Anxiety is more than just a feeling. It involves the body’s fight or flight response and effects a wide range of physical symptoms. Sometimes anxiety is related to a medical condition such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Certain medications and supplements can also cause anxiety. If there is no medical cause for the anxiety, we will determine the type and cause of the anxiety disorder and implement a treatment plan for the client.
Spanish River Counseling Center treats each of the following six types of anxiety disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – chronic worry and anxiety often accompanied by sleep difficulties, fatigue, and gastrointestinal concerns.
- Panic Disorders – unexpected panic attacks or fear of having another panic attack.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – unwanted thoughts or compulsions.
- Phobias – Examples include fear of flying, heights, spiders and snakes. These are real fears that pose little danger but that people go to extreme measures to avoid, only exacerbating the phobia.
- Social Anxiety Disorder – often experienced as extreme shyness, performance anxiety, or fear of public speaking.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – an extreme anxiety disorder often occurring from the aftermath of a traumatic event. Flashbacks, nightmares of the traumatic event, hyper-vigilance, and withdrawing from others are common symptoms.
Depression interferes with the ability to work, study, eat, sleep and enjoy life, making it different than normal sadness. The symptoms of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and often unrelenting. The first step to effective treatment is to assess the type of depression a client is experiencing and then develop a treatment plan to focus on the client’s specific needs.
The following are different types of depression with unique symptoms, causes, and effects:
- Post-partum Depression – triggered in part by hormonal changes associated with childbirth. It is long-lasting and serious and can occur up to 6 months after birth.
- Major Depression – either a one-time episode or reoccurring, lasting up to 6 months.
- Dysthymia – chronic low-grade depression, mild to moderate, but lasting at least two years.
- Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression) – cycling mood changes between depression and manic episodes (impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, rapid speech, little sleep). Very specific medical care is suggested.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder – depression triggered by limited exposure to daylight, usually experienced in the fall or winter.
Feeling suicidal does not mean a person is weak, crazy, or helplessly flawed. It means their pain is beyond what they can cope with alone. Suicidal threats must always be taken seriously. Threats are a call to action, and therapists are legally required to take action by contacting the appropriate services for clients at risk for suicide.
It is important to encourage those at risk to get to seek professional medical help. If a person is feeling suicidal, please call 1-800-273-TALK in the United States. Outside the United States visit International Association for Suicide Prevention (www.iasp.info) or suicide.org.