Anxiety Treatment Scottsdale | Phoenix
Psychologists and psychiatrists at Shier Private Practice in Scottsdale, AZ specialize in the treatment of anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Our private outpatient clinic offers a comprehensive psychiatric/medical assessment and treatment plan. Treatment may include medications, behavioral therapies or a combination of treatments.
What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everybody experiences from time to time when exposed to stressful situations. Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessively high levels of anxiety for prolonged periods of time resulting in chronic mental and physical symptoms that interfere with school, work, relationships, and day-to-day activities.
What are the Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
The DSM-5 criteria defines GAD as:
- Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance).
- The individual finds it difficult to control the worry.
- The anxiety and worry are associated with three (more more) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms having been present for more days than not for the past 6 months)
- Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge.
- Being easily fatigued.
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.
- Muscle tension.
- Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep).
- The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
- The disturbance is not due to the physiological effects of a substance or medical condition.
- The disturbance is not better explained by another medical disorder.
Other physical symptoms supporting the diagnosis include trembling, twitching, feeling shaky, muscle aches, soreness, seating, nausea, diarrhea, exaggerated startle response, racing heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, and numb/tingly extremities.
What is the Cause of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
The specific cause generalized anxiety disorder is unknown and the symptoms vary from person to person depending on age, gender, cultural, individual personality differences, and severity of the symptoms. Risk factors include biological, psychological, and social factors.
How is Generalized Anxiety Disorder Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder requires a thorough biopsychosocial psychiatric and medical assessment to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other psychological or medical conditions.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment
The treatment of generalized anxiety disorder may include medications and or psychotherapy (talk therapy).
First-line medications used in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder include Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIS) such as Zoloft/Sertraline, Lexapro/Escitalopram, and Prozac/Fluoxetine.
Psychotherapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have been proven to be effective.
How to Cope
- Self-care and basic needs – Make sure you are taking care of yourself and getting plenty of rest.
- Eat well and get exercise – Maintain a healthy physical status. Good diet and exercise provides significant psychological benefits and can help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Stress reduction – setting limits on requests that may increase your stress levels.
- Relaxation and meditation – Learn how to control your breathing and ease your muscle tension when you are feeling stressed or anxious.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol – Avoid self-medicating as this may worsen anxiety symptoms and increase your risk for physical health issues.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine – caffeine and nicotine can both worsen anxiety symptoms.
- Seek support from friends and family- Avoid long periods of social isolation as this may worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Join a support group – Join a support groups. Support groups will help you meet others with similar experiences, share coping strategies, and gain a sense empowerment and connection.
Last update: February 22, 2019
The content on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.