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Anxiety Disorders Treatment in Raleigh/Durham & the Triangle

Raleigh Wellness & Behavioral Health is Here to Help

You don’t need to live with excessive worry, fear, or stress. Using proven treatment techniques, we can help you feel better and overcome your anxiety.

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder, affecting an estimated 40 million American adults and one in eight children. It often develops from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly responsive to treatment.

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Who Needs Anxiety Therapy in Raleigh/Durham?

 

If your worries are excessive, you may have anxiety and physical symptoms, procrastinate from getting things done, avoid potentially fun activities, and you may be doing damage to your relationships by not connecting and enjoying time with those you genuinely like and love.

 

Fortunately, despite how debilitating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can be, it can be effectively treated. First let’s have you answer some questions to see if you are worrying too much for your own good.

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Why You May Need Anxiety Therapy in Raleigh/Durham

 

It might be worth being screened by a Raleigh psychiatric provider for anxiety if you experience consistent, excessive worry. To be assessed and diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you would need to make an online appointment.

 

The criteria they would be paying attention to would be excessive anxiety and worry more days than not for at least six months, a difficult time controlling worries, and at least three of the following for adults, or only one for children: difficulty concentrating, restlessness, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension/aches, or sleep problems.

 

If along with those there is significant distress or impaired functioning at work, school, or at home, you may be diagnosed with a form of anxiety.

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Psychiatric Medications and Anxiety Therapy in Raleigh/Durham

 

Anxiety is second only to depression as the most common reason for the use of prescription psychiatric medications. (In fact, some of the medications used to treat depression are the very same ones used to treat chronic anxiety.) Many do receive short and long-term relief from some of the extreme symptoms of anxiety through psychiatric medications; you can almost surely get relief. That said, many patients come to our NYC therapy center’s offices in Park Slope and Tribeca or contact us for online therapy with the expressed goal of avoiding psychiatric medications. There aren’t easy, straightforward answers, but it is important to know that there are alternatives to medication.

 

Types of Anxiety Disorders

 

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is an overwhelming fear that you will be judged or scrutinized by others in social situations. Further, you may feel uncomfortable around others and avoid situations that involve interacting with other people.

For the most part, if one has social anxiety they know that their fears and concerns are excessive and not reasonable. The fear and pain at social situations restricts one’s ability to live their life normally.

 

Social anxiety affects children differently than adults and can manifest by refusing to speak, temper tantrums, crying, and separation anxiety from one’s parents.

 

Treatment for social anxiety is usally done through SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) and psychotherapy (talk therapy).

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Usually referred to as “GAD,” generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive anxiety and worry. If one experiences exaggerated worry and tension while always thinking the worst will happen, then it is fairly likely they have GAD. Those with GAD will even worry when there is no clear reason to be concerned, ruminating over things including finances, personal health, family, work, and more.

 

Those with GAD often suffer from physical symptoms such as:

  • Restlessness

  • Irritability

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Muscle tension

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Being easily fatigued

  • Being on edge

  • Stomach aches and diarrhea

 

The concerns people have often extend to be about relatives, worrying if family members will have an accident for become sick.

 

Unlike the other types of anxiety disorders, people with GAD can’t always give a reason for their symptoms. One of the symptoms is a vague feeling of unease, often with worry. While everyone has worries from time to time, those with GAD worry constantly and much more intensely.

 

The focus on worries may even become obsessive, leading to other symptoms such as insomnia.

 

Similar to OCD, the treatment for GAD is a combination of medications and talk therapy. The most commonly used medications include benzodiazepines, buspirone, and SSRIs.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is when someone has recurring obsessions and/or compulsions that impair their ability to live, leading to distress, lost time, and interfering with normal functioning. Those with OCD often have intense concerns about contamination and injury, hoard, and have sexual, physical, or religious preoccupations.

 

Some of the compulsions those with OCD experience are:

  • Washing

  • Checking

  • Repeating

  • Ordering

  • Counting

  • Hoarding

  • Touching (rare)

 

Common obsessions include:

  • Consistent irrational worry about dirt, germs, or contamination

  • Excessive concern with order or symmetry

  • A fear that one’s negative thoughts will harm a loved one

  • Preoccupation with losing or throwing away things that have little or no value

  • Being excessively concerned about hurting another person

  • Feeling overly responsible for the safety of others

  • Distasteful religious and sexual thoughts or images

  • An intense and irrational amount of doubting

Panic Disorder

One of the more common anxiety disorders, panic attacks affect 6 million adults or 2.7% of the population in the U.S. Panic attacks are characterized by a sudden onset of intense fear which reaches a peak within a few minutes. Due to their severity, they can cause chronic fear of having another panic attack. This fear of having a panic attack often causes people to avoid situations or activities that they think will lead to a panic attack.

 

A diagnosis of Panic Disorder is distinguished by the chronic recurrence of panic attacks. Panic attacks are intense but brief times of intense fear and discomfort, and are accompanied by at least four somatic and psychic symptoms:

 

  • Palpitations

  • Sweating

  • Trembling

  • Dyspnoea

  • Choking Sensations

  • Chest Pain

  • Nausea

  • Abdominal Distress

  • Dizziness

  • Feeling Of Unreality

  • Fear Of Dying

Specific Phobias

Phobias are an intense, irrational fear or reaction to commonplace places, situations, or objects. Those with a specific phobia usually know that their fear is excessive or not reasonable and that it doesn’t really make sense. However, that doesn’t stop the phobia and people will work hard to keep from being in situations where they’ll be exposed to the thing that scares them.

 

The good news is that phobias tend to respond quite well to treatment.

 

Some of the most common phobias include:

  • Animals

  • Insects

  • Heights

  • Water

  • Closed-In Spaces

  • Air Travel

  • Bridges

  • Highway Driving

  • Medical Procedures

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is characterized by the fear and avoidance of public places and situations where one feels that escape won’t be possible. People with agoraphobia will often avoid crowded places such as shopping malls, busses and planes, and sporting arenas.

 

Those with agoraphobia are always concerned about having another panic attack, which is why they avoid any place or situation which they think will cause one. To deal with this, some people stick to the same route or area every day, making it impossible for them to travel somewhere different without experiencing intense feelings of anxiety.

Illness Anxiety Disorder (Hypochondria)

Illness anxiety disorder, also known as hypochondria or hypochondriasis,  is characterized by a strong belief that one will have or soon develop a serious illness. They tend to become preoccupied and worried about their health, and thus avoid situations which can feed or trigger their anxiety.

 

Due to their health, those with illness anxiety disorder can misinterpret normal physical occurrences such as headaches or sneezes and believe that something is seriously wrong with them. Similarly, they may also hear about someone else getting sick and then become preoccupied with looking for signs that they have the same illness.

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