes and derives its name from. This can be one of the most debilitating anxiety disorders and often requires more intensive treatment.
Signs of Panic Disorder
Sometimes mistaken for a heart attack, panic attacks involve powerful physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness, as well as persistent feelings of terror. Panic attacks are often tied to specific triggers such as stress but can sometimes strike without warning. In extreme cases, individuals with panic disorder may experience several panic attacks a day if left untreated.
Many people around the world share common fears, such as a fear of snakes, spiders, or deep water. While they can become extreme, these fears are mostly considered normal and are directly tied to self-preservation instincts. Sometimes, however, individuals can develop specific irrational or unusual phobias, which can become significant blocks in life. These phobias can be centered around nearly anything, from germs and contamination (mysophobia) to holes or patterns involving holes (trypophobia) to clowns (coulrophobia).
Signs of a Phobia
The difference between a phobia and a fear is that phobias are typically compulsive, obsessive, and irrational, triggering overwhelming anxiety or panic attacks when encountered. A person with a phobia may often find themselves fixating on that phobia even in situations where there’s no risk of confronting it, and great lengths are taken to avoid triggers.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment Options for Anxiety Disorders
In most cases, anxiety disorders can be treated effectively through a combination of therapy and individualized programs, such as the intensive outpatient program (IOP) offered by Life Adjustment Team. During the early stages of treatment, medication can be useful for getting symptoms under control, but ultimately long-term treatment for an anxiety disorder requires a holistic approach.
In the IOP program, we have a more individualized program to give clients the one-on-one attention that they need. Coming from an inpatient setting, they may require more work than others. During the week, the clients will be spending ten hours over three days in therapy. For nine of the ten hours, the client will be in group therapy and then the last hour will be spent with a trained clinical staff member. Some of our goals in the group therapy are to help each client determine what their goals are, how to set those goals, and then how to work towards the goals.
This program is different because it is more hands-on. We incorporate music, yoga, drama and more into our Cognitive Behavioral focused curriculum. If you would like to learn more about our IOP program, please contact us.
Contact Life Adjustment Team for Treatment Options
At LAT, we have the training, knowledge, and experience to help you or your loved one take on your anxiety and find which treatment plan works for you. Our Team has a proven track record of helping people gain self-confidence, find direction, and overcome their disorders going back over 40 years. We promise to provide personalized, one-to-one care based on your priorities and your needs so you can meet your goals and make progress towards recovery. Contact our Clinical Team to get started today!