Anxiety Disorders Treatment Specialist in Matthews, NC
Learn about the treatments for anxiety and let our team at Reaching Resolution help to get you back to living life again! For more information, call our team of medical professionals or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 9719 Northeast Parkway, Suite 100 Matthews NC 28105.
Table of Contents
Though anxiety is a common emotion felt by most people, there is a group of psychiatric disorders characterized by persistent and irrational anxiety that interferes with necessary activities for daily living. Three of the most common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (social phobia), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
In generalized anxiety disorder, symptoms are not triggered by one specific thing; rather, the feeling of fear is excessive and can be provoked by several factors. With a social anxiety disorder, patients feel anxiety in social situations and fear how others perceive them.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is often misconceived as anxiety surrounding organization and cleanliness, and while this can be true, it does not account for the majority of patients’ experiences. Instead, OCD is characterized by obsessive thought patterns out of a patient’s control, which may be related to contamination, illness, death, harm, responsibility, identity, and more.
Compulsive behaviors are performed to reduce or calm these obsessive thoughts. For example, a patient with OCD may believe that if they do not turn off a light switch a certain amount of times, a family member will be harmed; this would be an obsessive and anxious thought. To neutralize this thought, the patient may perform a compulsive behavior, like completing the flickering of the light switch.
Many other disorders are rooted in anxiety, such as selective mutism, a type of anxiety that presents as inhibition of speech, or agoraphobia, in which a patient fears inescapable and unsafe situations, even if there is no actual danger. With all these disorders, a patient may also experience panic attacks, in which the autonomic nervous system (ANS) becomes hyperactive.
Involuntary physiological processes, such as changes in heart rate and the dilation of blood vessels, are regulated via the ANS and are further branched into the sympathetic nervous and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system invokes the “flight or fight” response, in which your body prepares for a physical strain to maintain life if necessary.
During a panic attack, these physiological responses occur, and you may experience symptoms such as a fast heartbeat, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, uncontrollable body shakes, and more. This happens suddenly, develops rapidly, and is usually triggered by a specific sensory experience.
All anxiety disorders are diagnosed once they have interfered with daily living, such as education, employment, nutrition, relationships, hygiene, etc.
There are several symptoms of anxiety, most obviously is excessive feelings of irrational fear. Generally, anxiety disorders will make patients constantly feel on edge and restless.
Your thoughts may be racing or “stuck” replaying in your head. Emotions are not as easily controlled, and it is common to feel irritable in moments of anxiety. Similarly, concentration, memory, and critical thinking are often negatively impacted. Those with anxiety disorders also tend to have coinciding sleep disorders or sleep disturbances. This may include nightmares or insomnia. Symptoms also manifest physically as the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the flight or fight response) is stimulated.
A noticeable increase in heart rate occurs, and the patient may describe a racing heart or flutter in the chest. Additionally, your breathing rate will increase, and your body supplies the muscles with more oxygen. This hyperventilation may feel like shortness of breath or chest tightness and can lead to light-headedness and fainting.
It is common for excessive sweating to occur in moments of anxiety, as is nausea and vomiting. Headaches, muscle aches, and stomach pain is also notable set of physical manifestations of anxiety.
Therapy can help anxiety in numerous ways, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy focuses on identifying behavior that needs to be improved upon and is a result of unhealthy thought patterns. By acknowledging anxious thought patterns, you and your therapist can work to determine the root of the fear and how to change your perception. In doing so, the behavior will be improved as well, as it is not predominantly driven by fear.
Therapy is not a one-size-fits, and what works for one patient may not work for another. For this reason, open communication from a patient can allow a therapist to direct treatment methodology.
The most important note is, to be honest, about both your struggles with anxiety and with treatment. If you feel a specific therapy method is not working for you, it is best to vocalize this to your therapist, so you can work together to find something that works.
All treatment plans are most effective when clear, realistic, and obtainable goals are set, allowing progress to be tracked and encouraged. Since therapy is a highly personal process, you must feel conformable with your therapist as a patient. If you think a difference in personality is interfering with treatment, it is entirely acceptable to search for a new provider that you fit better with.
Here at Reaching Resolution, our exceptional team of mental health specialists and health care providers offer several high-quality services for those needing mental health support. With our various forms of evidence-based therapy, we guarantee that you will find the help you need here.
So please, do not hesitate to reach out to us; we are always eager to hear from patients. If you would like to schedule an appointment, you may give our office a call or book online at your convenience. Call our team of medical professionals or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 9719 Northeast Parkway, Suite 100 Matthews NC 28105. We serve clients from Matthews NC, Charlotte NC, Mint Hill NC, Indian Trail NC, Pineville NC, and Stallings NC.