Anxiety can be characterized by intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear. Anxiety, in stressful situations, can be normal and productive. However, anxiety becomes problematic and identified as a mental health disorder when feelings are all-consuming, and interfere with daily functioning. Some examples of anxiety disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Anxiety symptoms include feeling nervous, restless, or tense. Individuals with anxiety may experience feelings of impending danger or doom. Individuals with anxiety, panic disorder, or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have physiological responses to triggers of their anxiety, such as having an increased heart rate, breathing rapidly (hyperventilation) , sweating, and trembling. Individuals with anxiety disorder can have sleep disturbances as well. They tend to have trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry.
Anxiety is treated with a combination of medication management and psychotherapy. Our medical providers typically utilize SSRIs and SNRIs as a first-line treatment for anxiety. Antihistamines (such as hydroxyzine) and beta-blockers (such as propranolol) can help mild cases of anxiety as well as performance anxiety, a type of social anxiety disorder. Providers try to avoid use of Benzodiazapines as they are addictive and individuals build tolerance over time.
Our therapists are utilizing innovative treatments to target anxiety among our clients. We offer treatments such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to address past traumatic experiences that results in the individual constantly being in a state of high arousal . In addition, Nuerofeedback is a computer-based intervention that allows the clinician to re-train brain functioning and utilize it for our clients with anxiety. An emerging treatment is psychedelic assisted therapy. Psychedelics often make it easier to talk through your trauma and progress in your treatment. They help the patient break through defense mechanisms and feel more open and trusting when sharing traumatic experiences. Our psychiatrist, Dr. David Danish, is a registered physician with the medical marijuana program in PA and issues certifications to eligible Pennsylvanians. Medical Marijuana can be effective in treating anxiety disorders in some patients.