Treatment for Anxiety
Anxiety is a household term: we’ve all had it. We know both how uncomfortable it is, and how inevitable it feels. In its everyday version it is distressing but tolerable; in more severe form it can generate ongoing torment even for people who remain highly functional externally.
Various forms of psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment can dramatically improve the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Careful assessment and individualized treatment bring significant improvements. If you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, please contact Dr. Bonner by phone at (650) 323-1851 or email to setup an appointment.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Over ten million Americans suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). People with GAD find that they are constantly worried. This worry is not affected by the recognition that it is out of proportion to the circumstances. Often there are physical symptoms that accompany the worry such as headaches, irritability and trembling. Patients tend to have difficulty concentrating, and often have difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, people with GAD tend to respond very well to medications and other therapies for relief from their symptoms.
Social Anxiety /Social Phobia
Social Anxiety is very prevalent--in fact it is one of the most common mental health conditions of all. Estimates are that it may affect up to 5% of the general population in America. Sufferers typically say they are constantly concerned about being embarrassed or humiliated and often avoid any and all social interactions--even at the cost of complete isolation. They may report that they feel they don't fit in, or worse, that they are pariahs. People with social anxiety have fears of being scrutinized by other people to the point that it severely interferes with their life--their fear of social situations is overwhelming.
People with panic disorder have sudden attacks of fear that last several minutes or longer. These are called panic attacks. Panic attacks typically include a fear of impending disaster or of loss of control even when there is no real danger. Dizziness, numbness, perceptual distortions, sweating, shaking, heart palpitations and shortness of breath commonly accompany panic attacks. Panic attacks can eventually leave a person in fear of panic itself.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is one of the more frequently portrayed types of anxiety. People with this condition will find themselves with upsetting obsessive thoughts and repetitive rituals to ease their anxiety. Common examples include frequent hand washing, worry about contamination, belief that certain actions or occurrences signal good or bad luck. These obsessions and compulsions can be very time consuming and sometimes leave little time for day-to-day activities. Sufferers will often feel like they have to behave in a particular manner, even though they have insight into the fact that their behavior is not rational.
Phobias are strong and unrealistic fears that can interfere with your daily life. Common phobias include fear of snakes, flying or crowded places. Modern research has led to therapies that will reduce the anxiety caused by phobias and take away the fear. As with other types of anxiety, those who suffer from phobias tend to realize that their fear is irrational and out of proportion but they are unable to control their feelings.
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
The exact causes of anxiety disorders are still unknown. Some say there may be a genetic predisposition to anxiety. Most agree that there tends to also be environmental factors that cause some people to develop an anxiety disorder. It has been noted that two people who have been through the same set of circumstances may react differently--one may develop anxiety or depression, and the other may not.
Treatment for Anxiety
There is no need to suffer from anxiety alone. If you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, please contact Dr. Bonner for help at (650) 323-1851 or by email. Please see below for some additional anxiety resources.