Anxiety, Depression, Therapy Services

The Power of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Treating Depression

Depression can take a heavy toll, impacting every facet of your life. But remember, you are not alone in this journey. A proven approach that can help you navigate the stormy waters of depression is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that balances acceptance and change. Originating as a treatment for borderline personality disorder, it has evolved into a powerful tool for managing a range of mental health conditions, including depression.

So how does DBT work? It focuses on enhancing your life skills, such as teaching mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. These DBT skills for depression equip you to better manage your emotions, cope with stress, and improve personal relationships.

Utilizing DBT for Depression

Depression, as defined by healthcare professionals, is a common and serious medical condition that impacts your feelings, thoughts, and actions. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, and an overwhelming sense of despair. This is not merely a phase of feeling “down” or “blue”. It is a complex condition that demands understanding and professional intervention.

Depression profoundly affects your daily life. It disrupts your routines, impairs your ability to work or study, and strains relationships.

Physical symptoms that might indicate that you might be living with depression include:

  • Persistent fatigue and lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite, either increased or decreased
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain unrelated to dieting
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Physical aches, pains, or cramps that are not explained by a medical condition
  • Digestive problems, such as constipation or diarrhea, that persist even with treatment
  • Restlessness or problems sitting still
  • Slowed movements or speech, noticeable by others

Depression also significantly impacts your mental and emotional health. You may experience consistent feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness. There may be a persistent sense of worthlessness, guilt over past failings, or an exaggerated sense of blame for current issues. Depression can cloud your thought process, making concentration, decision-making, and even remembering details challenging. It can also lead to frequent or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

If you are experiencing some of these signs of depression, find support by calling 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

If you feel as though you might harm yourself or others, call 911 immediately.

It is important to remember that these feelings are symptoms of the illness, not a reflection of reality or personal worth. Remember, it’s okay to seek help, and effective treatments are available, like dialectical behavior therapy, which is centered on your needs and experiences.

DBT is a comprehensive therapy that teaches individuals to develop new coping skills and strategies to manage their emotions. Being mindful and accepting of the present moment, without judgment or criticism, can help you cope with distressing thoughts and feelings related to depression.

Depressed Young man, Teenager, Boy, Suffering From Depression

Understanding Dialectical Behavior Therapy

The history of DBT began in the late 1980s with Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher and therapist. She wanted to use behavioral science to solve the paradox of acceptance and change in therapy in which patients must accept their behaviors while also changing them. This led her to create an integrative therapy that combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with concepts such as mindfulness.

The word “dialectical” may sound intimidating, but it simply means balancing and integrating two opposing concepts. In DBT, the focus is on finding a middle ground between acceptance and change. This approach acknowledges that accepting oneself as they are is essential for lasting change to occur.

How does this apply to depression? By accepting your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors without judgment, you can identify patterns and develop skills to effectively address them. This approach allows individuals to become more self-aware and learn to regulate their emotions.

Balancing acceptance and change is a cornerstone in dialectical behavior therapy. This idea is predicated on the belief that individuals can only initiate meaningful change once they have fully accepted themselves and their thoughts and emotions as they are in the present moment.

It’s a delicate dance between acknowledging the current reality, which is acceptance, and striving for improvement, also known as change. For individuals living with depression, this means recognizing the reality of their condition without judgment while simultaneously working towards managing their symptoms more effectively. This balance encourages personal growth and fosters resilience, aiding individuals in their journey toward improved mental health.

The DBT Process

What does the dialectical behavior therapy process look like? Usually, it involves individual therapy sessions and group skills training. During individual sessions, you will work with a therapist to address your specific needs in a safe and confidential setting. Group skills training focuses on building coping skills through education, role-playing, and homework assignments.

Typically, the DBT process includes:

Orientation: Initially, you meet with a therapist who explains the principles and objectives of DBT. This meeting serves to establish a mutual understanding and set clear expectations.

Assessment: During the assessment phase, your therapist will evaluate your current mental health status and identify areas of concern that may require additional support.

Treatment Planning: Based on the assessment results, you and your therapist will work together to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals.

Skills Training: You then participate in skills training sessions, often in a group setting. These sessions focus on four key areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Each area empowers you with tools to navigate life’s challenges more effectively.

Individual Therapy: Alongside skills training, you engage in one-on-one therapy sessions. In these sessions, you apply the skills learned to specific challenges and situations in your life.

Phone Coaching: DBT also offers phone coaching, where you can reach out to your therapist between sessions when you need guidance on applying DBT skills to real-life situations.

Therapist Consultation Team: Lastly, your therapist is part of a consultation team – a group of professionals working together to ensure the best possible treatment and support.

Essential Skills Taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

As you embark on your journey to improve your mental health, dialectical behavior therapy emerges as a powerful ally. Rooted in cognitive-behavioral therapy, DBT equips you with practical skills to navigate life’s challenges. Imagine facing a stressful situation at work or home. With dialectical behavior therapy, you possess the tools to manage your emotions effectively, reducing the risk of spiraling into negativity.

You can handle stress better, enhance your relationships, and improve your overall well-being. The key lies in understanding and mastering the core skills taught in DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Mindfulness

Being fully present and aware in the moment, without judgment, can help you cope with difficult emotions. In DBT, mindfulness is a critical skill that enables you to develop self-awareness and regulate your emotions and thoughts. It allows you to be more in tune with your body, recognize patterns of behavior, and practice being non-judgmental towards yourself.

Distress Tolerance

Distress tolerance skills enable you to tolerate emotional pain without resorting to harmful behaviors or unhealthy coping mechanisms. This skill helps individuals to manage difficult emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression effectively. By developing distress tolerance skills, you can learn how to cope with stress in healthier ways.

Emotion Regulation

Emotional regulation is an essential skill that teaches individuals how to identify and manage their emotions better. It involves recognizing the intensity of your emotions and learning techniques to regulate them effectively. With this skill, individuals can increase their emotional resilience and reduce the risk of negative behaviors.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness focuses on improving communication skills and building healthy relationships. This skill teaches individuals how to assertively express their needs, set boundaries, and maintain healthy connections with others. It also involves learning how to handle conflicts and navigate challenging social situations.

Benefits of DBT Therapy for Depression

Dialectical behavior therapy goes beyond merely treating symptoms; it equips you with practical skills to handle emotional distress and symptoms of depression. It has been shown to be an effective treatment option for individuals with depression, resulting in significant improvements in overall functioning and quality of life.

Research has also found that DBT is more effective than other forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication, in reducing symptoms of depression. This is because it addresses the root causes of depression, such as difficulty managing emotions and interpersonal challenges.

Additional benefits of dialectical behavior therapy for depression include:

Enhancing Social Skills: DBT teaches individuals how to build healthier relationships and effectively communicate their needs, leading to improved social interactions. This can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness often experienced by those living with depression.

Improving Self-Esteem: By practicing mindfulness and acceptance, individuals can learn to accept themselves and develop a more positive self-image. This can lead to increased self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life.

Providing Coping Mechanisms: Individuals learn practical skills to manage stress, regulate emotions, and cope with difficult situations, reducing the risk of engaging in self-destructive behaviors. This can improve day-to-day life and decrease the risk of relapse.

Improving Self-Image: Dialectical behavior therapy emphasizes self-acceptance, leading to an improved sense of self-worth and confidence. This can help individuals to reduce negative self-talk and develop a more positive self-image.

Managing Co-Occurring Disorders: DBT’s focus on managing emotions and interpersonal relationships can also help individuals with co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety or substance abuse. It provides individuals with tools to navigate the challenges of multiple disorders and improve overall functioning.

Promoting Self-Care: Dialectical behavior therapy encourages individuals to prioritize their mental health and self-care, improving their emotional health. This can result in a more fulfilling and balanced life.

An adult man, looking happy, talking with group therapy members
Focus on the smiling man, talking with people of all ages, during the group therapy.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Gemini Health

If you believe dialectical behavior therapy might be the right treatment option for your depression, our Gemini Health team is ready to help. Our mental health professionals are experienced in providing comprehensive DBT services to individuals struggling with depression and other mental health conditions.

At Gemini Health, we are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all individuals seeking treatment. Everyone’s journey towards better mental health is unique, and we tailor our approach to meet your individual needs. Our personalized treatment plans incorporate a combination of dialectical behavior therapy, group skills training, and phone coaching to provide the support and guidance you need.

In addition to dialectical behavior therapy, Gemini Health offers many behavioral health treatment options, such as:

  • Outpatient Therapy: Our licensed therapists provide individual and group therapy sessions tailored to your specific needs.
  • Medication Management: For those who may benefit from medications, our psychiatric team works closely with you to find the right medication regimen.
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): TMS is a non-invasive treatment for depression that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells
  • Tele-Counseling: Our online therapy option allows you to receive DBT treatment from the comfort of your own home.
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation: This program focuses on teaching individuals skills to help them manage their mental health symptoms and improve overall functioning.
  • Grief Counseling: We offer specialized support for individuals experiencing grief and loss, helping them navigate their emotions in a healthy way.
  • Stress Management: Our team provides tools and strategies to help individuals manage stress more effectively, reducing the risk of depression symptoms.
  • Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment: We provide comprehensive treatment for individuals with co-occurring disorders, addressing both mental health and substance abuse concerns.
  • Family Therapy Services: We offer family therapy sessions to help improve communication and strengthen relationships, as well as provide support for family members.
  • Couples Counseling: Our therapists also work with couples to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their relationships.
  • Intensive Outpatient Therapy: For those who require more intensive treatment, we offer an outpatient program that provides comprehensive support and care.

The Power of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Depression

In the complex landscape of mental health, dialectical behavior therapy stands as a beacon of hope for those facing depression every day. Unlike others that simply treat symptoms, this therapy empowers you with the tools necessary to manage emotional distress and enhance your overall well-being.

You learn valuable skills such as effectively navigating emotional turbulence, staying present in the moment, and coping with stressful situations. Also, you improve your communication skills, leading to healthier relationships and decreased emotional distress.

As you explore different treatment options for depression, consider dialectical behavior therapy. Its combination of acceptance and change offers a comprehensive strategy to tackle the challenges that depression presents.

Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a testament to your strength. You are taking steps toward a healthier, happier life, and dialectical behavior therapy could be the powerful tool that helps you get there.

Empower Yourself with DBT for Depression at Gemini Health

Our therapists at Gemini Health work closely with you to tailor your treatment plan according to your unique needs and circumstances. This personalized approach ensures you receive the most effective support for your situation.

Now, if you are thinking, “Where can I find DBT counseling near me?” you have already found us. To get started with Gemini Health, simply complete the form on our Contact Us page or give us a call. By reaching out to us, you are taking a significant step towards a healthier, happier life. Remember, at Gemini Health, you are not alone in your journey. We are here to provide you with the support and guidance you need to minimize the effects of depression and embrace your life again.

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A wall sign with black backboard and white letters that says Mental Health Matters.
Anxiety, Depression, Therapy Services

Bridging the Gap: Mental Health and Public Health Initiatives

Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall health that is often ignored or stigmatized despite its vital role in maintaining our well-being. However, recent years have seen an increase in public health initiatives that aim to address mental health, reducing social stigma around mental health and encouraging more people to seek help. In this blog post, we’ll explore how mental health and public health intersect, how these initiatives manifest, and where they can be improved.

Scrabble letters in a line spelling out the words Public Health

The Relationship between Mental Health and Public Health

Mental health is intrinsically linked to public health: an individual’s physical and mental well-being contributes to their ability to function productively within society. Therefore, initiatives to improve public health must also address mental health. The World Health Organization identifies mental health as a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, can work productively, and can contribute to their community. From this definition, it is clear that positive mental health has far-reaching effects on individuals, communities, and, ultimately, society.

Public Health Initiatives

Public health initiatives have come to recognize the importance of mental health. One such initiative is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which runs a program called “Ending the Silence,” which brings awareness about mental health to middle and high school campuses. Mental Health First Aid is another initiative designed to provide community members with the tools to help someone when they’re suffering from a mental health crisis. Even businesses are taking a newfound interest in mental health, sometimes offering employee-provided counseling or mental health days.

Personal Responsibility and Mental Health

In addition to public health initiatives, personal responsibility plays a massive role in bridging the gap between mental health and public health initiatives. We must take care of our mental health while educating ourselves about the importance of mental health and seeking professional help when necessary. We must destigmatize mental health conversations, making it more acceptable to seek help when needed.

Future of Mental Health and Public Health Initiatives

Mental health and public health initiatives have made substantial progress in the past few years. Still, many challenges remain, and much work must be done to create a world where mental health is not an afterthought but is integrated into all aspects of public health. The more people understand the importance of mental health, the more our society will recognize and embrace the importance of addressing mental health concerns proactively and holistically.

In conclusion, The initiative surrounding the bridging of the gap between mental health and public health is a step in the right direction. While progress has been made, it is vital that we continue our efforts to promote the integration of mental health across all platforms of public health. With more focus on mental health, more robust public health initiatives, and personal responsibility, we can create a world where mental health is just as important as physical health. Bridging this gap lays the foundation for a more caring and healthy society.

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Anxiety, Depression, Group therapy

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: An Overlooked Connection

Mental health and sleep are intricately connected. While many people with sleep disorders undergo sleep therapy, often, the underlying mental health issues that might be the root cause of these disorders are overlooked. Chronic sleep issues could lead to the manifestation of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health disorders. Thus, it is important to understand the relationship between sleep disorders and mental health and seek appropriate therapy to address the root cause of the problem.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that are often associated with sleep disorders. This means that people with anxiety or depression are more likely to experience sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome. Furthermore, people with sleep disorders are also more likely to develop anxiety and depression.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is another mental health disorder often associated with sleep disorders. People with bipolar disorder often experience sleep issues, such as insomnia, hypersomnia, and disrupted sleep patterns. Moreover, sleep deprivation and sleep disruption could trigger bipolar symptoms.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Substance Abuse Disorder

Substance abuse disorder often co-occurs with sleep disorders and other mental health disorders. People with substance abuse disorder may use drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medication to deal with sleep issues, which may exacerbate the underlying mental health issues.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Treatment and Therapy

Therapy for sleep disorders, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), is beneficial for both sleep and mental health. CBT-I is a form of talk therapy that helps people with sleep disorders identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that interfere with sleep. Furthermore, CBT-I could also help people with mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

In summary, sleep disorders and mental health are closely related and deserve equal attention. It is important not to overlook the possibility that an underlying mental health issue might be causing your sleep problems and vice versa. If you are experiencing chronic sleep issues, it is essential to seek appropriate therapy that addresses the root cause of the problem. Investing in therapy for both sleep and mental health could significantly improve your quality of life.

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Anxiety, Depression

Telehealth for Depression and Anxiety: The Prosand Cons

Dealing with anxiety or depression can be a daunting task for anyone. Especially with our
previous global health crisis, it’s become even more challenging.

Traditional in-person therapy has been the go-to solution for many years, but what if you can’t access it?

There are many factors that come into play, such as living in rural areas, transportation issues, or affordability. However, technology is changing the game for mental health services with the emergence of telehealth.

Telehealth for anxiety and depression is gaining popularity as more people are seeking mental health services. It’s a convenient and effective way for patients to receive therapy from licensed professionals without leaving their homes.

Even though telehealth is still relatively new, it’s making mental health services accessible to a wider range of people.If you’re considering joining telehealth for therapy, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

How Does Telehealth Work For Mental Health?

Have you ever wondered how telehealth works for mental health?

A telehealth appointment for anxiety can be one of the most effective ways to manage mental health issues virtually, without stepping out of the comfort of your own home.
With the help of video and audio technology, remote therapists can connect with you on a
personal level, offering guidance and support through virtual consultations. And if you’re worried about what to expect during an appointment, don’t fret!

There are a variety of telehealth activities for anxiety that your therapist can walk you through, such as breathing exercises and visualization techniques, to help you relax and manage your symptoms.

So, What Exactly Is Telehealth Therapy?

In a world where technology has made many things possible, telehealth therapy has become a popular way to access mental health services without physically going to a therapist’s office. To put it simply, telehealth therapy is a way to receive mental health services through technology.

Telehealth therapy for depression can be conducted through various channels like:
● Video calls
● Phone calls
● Messaging apps.


These platforms provide a comfortable and safe space for people to discuss their mental health challenges with licensed professionals. Additionally, telehealth therapy may also include:


● Virtual group therapy sessions
● Psychoeducation
● Self-help and supportive resources


With telehealth therapy, mental health services can be accessed from the comfort of one’s home, without facing the stigma attached to mental health difficulties.


Advantages of Telehealth for Depression and Anxiety:

In recent years, telehealth therapy has gained popularity as an alternative method for accessing mental health treatment.

However, despite its benefits, telehealth therapy is often overlooked by many in society who view it as a product of increasing laziness.

In reality, this technologically advanced form of therapy has the ultimate benefit of making mental health support accessible to those who previously could not access it.


Let’s discuss:

  1. Convenience:
    Teletherapy provides more flexibility and convenience than traditional therapy. You don’t have to travel to an office, which can save you time and money. This is particularly beneficial for those who live in rural areas, have mobility issues or have difficulty finding childcare or transportation.
  2. Improved Accessibility:
    Many people with depression or anxiety find it challenging to leave their home, and teletherapy eliminates this barrier. Teletherapy makes it easier for people to get the help they need, regardless of location, access to transportation, or physical location.
    With teletherapy, you can connect with a therapist from almost anywhere in the world. No more waiting on hold with a receptionist – making a telehealth appointment for anxiety is simply a few clicks away.
  3. Comfort and Privacy:
    With the ability to conduct sessions from the comfort of your own home, you can create an environment that’s safe and familiar. This level of comfort and privacy often encourages people to be more open and honest, leading to more productive therapy sessions. Telehealth therapy offers convenience that conventional therapy just can’t match. So, if you’re looking to take control of your mental health in a comfortable, safe space, telehealth therapy may be the perfect option for you.
  4. Reduced Stigma:
    One significant advantage of a virtual approach is its ability to reduce the stigma that
    unfortunately still exists regarding seeking therapy. Particularly in cases where individuals may feel embarrassed or ashamed to be seen in a therapist’s office, telehealth therapy eliminates this risk by providing anonymity.
    Rather than having to worry about running into someone they know in the waiting room,
    individuals can receive excellent-quality therapy from the comfort of their own home. The result is a more accessible and welcoming environment for mental healthcare, enabling more people to access the support they need without feeling self-conscious or judged.

Disadvantages of Telehealth for Depression and Anxiety:
It’s no secret that telehealth therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years – and for good reason.

The convenience and accessibility of virtual therapy sessions has made it possible for many people to seek help and receive treatment who may have otherwise never been able to.

However, it’s important to remember that every good thing has its flaws, and telehealth therapy is no exception. While the benefits may be numerous, there are also a handful of downsides that are worth considering before making a decision.

  1. Technical Difficulties:
    Technical difficulties like poor internet connection, low bandwidth, or power outages can disrupt or disconnect therapy sessions. These interruptions can be frustrating and have an impact on therapy’s effectiveness.
  2. Limited Body Language Observations:
    One such downside of going virtual is that the limited body language observations inherent in telehealth therapy may make it more difficult for therapists to accurately assess their clients. This can make it harder to pick up on subtle cues that could be indicative of deeper issues, ultimately hindering progress in the long run.
  3. Loss Of Human Connection:
    While telehealth therapy offers a level of convenience and accessibility that was once unheard of, some are concerned that this new virtual format may not offer the same level of intimate, personal connection that in-person therapy provides.There’s nothing quite like being able to sit face-to-face with your therapist and feeling their empathy and validation in real time. However, this doesn’t mean that telehealth therapy can’t be effective. By embracing technology while still maintaining open communication and a compassionate approach, patients can still feel seen and heard, even in the virtual world.

Conclusion:


Teletherapy can be an effective solution for some people who struggle with anxiety or
depression. It offers numerous benefits, including convenience, flexibility, and greater
accessibility. Also, it can reduce the stigma associated with mental health treatment.
However, teletherapy is not without its problems – poor internet connectivity, the lack of a physical presence, and limited body language are just some of the disadvantages patients might face.

Nevertheless, if someone is thinking about joining telehealth for therapy, it’s important to keep the pros and cons in mind and have a candid discussion with their healthcare provider to make the best decision for their circumstances.

If you’re in the Maryland area, don’t hesitate to call us at (301)-363-1063 or visit us online to find out if teletherapy is right for you.


Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/telehealth-the-advantages-and-disadvantages
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/telehealth/art-20044878
https://telehealth.hhs.gov/patients/telehealth-and-behavioral-health

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Anxiety

When To See a Therapist For Anxiety

Feeling anxious is a regular part of life. Think about the way you felt before a big presentation, or the butterflies in your stomach when getting ready for a first date.

We all experience anxiety at one time or another.

Believe it or not, anxiety can actually be good for us because it helps us to stay focused and alert. But it can hurt us by making us feel stressed out or fearful.

While all of us have felt anxiety before, the frequency and intensity to which we experience it can determine if we have an anxiety disorder or not.

If you feel like your anxiety is interfering with your daily routine, seeing a therapist can help you find ways to manage your stress and find relief from symptoms, leading you to live a happier, more peaceful life.

What Is Anxiety?

But what is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion. It’s the feeling you get when something bad could happen. It makes sense we feel this way: every one of us wants to avoid feeling pain. But some people experience anxiety more frequently than others, and for some people, the normal feelings of worry or nervousness can spiral into intense fear and panic attacks.

This is called generalized anxiety disorder. Since it isn’t tied to any specific event or stressor, it affects how someone feels in general.

There are several other types of anxiety as well; these include social phobia (anxiety about social situations), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (PD), and specific phobias like fear of heights or spiders.

If You’re Experiencing Panic Attacks or Avoidance Of Public Places, Seeing a Therapist May Be a Good Idea:

Panic attacks and avoiding public places are both symptoms of anxiety. Both of these symptoms can cause immense suffering and difficulty in day-to-day living.

If you’re having either of these symptoms, it may help to visit an anxiety counselor or therapist who can guide you through therapy and help teach coping mechanisms for when the symptoms come back again.

Types Of Therapy For Anxiety:

There are many types of therapy for anxiety symptoms, but these are the most commonly used:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on patterns of thinking and behavior. It looks at how your thoughts, feelings, and actions influence each other and can help you learn to adjust your thinking to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) combines cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness techniques to teach you how to react differently in situations that make you feel anxious or upset. It helps people who struggle with self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
  • Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), also known as “mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy” (MBCT), teaches you how to accept your feelings instead of trying to change them or avoid them altogether — which can lead to even more stress.

What Is The Best Treatment For Anxiety?

While there are many treatments for anxiety, here are two of the most effective ones:

  • Medication: In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat your panic attacks and other symptoms of anxiety. Medications can be helpful when used in combination with additional therapies (like CBT), but they’re not always necessary or appropriate.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of psychotherapy has been found to be one of the most effective ways to manage anxiety disorders. During CBT sessions, you learn how to identify and change negative thought patterns associated with your condition. In turn, this improves how you feel about yourself and boosts self-esteem through positive reinforcement from others around you.

By gradually changing these bad habits over time through repeated practice, you become better able to deal with stressors as they occur instead of reacting negatively out of habit or fear instead of reason—which is exactly what happens during an anxiety attack!

What Are Some Alternative Therapies For Anxiety?

If you’re not interested in seeing a therapist, consider trying some of the following alternative therapies to help combat your anxiety:

  • Meditation and Yoga: These two practices can be used alone or together to reduce stress, relax the mind and improve overall well-being.
  • Breathing Techniques: Deep breathing is often taught as a way to control anxiety and stress levels. If you struggle with shallow breathing on a regular basis, this may be something you want to experiment with before classifying it as another form of self-care—it could lead to better sleep quality if practiced regularly!
  • Massage therapy has also been shown effective in reducing symptoms associated with anxiety disorders; however, there are no specific guidelines based on this research yet because studies have yielded mixed results overall so far. This is an area worth exploring further but should not replace traditional treatments such as psychotherapy or medication when necessary.

Benefits of Seeing a Therapist For Your Anxiety:

While therapy promotes many positive benefits, here are a few of the most common:

  • You can talk to someone about your problems. Anxiety can feel like a huge burden to carry on your own, and there’s nothing wrong with seeking help from someone who is trained in dealing with it.
  • You can learn new ways to cope with your anxiety. A therapist will help you realize that there are other options besides just managing the symptoms of anxiety, such as learning how to meditate or do breathing exercises.
  • You’ll learn how to manage your anxiety better so it doesn’t take over your life! For example, you could use some tips from an expert on how not to let fear control you when things get tough—or even start up an exercise routine together! Who knows? Maybe this therapist will become part of their support network too!
  • It gives you a second opinion when needed: Sometimes we’re too close emotionally (or physically) tied into our situation that we don’t see things clearly anymore. Seeking help from a therapist gives you an unbiased opinion from an outside party.

All In All:

We all need some help from time to time, and this is especially true for those who are experiencing anxiety. Seeing a therapist for your anxiety can be very helpful in getting you back on track to living the life that you want, instead of allowing fear and worry to take over. If you’re looking for anxiety therapy in Maryland, look no further than Gemini Health. We’re here to help you get your life, and anxiety back on track.

Resources:

https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/how-know-when-seek-therapy#:~:text=It’s%20never%20too%20early%20to,you%20want%20because%20of%20fear

https://therapygroupdc.com/therapist-dc-blog/different-types-of-therapy-which-is-best-for-anxiety/

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Anxiety, Therapy Services

Types of Therapy For Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Anxiety: 

For years, the go-to treatment for anxiety disorders was medication. But what if there was a way to train your brain to think differently about anxiety. That’s where cognitive behavioral therapy comes in. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy that focuses on changing the way you think about anxiety. This, in turn, can change the way you feel and behave. CBT is different from other types of therapies because it is usually shorter-term and more focused on problem-solving. 

Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

There are different types of CBT, but they all share the same goal: to change the way you think about anxiety. Some of the most common types of CBT are: 

Exposure therapy: This type of therapy helps you face your fears head-on. With exposure therapy, you’ll gradually work up to facing your fear in real life. For example, if you’re afraid of flying, exposure therapy might involve watching videos about flying, looking at pictures of airplanes, or even going to the airport and watching planes take off and land. 

Cognitive restructuring: This type of therapy helps you identify and challenge negative thinking patterns. Once you’re able to identify these patterns, you can start to change them.

Relaxation and stress management: This type of therapy teaches you how to relax your mind and body when you’re feeling anxious. Relaxation techniques might include deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). 

Biofeedback Therapy For Anxiety: 

Biofeedback therapy is a form of treatment that uses sensors to monitor your body’s physiological response to stressors. 

The aim of biofeedback therapy is to help you become more aware of your body’s natural stress response so that you can learn to control it. Biofeedback therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Biofeedback therapy usually involves two different types of sensors: one to measure your heart rate and one to measure your skin conductance. The sensors are connected to a machine that displays your physiological data in real time. As you relax, you’ll see your heart rate slow down and your skin conductance decrease.

During the session, the therapist will guide you through a series of relaxation exercises. As you practice relaxing, you’ll begin to associate the physical sensations of relaxation with the exercises themselves. Over time, this will help you learn to control your body’s stress response so that you can manage your anxiety outside of the therapy sessions.

Female hand trying to connect a missing jigsaw puzzle of human brain on gray background. Creative idea for solving problem, memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease concept. Mental health care.

Rapid Resolution Therapy For Anxiety:

Rapid resolution therapy (RRT) is a newer type of therapy that is designed to help you resolve the underlying issues that are causing your anxiety. While RRT is a brief treatment, usually lasting only 3-5 sessions, it has been shown to be very effective in treating anxiety disorders. 

The first step in RRT is to identify the core beliefs that are causing your anxiety. Once these beliefs have been identified, the therapist will work with you to challenge and reframe them. 

One of the key features of RRT is that it uses a number of techniques to help you resolve your anxiety. These techniques include cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). 

Occupational Therapy For Anxiety Disorders: 

Occupational therapy (OT) is a type of therapy that helps you learn new skills and find new ways to cope with your anxiety symptoms. OT can help you manage your anxiety by teaching you how to better handle stressful situations, how to relax, and how to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. 

For people with anxiety disorders, occupational therapy can help them learn how to manage their symptoms and participate in the activities they love without letting their anxiety take over. 

Here are a few ways that occupational therapy can help people with anxiety disorders:

1. Identifying Triggers

One of the first things an occupational therapist will do is help you identify what triggers your anxiety. Once you know what your triggers are, you can start to develop a plan for how to deal with them.

2. Developing Coping Skills

Another way that occupational therapists can help people with anxiety disorders is by teaching them coping skills. Coping skills are techniques that can help you manage your anxiety at the moment. Some common coping skills include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery. 

3. Practicing Relaxation Techniques

In addition to teaching you coping skills, your occupational therapist can also teach you relaxation techniques that can help reduce your overall anxiety levels. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation can all be helpful in managing anxiety disorders. 

4. Improving Sleep Habits: If you have an anxiety disorder, chances are good that you also have trouble sleeping. This is because anxiety can cause racing thoughts and make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. An occupational therapist can work with you on developing better sleep habits and teach you relaxation techniques that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Anxiety: The Most Common Mental Illness In America

If you’re struggling with anxiety that feels out of your control, know that you’re not alone—anxiety disorders are very common. Thankfully there are many effective treatments available that can help you manage your symptoms and live a healthy, happy life. 

If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor, a mental health professional, or give us a call at 301-363-1063 to get started on your road to recovery today.

Sources:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9536-anxiety-disorders

https://psychcentral.com/anxiety/managing-anxiety-with-biofeedback#:~:text=Biofeedback%20is%20a%20type%20of,few%20reported%20negative%20side%20effects.

https://www.inspiredbyhopecounselingllc.com/blog/2018/4/23/rapid-resolution-therapy-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-help-with-trauma

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Anxiety

How Does Anxiety Affect The Brain?

Did you know that more than 40% of people in the United States alone suffer from some form of anxiety? As today's modern world only gets faster and faster, more people are starting to develop an anxiety disorder. No matter what type of anxiety one has, the condition can be debilitating in severe cases and it can make one's life thoroughly unenjoyable. 

But how does anxiety affect the brain exactly? Is an anxious person's brain all that different from a brain that doesn't suffer from anxiety? More than that, how does anxiety impact one's life as a result of changes in the brain and is there any way to treat this condition?

Outpatient anxiety therapy, Elkridge, Maryland, might be able to help. Keep reading and learn more about how anxiety affects the brain and how the condition can affect your way of life.

What Is Anxiety Exactly?

Anxiety comes in many different forms and each of those forms can vary in severity. For example, social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety. It involves being afraid of people, talking to people, and otherwise interacting with people in any way. 

Since living a normal life requires interacting with people on a daily basis, you can imagine that this form of anxiety can be crippling, especially when the anxiety is severe. People with social anxiety not only have difficulty forming close relationships but some even have difficulty going outside and going out to public environments. 

Even going to the store to buy groceries can be a hard task for those with social anxiety. In some cases, a panic attack may result if a person with anxiety tries to go beyond his zone of comfort. A panic attack can include symptoms such as heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, sweating, chills, nausea, and chest pain. 

Some people who have panic attacks may mistake the symptoms for a heart attack.

Generalized Anxiety

Generalized anxiety is another type of anxiety that permeates a person's entire life, not just the person's social life. A person with generalized anxiety may be nervous about things even if there is no reason to be nervous. 

Being anxious without any reason to be anxious can be especially detrimental to a person's life. Every decision that a person tries to make is full of fear and uncertainty. As you can imagine, being in a constant state of fear is not healthy for the body or mind. 

That's because when you're anxious, your brain will release stress hormones. Normally, these hormones aim to help you get out of the occasional stressful situation. When someone is anxious for no reason, these stress hormones do more harm than good. 

Your Brain Is Overflowing with Stress Hormones

How can anxiety affect your brain? Stress hormones play a big part in the answer to that question. As mentioned before, stress hormones help us escape stressful and potentially dangerous situations. 

For example, thousands of years ago, humans had to defend themselves against wild animals such as bears. When you see a bear, you become anxious because you know that the bear could harm you.

As a natural response, your brain will produce stress hormones that will activate your fight or flight response. 

This response will help you to escape the danger in front of you one way or another. Specifically, these stress hormones (which are produced by the sympathetic nervous system) are called adrenaline and cortisol. They will fill you with energy that will increase the speed of your reflexes and increase your ability to sense certain things. 

The Details

In this scenario, once you escape danger (the bear), your stress hormones will dissipate and you will no longer feel fear or anxiety. Then, the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for resting and digesting will kick in so you can relax again. However, for some people, this fine balance of stress hormones isn't so easily controlled.

If you suffer from anxiety, something might trigger your anxiety and fear response but even after the trigger is gone, your brain will continue to produce stress hormones. Your brain will continue to get more and more stressed until you are overwhelmed with anxiety. This usually concludes with a panic attack, although some people can maintain high stress levels for weeks or months at a time.

This can also turn cases of mild anxiety into moderate or severe anxiety in a short time. But that isn't the only way anxiety affects the brain.

Difficulty Forming Rational Thoughts

People with anxiety often have a hard time forming rational thoughts. That's one of the many reasons why anxiety therapy, Elkridge, Maryland, is so important. When your brain is overwhelmed with stress hormones, you won't be able to think clearly. 

That's because the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, two very important regions in the brain, won't be as strongly connected as they usually are. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for allowing us to come up with rational thoughts and make good decisions. On the other hand, the amygdala is responsible for telling the rest of the brain that there is danger afoot. 

In the case of anxiety, the amygdala will tell the brain that there is danger present even if there isn't any real danger to think of. Normally, the prefrontal cortex would come up with a rational decision for how to avoid the danger. However, in anxious brains, this process doesn't work as well.

The Anxious Brain

Instead, an anxious brain will not be able to activate the prefrontal cortex as usual. As a result, the brain will not be able to come up with rational decisions when it comes to reacting to the perceived threat. That's why people with anxiety may have thoughts that are not rational and may sometimes behave in irrational ways. 

For example, a person with social anxiety may be terrified to go to the grocery store. There is no real reason to be afraid of going to the store, but the anxious brain creates irrational thoughts. The socially anxious person may be afraid to talk to the cashier upon checking out or afraid to say hello to anyone. 

Even though there is no danger present, the person may be so anxious that he may refuse to go to the store. 

Anxiety Causes You to Remember More Negative Memories

Many people with anxiety find that they are able to mostly remember negative memories rather than positive ones. This is no coincidence and therapy for anxiety, Elkridge, MD, will be able to teach you more about it. Anxiety can strongly affect the hippocampus. 

The hippocampus is a structure in the brain responsible for forming, recalling, and consolidating memories. It is especially important for long-term and contextual memory. Without it, you wouldn't be able to process memories and store them in your brain to remember for years to come.

When you are often stressed, this stress will actually start to shrink the hippocampus. As this brain structure shrinks, it will become less effective at processing memories and storing them for later as it usually does. But that still doesn't explain why anxious people remember more negative rather than positive memories. 

The Hippocampus and Anxiety

Shouldn't anxious people have fewer negative and positive memories as the hippocampus shrinks? Not necessarily. Anxiety affects the hippocampus so that this brain structure stores only memories that are linked to anxiety. 

Anxious memories are regarded as "safe" to store and therefore make it to your brain's long-term memory. In contrast, positive memories are those that are not linked to anxiety. For that reason, your anxiety will tell the hippocampus that these memories are not safe for storage. 

The result is that you will be able to recall more negative memories than positive memories. This does not necessarily mean that you didn't remember those positive memories. However, it is harder to recall them. 

Of course, forgetting your positive memories in favor of negative memories is no fun. That's why having your anxiety treated is important. That way, you will be on your way to having a happier and healthier brain.

How Does Anxiety Affect the Brain?

How does anxiety affect the brain? This mental disorder changes the brain in a variety of ways including how the brain processes memory and forms rational thoughts. Anxiety causes the brain to flood with stress hormones. 

As a result, a person with anxiety is unable to relax even if there isn't anything to be anxious about. Constant anxiety can actually cause structural changes to the brain such as shrinkage of the hippocampus. To learn more about outpatient treatment, don't hesitate to contact us here.

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Anxiety, Depression, PTSD

Benefits Of Ketamine For Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

Nearly one in five adults in the US live with a mental illness. But not everyone benefits from the same treatment options. The good news is that there are different treatments to try, including ketamine. 

Ketamine can draw a mixture of reactions. Some people have never heard of it before, whereas others will remember its history as a wartime anesthetic or think of it as a party drug. However, using ketamine for anxiety, depression, complex PTSD, and other psychological disorders is a breakthrough treatment option.

Are you interested in learning more about ketamine therapy for anxiety and other disorders? Read on for everything you need to know. 

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine was first discovered in the 1960s and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anesthetic in the 1970s. It was used during the Vietnam War for injured soldiers as it is an anesthetic that does not require a ventilator.

It is now used in different ways, including in veterinary medicine and as a common sedative in pediatric emergency care. Some people use it recreationally, which is why it is only legal by prescription only. 

Ketamine produces a dissociative experience, which can be described as a trance-like state. There are different types of ketamine, with two main types being used for psychological treatment. These are:

The types of ketamine interact differently with the brain, but both are effective treatment options. However, it can treat treatment-resistant depression and other psychological disorders, such as complex PTSD and anxiety. What type of ketamine you receive depends on your doctor's assessment of your needs and where you receive treatment.

 

How Does Ketamine Work?

Research is still being done to determine how ketamine precisely works. However, what is known is that it produces important and useful effects. There is evidence that it can work in different ways in the brain to relieve depression and other psychological disorders:

  • Stimulates neural activity
  • Increases neuroplasticity for new thought patterns 

When the ketamine dose is administered, the experience can last around two hours, but its benefits last after treatment finishes. The experience can include feelings of unreality, euphoria, and distortions. Ketamine therapy for anxiety and other psychological disorders is done in safe clinical settings with medical supervision.

How Does Ketamine Work for Depression? 

Ketamine for depression and other psychological disorders works differently than when it is used as an anesthetic. A lower dose is given, with the focus on the other effects ketamine produces. It depends if you are given the nasal spray or IV treatment, but both offer benefits for depression. 

For example, studies have found that ketamine triggers glutamate production, which helps the brain produce new neural connections, which can be lifesaving for people with depression. It helps them break negative thought patterns and behaviors, open up to new perspectives, and become more receptive to therapy.

Ketamine likely increases glutamate production because it connects to NMDA receptors in the brain. This allows it to create more glutamate between neurons. Glutamate triggers connections in AMPA receptions, which help other neurons communicate more efficiently.

The result includes changes in mood and thought patterns. There are suggestions that ketamine works for depression in different ways, such as opening communication between other parts of the brain. It may also reduce inflammation signals, which can contribute to depression.

Ketamine for Anxiety 

Ketamine for anxiety works in different ways. Depression and anxiety are often connected, so the changes to glutamate also help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Studies have found that ketamine can help with a variety of anxiety disorders, including:

Often ketamine therapy for anxiety will be done alongside other treatment forms, such as therapy. This means you have sufficient reduction in anxiety symptoms to benefit from other treatments, such as therapy, which can help you get to the root cause of anxiety.

Ketamine opens you to different perspectives, which can help you reach new realizations. It can help you move forward with your recovery journey. 

Ketamine for Complex PTSD

Ketamine for PTSD can also be beneficial. As with depression and anxiety, glutamate plays a role in stress response, traumatic memory formation, and other symptoms of PTSD.

Because ketamine targets glutamate, it can help the brain release trauma and ease symptoms of PTSD. Studies have found that PTSD severity reduces in patients who have ketamine therapy. 

Benefits of Ketamine

There is a reason why ketamine has been used for so many years. It offers a variety of benefits, which have helped patients in many ways. Here are the top benefits of ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders. 

Immediate Effect

The benefits of ketamine are almost immediate. It can rapidly reduce symptoms of depression and other psychological disorders. You do not have to wait, which can speed up the recovery process and can be lifesaving for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation. 

Patients are able to see changes that motivate them to continue with their treatment. This may involve other interventions, too, such as counseling. They do not have to wait for new medications to work to engage in their treatment plan.

Although ketamine has a rapid effect, several doses are usually required for long-lasting impact. Usually, the effects of one dose last for around a week. 

Maintenance Doses Possible 

Ketamine is a safe intervention under supervision, which means medical professionals can create treatment plans for IV ketamine. Patients can receive IV ketamine for a set period of time, such as weekly for twelve weeks. This enables them to focus on overcoming their psychological disorder.

Safe to Use Under Medical Supervision

Medical staff used ketamine during the Vietnam war because it is an anesthetic that does not slow breathing or heart rate. Patients need to use it under medical supervision because of the risks causal use presents. There are several side effects and the risk of addiction if people chase the euphoria of the experience.

However, under medical supervision, it is safe to use to treat psychological disorders. Usually, it is for people who have treatment-resistant psychological disorders. But ketamine therapy is becoming increasingly common in the mental health field. 

Physical Health Benefits

Ketamine can help reduce pain, which is why medical professionals use it to treat neuropathic conditions and as an anesthetic. However, many people who experience psychological disorders also experience physical pain. Ketamine can relieve this burden and help patients who use opioids or other substances for pain relief. 

Allows New Thought Processes

One of the biggest benefits of ketamine for PTSD, anxiety, and other psychological disorders is that it improves synapse growth. It rewires connections between neurons, so new thought processes are easier to access. It can be difficult to break thought patterns, which is why ketamine for anxiety and other disorders can be so beneficial. 

Reduces Safety Risks

Ketamine can also reduce safety risks associated with mental health disorders. For example, it can reduce the severity of symptoms, such as:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm thoughts
  • Isolation
  • Paranoia 
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Substance abuse

Sometimes patients cannot wait for a traditional SSRI to work. Ketamine opens the gateway for more treatment possibilities that empower the patient while keeping them safe. It also provides peace of mind for loved ones who may be worrying about the severity of symptoms. 

Take Advantage of Therapy 

There are different types of therapy available for psychological disorders. Therapies include:

The type of therapy you need depends on the psychological disorder you experience and your personal needs. However often the symptoms of psychological disorders make it difficult to engage in therapeutic interventions.

Ketamine therapy can help relieve the symptoms that act as a barrier to therapy. It can allow the patient to access therapy and attend. Or it can help them get more out of their therapy sessions. 

Fewer Side Effects

Most mental health treatments involve side effects of some kind. However, the benefits of a treatment can outweigh the risks. However, most of the ketamine's possible side effects are not long-term. 

These side effects can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Dissociation 
  • Perceptual disturbances

Most side effects just last for the first IV ketamine infusion and end soon after. This is different from some other mental health treatments, which can include long-term side effects. However, more research is being done into frequent and long-term ketamine usage. 

Research Support

Research on ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders is promising. This is why it is now being used as a mental health treatment option. And research continues to grow, making it possible for ketamine to be a more common mental health treatment.

Ketamine for Depression in Maryland 

Ketamine offers many benefits as a mental health treatment. It can help people overcome psychological disorders and continue on their recovery journey. However, it is essential to pick a reputable provider who offers ketamine for anxiety and other psychological disorders.

Are you looking for ketamine for depression in Maryland? Gemini Health Elkridge Maryland offers ketamine for PTSD in Maryland, along with other conditions. Contact us today to learn more. 

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Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress and fear. It kicks the body’s fight or flight response into gear and can be characterized by feelings of nervousness or apprehension. While anxiety may have served to protect our ancestors from dangers (such as predators) people today tend to experience anxiety when giving speeches or going to a job interview. Anxiety is a very natural feeling, but anyone who experiences this emotion at extreme levels may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can be treated with medicine, therapy, and other coping mechanisms.  

Why Do People Develop Anxiety? 

It is not currently known why certain people develop anxiety over others. It is believed that the combination of genetics, biology, and environment can be potential triggers. Those with certain personality traits (for example, perfectionism or being an introvert), have experienced traumatic events, have a family history of mental health issues, or have been diagnosed with some physical conditions can be more at risk. 

The research suggests that women tend to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders more often than men. Twice as much, as a matter of fact. Although it is important to recognize that this research also reflects the frequency in which women report experiencing anxiety and seeking treatment versus men reporting on the same information.  This can possibly be attributed to issues like social stigmas against men with mental health problems.  

Symptoms of Anxiety 

There are multiple symptoms of anxiety, and many people may experience a wide variety of these symptoms. Some of the common signs and symptoms include: 

  • Anxious thoughts or beliefs that take over and seem to be all-consuming. Once these thoughts intrude your mind, they are hard to control and can make you feel like you are spiraling. Anxious thoughts can easily distract you from everyday activities and prevent you from falling asleep and/or staying asleep.  
  • Physical symptoms of anxiety like pounding of the heart, sweating, tremors, headaches, and fatigue. It can also cause an upset stomach, frequent urination, and diarrhea. Multiple physical symptoms can occur at once and they can develop at any point. 
  • Anxiety can also affect your mood and cause irritability or low energy. Depression oftentimes is a comorbid condition with high levels of anxiety or anxiety disorders, meaning they can present in an individual simultaneously.   
  • Anxiety Attacks are another common problem that many people have when they are battling this condition. Anxiety attacks can be very scary, and can present themselves with any trigger. Those who deal with these attacks can have varying symptoms and they can change over time. Oftentimes there will be shortness of breath, dizziness, dry mouth, sweating, distress, restlessness, and fear.  

Anxiety Disorders 

Usually, an anxiety disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences symptoms on a regular basis and to the point that their daily life is disrupted. An anxiety disorder can interfere with daily aspects such as school, work, and relationships. A diagnosis will follow a physical exam and a psychological evaluation, generally by a mental healthcare professional. 

The different disorders, as classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), are: 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This disorder will be diagnosed after a person has been experiencing symptoms most days for at least 6 months. People can feel extreme anxiety in a number of situations, like work, school, social outings, etc. It is termed ‘generalized’ because it does not have to be anything specific that causes it like with other disorders. 
      
  • Panic Disorder: Anyone struggling with panic disorder deals with repeated panic attacks that can become very intense very quickly. They can seem to come out of nowhere or be caused by a specific trigger. When someone is having a panic attack, they can literally feel like they are dying and the fear of future attacks can influence their behavior.    
      
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): As the term suggests, having social anxiety causes the fear of social situations. People may believe that the way they behave will be viewed negatively. Performance anxiety also falls under social phobia and people will be afraid of doing things like giving speeches.  
      
  • Specific Phobia: This is a disorder where a person has a fear of a specific object or situation. People can have fears of just about anything, such as spiders, heights, clowns, and much more. These fears are typically irrational and there is no actual danger. 
      
  • Agoraphobia: Those with agoraphobia have a major fear of places or situations where they might feel trapped. They will feel serious dread towards having a panic attack or something embarrassing happening and they cannot easily escape from it. Unfortunately, many people can become so crippled by this anxiety that they start to avoid going out.  
      
  • Selective Mutism: Not as commonly seen as some of the other disorders. Selective mutism occurs in children 5 years or younger, despite having the ability to speak. People who have selective mutism tend to be shy and do not like social situations and they are often diagnosed with other anxiety disorders.  
      
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder: Typically seen in children, but can also occur in adults. With this disorder, people form attachments to others at an inappropriate level and are afraid of being separated from them. There is a constant worry that something bad will happen to their attachments, so they are reluctant to leave them.   
      

Anxiety Medications 

There are a number of anti-anxiety medications that are currently offered by mental health professionals. Pharmaceuticals can be used to treat just anxiety or depression by themselves or they can treat them together. When taking anxiety medication, it is generally recommended that you avoid alcohol, as the mixture can cause a bad reaction. Anxiety medications can be classified as: 

  • Buspirone: This is an anxiety medicine that regulates mood and treats both short-term and chronic anxiety. The brand name drug is Buspar. 
  • Benzodiazepines: These are sedatives that calm the mind and the body. They can be prescribed in situations like when someone has really bad anxiety about flying. They also treat multiple disorders, such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety. Some of the most well-known benzodiazepines are Valium, Xanax, and Ativan.  
  • Antidepressants: This category of pharmaceuticals works by influencing neurotransmitters and can be used to treat anxiety, alongside depression. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) specifically target serotonin levels and include Lexapro, Prozac, and Zoloft. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) are another group of antidepressants and are used for panic disorder and social phobia. 

Prescription medications should not be considered a cure and are typically only used to manage anxiety. The usual course of treatment is a combination of therapy and medication. Although not every medication will work for you and your doctor it is recommended to seek out therapy alongside taking medication. Not every medication will work for you and your doctor may put you on different ones to find the one that is right for you. 

Counseling for Anxiety 

A counselor will teach you about different coping mechanisms that you can apply when you start to feel any symptoms of anxiety. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the most popular type of therapy to treat anxiety. It is a form of psychotherapy that combines key aspects of behavior therapy and cognitive therapy. It is designed to retrain your brain and way of thinking in response to anxiety. When you have an understanding of those thought patterns that trigger anxiety then you are better able to change them and have less of a chance of experiencing it.  

Counselors will also encourage behavioral changes with behaviors that may heighten your anxiety. With this therapy, people may need to start to expose themselves more to the things that trigger their anxieties in order to teach themselves that there is no danger and nothing to fear. This will help those with fears of certain situations, like riding in an elevator.  

Overcoming anxiety takes time and practice at implementing those coping mechanisms. It’s like growing and strengthening a muscle at the gym. You have to recognize the signs and triggers of anxiety in order to break the volatile cycle. When you’re able to recognize these small “tells” you can begin fighting the anxiety that tries to consume you. 

Other Anti-Anxiety Treatments 

Other treatments for anxiety can include natural methods, such as practicing yoga, meditation, and exercise. Often it takes a combination of medication, therapy, and natural methods for someone to be able to manage their anxiety. By practicing mental exercises, such as meditation, you learn to train your mind to focus more on one thought at a time and to be more intentional, not giving in to the stressful or negative thoughts. Yoga or other low-intensity workouts are also great for calming the mind and body and learning how to focus on the breath.  

Physical exercise is not only excellent for the body but the mind as well. Getting your body into motion allows you to clear your mind to an extent and induces the brain to accelerate new neuron growth. Specifically, aerobic exercise, like swimming, running, cycling, dancing, etc. can improve your mood and reduce anxiety. There is a wealth of research to support the way exercise can increase cognitive function and lead to benefits such as improved sleep and lower stress levels.   

It can also help to reduce caffeine intake, as caffeine is known to worsen anxiety. A healthy diet and stress management techniques are other ways that aid in lowering anxiety levels. Of course, these are not a substitute for therapy and medication but should be done alongside them to improve your lifestyle, which makes a difference. 

Want to Get Help for Anxiety? 

If you are interested in seeking help for any anxiety you may be experiencing then reach out to Gemini Health for the appropriate treatment. Our healthcare professionals are highly skilled and experienced to provide you with quality health services. They offer both individual and group therapy, as well as access to psychiatrists for all patients. Plus there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today! 

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