Anxiety Disorders

Bringing Calm to an Anxious Mind

Visualize this:

  • Living every day without an overbearing sense of doom.
  • Avoiding activities you once enjoyed out of the fear of “What if?”
  • Moving from constant anxiety to arrive at a point of calm, knowing you have the ability to handle your anxieties.

Located near San Diego, Casa Palmera recovery center understands the complexity of anxiety disorders. Anxiety is inborn, a part of our natural defenses; without it, our ancestors would never have survived. Even in our present society, anxiety provides a subconscious way to warn our conscious selves of possible danger. However, there is a point where fear and anxiety become debilitating and can cripple the ability to live a full, happy life.

By uncovering the cause of anxiety, you can truly return to a peaceful and productive life. At Casa Palmera, different types of anxiety disorders receive specific treatments. We also recognize that anxiety may play a role in dual-diagnosis cases, which means an individual suffers from both a mental disorder, such anxiety or depression, as well as a substance-abuse problem, including alcoholism and chemical dependency. We start with a comprehensive evaluation performed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals. We then structure a program designed for each individual’s needs. From the outset of treatment for an anxiety disorder, we strive to empower you to face the fears that fuel your anxiety.

All of Casa Palmera’s treatments may include adjunct therapies, such as yoga and Reiki, an Eastern medicine tradition perfect for stress reduction and relaxation. Other supplementary activities may be a part of the treatment plan designed by your team of psychiatrists and mental health professionals at Casa Palmera drug and alcohol treatment center.

Anxiety has Many Faces

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): With GAD, the perpetual presence of worrisome thoughts, fear of everything surrounding you, and a pervading sense of dread make every moment a challenge. Day-to-day living becomes a fear-ridden and traumatic ordeal. Anxiety dominates your thoughts and actions, making it impossible to live a fruitful and meaningful life. All facets of your life may suffer, from family relationships to work performance to social circles.

Panic Disorders: Many panic attacks are so severe that they mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. Along with an abrupt sense of abject terror (with no discernible real threat), many report the feeling of having no control. Others experience physical symptoms so bad that they feel as though they might die. Common physical manifestations include a rapid heartbeat, chest tightness, stomach pain, dizziness and heavy perspiration.

Isolation is a common byproduct of repeated panic attacks, partially because they are so unpredictable. Sufferers avoid situations they think might bring on an attack. In extreme cases, people lose the ability to even go outside their home.

Stress is one common contributor to the occurrence of panic attacks. By recognizing what leads you to panic, you learn to regain control of your life. Through cognitive-behavioral therapy, you begin to recognize what initiates your feelings of panic. From there, you learn to alter how you react and change how your mind responds to such stimuli.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): People with OCD obsess over troubling or disturbing thoughts. In an attempt to gain control over those thoughts, they perform rituals or compulsions. Many OCD sufferers fear germs, and thus wash their hands incessantly. Some fear a disaster will strike and try to cope with it by checking and rechecking door locks, windows and light switches. Its exact causes are not known, but there is a strong genetic link. Treatments for OCD vary but often combine cognitive behavioral therapy with specific medications for treating this anxiety disorder.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Sometimes the aftermath of a traumatic event is as bad as the event itself. When a person lives through warfare, physical assault or even an accident, PTSD may occur. In turn, PTSD takes control, altering your ability to cope with many “normal” situations. Most associate PTSD with “flashbacks,” but it may also manifest in sleeping issues, nightmares and feelings of isolation. The PTSD sufferer may also be prone to anger and worry.

Phobias: According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 10 percent of the population suffers from phobias. A phobia is an irrational fear of a specific item or action. Often, exposure to the feared thing leads to extreme anxiety or a panic attack. Sufferers may fear something as mundane as dogs or spiders, or the phobia may be of something obscure and exotic. Either way, the presence or even the threat of that thing or action can send you into a tailspin.

There are physical reactions associated with phobias. Some people sweat profusely or have rapid heart rates, while others may faint or tremble uncontrollably. The fear leads you to avoid many situations where there is even a slight possibility of exposure to the thing that scares you. Eventually, a phobia may lead to isolation.

Signs of an Anxiety Disorder

While not a comprehensive list, there are some common signs associated with anxiety:

  • Pervasive worrying and tension
  • Nightmares
  • Restlessness
  • Chronically tense muscles
  • Frequent headaches
  • Stomach upset and nausea
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Difficulty getting to sleep and remaining asleep

Causes of Anxiety Disorders

There is no one cause of anxiety disorders. Childhood trauma, substance abuse and possibly our individual genetic makeups are likely contributors. Environmental elements may contribute to the problem, such as stress, trauma and even a lack of oxygen.