Anxiety Treatment in Orange County

Orange County Mental Health Treatment


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Anxiety encompasses a broad spectrum of conditions known as anxiety disorders, which can make social function and daily tasks difficult to one degree or another. This condition is extremely common in the modern world and can include a range of symptoms that revolve around nervousness, panic attacks, unfounded or exaggerated fears and certain physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, diffuse chest pain and perceived difficulties with breathing.

Fortunately, while many people try to “tough it out” with their own anxiety problems and neglect professional treatment, this condition is highly treatable through a combination of options that can be highly effective. The treatments for anxiety absolutely deserve exploration by anyone dealing with this common problem. Let’s cover the options available now and see what can help you or someone you care about.

What Types of Anxiety Exist?

Anxiety is often nebulously described as if the condition was of only one type, but it’s not. Instead, several commonly recognized variants exist that can all have their own specific triggers and treatment options. These main types of anxiety include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (also known as GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Specific phobias triggered by particular events or things
  • Separation anxiety

Each of these can be treated in certain general ways or with methods specific to its particular cause. Some of the above anxiety types can also evolve to produce effects that are in line with other types of anxiety.

Who Is At Risk Of Anxiety Attacks?

Quite simply, anxiety can strike anyone at any time and for a number of different reasons. While many cases of anxiety are caused by specific contexts and can wane with changes in behavior or daily habits and environment, some people are at higher general risk due to several factors. These include:

  • Personality traits that predispose towards anxiety. These include shyness, social discomfort, introversion and aversion towards unfamiliar situations.
  • Having the above personality tendencies and being subjected to sudden social pressures and situations that cause you to abruptly confront them in stressful ways
  • Specific stresses and traumas from childhood or even adulthood
  • A family history of anxiety or mental health conditions such as depression that can augment it
  • Physical conditions and illnesses either through the stress they impose upon quality of life or due to chemical changes caused by them. An example of this being thyroid disorders or certain heart conditions.

It’s worth repeating that aside from the above range of risk factors, almost anyone can suffer anxiety at one time or another in their life for a whole range of reasons, even if they’ve never previously faced this condition. This applies especially for people placed under unforeseen stresses that break the normal rhythm of their lives.


What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety?

The symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary considerably based on the variant that you’re suffering from, but some of their most common manifestations include:

  • Restlessness
  • Obsessive and often unfounded worry that jumps from one situation or subject to another
  • Physical tension
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Sleep difficulties and insomnia
  • Extreme, sudden panic attacks (particularly for panic disorder)
  • Unexpected and intense sensations of terror
  • Excessive sweating, heart palpitations, chest pains and even difficulties breathing (especially during panic attacks)
  • Powerful emotional aversions to certain triggers such as people, objects or situations and places. These are common with phobias and specific trauma-induced anxiety.
  • Repeated thoughts about traumatic events or personal terrors, to the point of interfering with normal thinking
  • Nightmares
  • Ritualistic behaviors and compulsive disorders

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Diagnosing Anxiety

Anxiety can be readily diagnosed by a combination of well-rounded medical and psychological examinations. The clinical diagnosis of anxiety can be particularly important at first for the sake of ruling out physical and chemical disorders that might be causing it in an otherwise mentally healthy individual. Aside from this, no specific lab tests for anxiety exist so far and diagnosis is often explored through psychiatric and psychological examination after a physical clinical cause has been ruled out.

During a psychiatric evaluation by an understanding professional, you might be asked a series of questions that explore the nature of your symptoms, how they get triggered and how often they occur with what level of intensity. Other questions will explore possible triggers, life traumas and current circumstances in your life that might be causing the onset of anxiety.

How To Treat Anxiety

Treatment for anxiety is often quite broad in that while many methods exist, each individual’s treatment plan might have to be customized to their specific needs. One fundamental thing to bear in mind is that while rare cases of anxiety can go away on their own or be dealt with without clinical intervention, you will absolutely have a much easier and more productive recovery if you seek specialist help. It can genuinely help clear up anxiety symptoms and make the recovery time far more manageable.

The treatment options for general anxiety and other variants usually include the following:

Clinical Approaches

Medical treatments for anxiety won’t cure the different manifestations of this psychological condition and its variants, but they will usually help considerably with symptom and attack management while a more thorough behavioral/psychological treatment plan is being pursued. The kinds of medications often prescribed to help deal with specific symptoms include:

Anti-anxiety medications: The most common types of these medications are benzodiazepines, and they can help decrease the intensity of anxiety sensations, panic attacks and intense generalized worry. They ‘re not only rapidly effective but also well tolerated by most people. The adverse side of this tolerance is that it can increase to the point that these medications no longer work as well over time. For this reasons, healthcare providers try to taper dosages after only a short term of use for relief of intense symptoms.

Antidepressants: Antidepressants are often combined with anti-anxiety medications to slightly modify how well the brain uses certain chemicals that cause mood swings and stress reactions. Because anxiety often also causes depression or is augmented by it, antidepressants can be highly helpful. On the other hand, their effectiveness can take a certain while to build up, so you as a patient will need to be a bit patient.

Beta-blockers: This common medication for high blood pressure and certain physical tremor conditions also reduces the physical symptoms of anxiety by repressing arrhythmias, tremors, nervous twitches and the nervousness that comes with these sensations.

Psychological Treatments

The most robust and long-lasting treatment plans for  anxiety disorders of all kinds involve psychotherapy by a qualified and experienced professional. These treatments, done through counseling sessions over time will help you as a sufferer of anxiety in one form or another discover and deal with the specific triggers of your condition.

A mental health practitioner can use approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy to help you find the patterns of behavior and life circumstances that cause anxious feelings. By doing this, coping mechanisms and modification strategies can be created to dissolve anxiety.

Another major psychiatric approach to handling anxiety is known as exposure therapy. This is particularly useful for social anxieties and phobias, and it involves slowly exposing a patient to increasing doses of the fear triggers that cause attacks. Exposure therapy in conjunction with relaxation exercises, medications for temporary relief and cognitive behavioral treatment can be highly effective against social anxieties, panic attacks, phobias and separation anxieties as well.


Anxiety Treatment in San Juan Capistrano

Anxiety disorders often cause enormous harm to their sufferers specifically because they go undiagnosed and untreated, but not because their progression was unstoppable. If you find yourself suffering from levels of anxiety that interfere with daily activity, life plans and how good you feel about life, getting help for your condition can dramatically reduce how much harm it ends up doing.

The professional support and
treatment options available at First Light Recovery can offer a range of solutions that address even highly complex anxiety-related needs in individuals. Consulting with a professional mental health provider is a powerful first step towards recovery.