This natural bodily reaction in overdrive can go from “helpful” to “disorder”

What We Treat

What We Treat

What is Anxiety?

Prolonged anxiety can lead to a variety of long-term health concerns that can seriously interfere with quality of life.

One of the most common mental health issues in the United States, anxiety is a physical mind and body reaction to dangerous, stressful, or new situations. A lower level of anxiety helps us stay aware and alert to our surroundings and circumstances, acting as a survival tool to keep us safe. But for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, they may experience consistently high levels from perceived threats that may or may not be real. These extreme worries or fear can be focused on circumstances happening currently or something that could possibly happen in the future. Circumstances beyond our control, like a worldwide pandemic or extended lockdowns can increase anxiety levels dramatically, as research by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) showed in 2020.

From Helpful to Disorder

Prolonged anxiety can lead to a variety of long-term health concerns that can seriously interfere with quality of life. And the emotional effects can be just as damaging as the physical ones, including feelings of dread, not being able to relax, spiraling thinking patterns, negative and racing thoughts, and projecting bad outcomes into the future. Physically, our bodies aren’t designed to be in a constant state of anxiety. The body releases cortisol when we’re feeling anxiety, and too much cortisol can result in higher blood pressure, memory loss, sleep problems, concentration problems, and a compromised immune system. It’s important to try and recognize these effects early before serious damage is done.

Anxiety Fast Facts

  • Of all the mental health issues in the US, anxiety disorders are the most common, affecting 18.1 % of the population or 40 million people each year.
  • 7.7 million adults have co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders, including anxiety disorders, according to
  • Social anxiety disorder affects 15 million American adults and is equally common among men and women, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
  • Less than half of the 3.1% that are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) receive treatment for it.
  • Anxiety disorders can develop over with risk factors including a mix of personality, genetics, life events, and brain chemistry.
  • Phobias affect 8.7% of the US population, roughly 19 million adults.

Signs and Symptoms

If you think you or someone you love is suffering from an anxiety disorder, what should you look for? If someone has experienced any of the following symptoms during most days within the last six months, it may be time to seek treatment.

  • Consistent muscle tension
  • Obsessive thoughts or uncontrollable worrying
  • Insomnia or other sleep problems
  • Feeling wound-up and can’t calm down
  • Getting tired with minimal physical effort
  • Problems focusing on one thing
  • Irritability

Anxiety can quickly turn to panic attacks. If you’re experiencing unexpected and recurring panic attacks, you may have a panic disorder. Here are the signs to look for. You may experience:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Shortness of breath or choking (or perception of both)
  • Heart pounding, elevated heart rate
  • Impending feelings of doom
  • Feeling out of control

Anxiety Treatment at The Meadows IOP

If you feel that you may be suffering from an anxiety order, The Meadows is here to help. Our IOP programs in Arizona, Dallas, and Silicon Valley specialize in treating anxiety issues along with any other co-occurring disorders. Our intake specialists are available around the clock to work treatment into your schedule. With intensive outpatient programs, you can continue working or going to school while seeking treatment. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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