Are you an adult struggling with persistent feelings of stress and unease? Do you have worrying thoughts that prevent you from getting through the day? If you answered yes, you may be struggling with an anxiety disorder. Thankfully, you’re not alone, and there are effective treatments for anxiety that can help you regain control of your life.
Port St. Lucie Hospital provides a variety of mental health services for adults diagnosed with a mental illness, including anxiety. Through these anxiety treatments, our healthcare professionals will help you create a treatment plan tailored to your needs so you can learn to live with your anxiety.
Below we’ll help you identify what an anxiety disorder in adults looks like and what treatment options are available for you because you deserve to have control over your anxiety.
What to Know About Anxiety Disorders
According to the American Psychiatric Association, anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder. In fact, anxiety affects around 30% of adults at some point in their lives. But how do you know if you have an anxiety disorder? Anxiety is a normal and helpful reaction to stress, but when anxiety keeps coming up or has severe effects on your life, it’s no longer helpful and may be an anxiety disorder.
And while anxiety is common, it can appear in many different forms. In general, there are five main types of anxiety disorders. These include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Many adults hesitate in seeking effective treatments for anxiety because they find it easier to avoid situations that cause their symptoms. However, avoidance worsens anxiety symptoms. For example, avoiding phone calls because they make your heart race won’t stop your anxiety from spiking every time the phone rings. You will feel better at the moment, but you fuel the long-term fear by not addressing the underlying issue.
Of course, it’s no secret that asking for help can be hard. But the benefits are worth it. First, you are assessed and diagnosed according to your symptoms. This will help you find out what type of anxiety you have. Then, you will have an interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals at Port St. Lucie Hospital to help you to manage and treat your symptoms. While in our care, you’ll also be in a supportive environment where you can connect with peers who understand what you’re going through.
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders in Adults
Anxiety symptoms vary depending on the disorder and its severity and can cause individuals to experience emotional and physical discomfort. Anxiety itself can also be a symptom of another mental health condition. Depending on your case, mental health professionals will help you find the most effective treatments for anxiety based on your symptoms and where they stem from.
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Increased heart rate
- Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Heart palpitations
- Trouble sleeping
- Inability to concentrate
- Muscle tension
- Headaches or migraines
- Gastrointestinal issues
What Are Effective Treatments for Anxiety?
If your anxiety disorder has a severe impact on your daily functioning, then an inpatient program may be right for you. Port St. Lucie Hospital is backed by evidence-based treatment which is implemented by strategies proven to work the most. Treating an anxiety disorder requires the right educational, medical, and social treatment options. Some of the options at our treatment center include:
- CBT therapy
- Group therapy
- Recreational or supplemental therapy
- Medication management
- Family counseling
Our inpatient mental health program is an effective treatment for anxiety because it’s carefully cultivated according to patient needs. The options available in the treatment program will help you improve your self-image and work on communication skills and thinking patterns. In this way, we can help you learn to live with and manage your anxiety disorder. Keep reading for more information about our evidence-based anxiety treatment options.
Different therapy methods are effective treatments for anxiety because they help patients treat long-term anxiety symptoms. Some of the therapy modalities offered to patients receiving care at Port St. Lucie Hospital includes:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This form of talk therapy is goal-oriented and designed to help patients achieve their short-term goals. Because patients focus on identifying and addressing challenges in their life, they learn to change the negative thought patterns that may be contributing to their anxiety. In this way, CBT also helps patients see how certain behaviors are making the biggest impact on their lives. Understanding the reason for their behavior can help patients discover healthier ways to navigate stressful situations so they can accomplish daily tasks and goals.
- Group therapy: Group therapy provides life-changing opportunities to heal from mental health and/or addiction struggles. The types of group therapy offered include nursing psychoeducational groups, medication management groups, and recovery support groups. In these groups, a qualified group leader will lead patients through conversations about how their mental disorder and/or addiction have impacted their life while providing a safe space for patients to learn about medication management or share their personal experiences.
- Supplemental therapies: Recreational therapy, art therapy, and music therapy provide creative and physical outlets for patients to regain control of their lives. These therapy styles may not be traditional but they are clinically proven to help patients achieve their recovery goals. Focusing on something healthy and constructive puts a pause on persistent worry. As a result, spending time on an enjoyable outlet can increase their overall mental wellness.
The use of anxiety medication, especially in combination with therapy, can be beneficial in alleviating anxiety symptoms. But deciding if medication is right for you depends on what you and your care team determine to be the best course of action. All medications come with potential side effects that may subside over time as your body adjusts to them.
The most common medication types used to treat anxiety:
- Benzodiazepines. This type of medication produces fast relief—it takes around 30 minutes to an hour for the effects to take place. They are very effective for overwhelming anxiety episodes, including panic attacks, because they slow down the central nervous system. However, they are only recommended for short-term use because of the potential side effects, which become more prominent with higher dosages.
- Antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used for long-term treatment to alleviate chronic anxiety symptoms. They need to be taken daily because they can take between four to six weeks to help with symptoms. They work by slowing the reabsorption (this is the “reuptake”) of serotonin in the brain to help regulate mood and feelings of anxiety.
- Antihistamines. These medications are typically used to treat allergy symptoms. However, when taken on an as-needed basis, they can produce short-term anxiety relief. Antihistamines produce a calming effect without the risk of withdrawal symptoms.
If taking medication is necessary, your physician will help you stick to a medical management plan to ensure your prescription is right for you. A meta-analysis by the National Library of Medicine supports carefully choosing medications because of the potential side effects patients may experience. Luckily, there are many options that you and your care team can consider so any side effects will be minimal and worth the anxiety relief that you receive.
Effective Treatments for Anxiety and Substance Use
First, you will undergo several assessments to evaluate your mental, physical, and social well-being before you can begin receiving effective treatments for anxiety at Port St. Lucie Hospital. The results help determine the best level of care for your needs and to see what treatment types will best benefit you. Even if you are struggling with anxiety in conjunction with a substance use disorder (SUD), there are treatment options available to help you.
If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, it’s common that you may feel anxious or depressed. As a result, mental health conditions commonly occur with substance use, but they can be treated together. Almost half of all people who experience SUD have a c0-occurring mental disorder like anxiety. In some cases, individuals use substances to medicate their anxiety while others develop anxiety because of their SUD. Both scenarios can be treated through our dual-diagnosis program.
Port St. Lucie Hospital provides a dual diagnosis program that treats patients seeking addiction and mental health treatment. Treating both disorders together increases the chances of a full recovery. This is because patients learn how co-occurring disorders interact and affect one another. Through treatment, patients learn the skills necessary to manage the full range of their symptoms.
You might also consider outpatient services for continued care following inpatient treatment. Outpatient services help patients transition out of a more intensive program, like inpatient care, at the center. But even with this non-residential treatment option, you still receive the same options included in residential treatment plans. The biggest difference is that you reside at home.
Where to Find Effective Treatments for Anxiety Today
One of the biggest goals of treatment is finding the right coping methods to reduce your stress. You can’t eliminate all of the stressful situations in your life. However, with the right tools, you will be able to manage your symptoms before they spiral out of your control.
At Port St. Lucie Hospital, we help patients find effective treatments for anxiety management to create a foundation for long-term recovery. We help patients learn to live a life where they control their anxiety, not one where their anxiety controls them. Our anxiety treatment services also include on-site psychological evaluations, crisis services, and cognitive screenings for those who need immediate assistance.
If you need help getting through the day without worry, then call our admissions specialists at 772-408-5871. You can also submit a confidential contact form with any questions or concerns about our programs. Furthermore, whichever treatment options you use through our treatment plan, we are here to fight alongside you.