Anxiety disorders are the most frequently diagnosed mental health conditions throughout the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, roughly 40 million American citizens over the age of 18 have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder of some type. This equates to over 18 percent of the total population in any given year. Often people come to us and ask questions about psychotherapists and if they are trained in treating anxiety disorders? Are there therapists that specialize in counseling for anxiety-related conditions? These common questions require answers based on facts and reality.
But first, a rundown on anxiety disorders will better help you understand the condition if you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety. It will also allow you to find a psychotherapist for treating anxiety that has knowledge of the disorder by using science and evidence-driven therapy approaches.
Is There a Therapist for Anxiety Disorders?
There are many therapists, psychotherapists, counselors, and licensed clinical social workers that specialize in treating a variety of anxiety-based disorders. There are many contributing factors when it comes to the development of anxiety disorders. These factors might include genetic predisposition, significant life events (like traumatic experiences), the presence of any other underlying mental health conditions, and environmental factors. There are several predominant types of anxiety disorders, which include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder. GAD is the most common anxiety disorder throughout the country, and it affects over 6.8 million men and women every year. This anxiety disorder generally goes hand in hand with major depressive disorder, and it is characterized by impending feelings of doom, feelings of fear, and general feelings of nervousness and worry.
- Panic disorder. Panic disorder affects six million men and women across the country every year. More women than men suffer from panic disorder and common symptoms include hyperventilation, an inability to breathe, profuse sweating, nausea and vomiting, and a wide range of other symptoms related to panic attacks.
- Various phobias. When discussing phobias, they can range from mild to severe, and they affect roughly 15 million adults throughout the country which equates to 6.8 percent of the total population. In most cases, sometimes associated with specific phobias develop in childhood and continue on through adulthood if they were left untreated.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD affects 2.2 million American adults and is characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. OCD is difficult to treat, and treating the specific anxiety disorder generally requires a combination of medication and intensive therapy.
- Social anxiety disorder. When it comes to social anxiety, is very common, but those who have a diagnosable social anxiety disorder actually experience a wide range of severe physical and psychological symptoms when they have to engage in any kind of social event or interaction. SAD affects 15 million adults every year, and according to a recent survey, 36 percent of men and women who suffer from this anxiety disorder go for over 10 years without seeking professional help.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is also a very common anxiety disorder, one that affects 7.7 million men and women over the age of 18 on an annual basis. There are often many traumatic experiences that go hand in hand with PTSD. For example, undergoing a rape or sexual assault is a common trigger for anxiety, panic, and symptoms of PTSD.
Co-Occurring Disorders and Anxiety
The majority of men and women who suffer from an anxiety disorder also suffer from a co-occurring disorder like substance abuse. There are many treatment options available for anxiety disorders, but the specific treatments that are utilized depend heavily on what type of anxiety is being suffered from and the unique needs and clinical requirements of each individual patient.
Psychotherapy and Anxiety Treatment
Psychotherapy is one of the most effective treatment methods available for anxiety disorders of all types and severities. In most cases, a combination of psychotherapy techniques will be utilized. Some of the techniques include cognitive behavioral therapy, thought-challenging techniques, and exposure therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, also commonly referred to as CBT, is a method of psychotherapy that revolves around recognizing the feelings associated with anxiety, developing vital coping mechanisms, actively confronting fears, and challenging negative thoughts as they occur.
Thought-challenging techniques are often utilized as a part of every effective psychotherapy plan for treating anxiety. Clients are asked to challenge negative thoughts as they arise, and ask themselves questions like, “Is this a rational fear, or is this a symptom of my anxiety?” Finally, exposure therapy encourages clients to face their fears head-on and work through the things that make them the most anxious.
Contact Our Experienced Anxiety Psychotherapists
For more information on treatment options for anxiety disorders – including psychotherapy – contact the Counseling Center for Growth and Recovery in Delray Beach, Florida. Our center now offers remote counseling and virtual anxiety therapy as part of infection control health protocols and social distancing guidelines. We are available to help diagnose and treat anxiety disorders of all types of severities. Simply pick up the phone and give us a call at 561-404-1482 in order to begin your personal journey of anxiety disorder recovery today.