Takeaway: Anxiety is more than just a symptom. It can influence how you view yourself, others, and the world. High-quality anxiety treatment can help you identify the source of your anxiety instead of treating symptoms alone. There are a number of evidence-based practices that can help you find relief. Start the process today.
The term "anxiety" is used colloquially to describe stress or worry. However, anxiety disorders are different. They significantly impact a person's thoughts, feelings, relationships, physical health, and quality of life. People often try to control their environment and emotions to find relief from anxiety. Yet, this only intensifies anxiety symptoms over time.
Thankfully, there are several evidence-based practices used to treat anxiety. There is a significant body of research that demonstrates the effectiveness of therapy. Studies show that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can significantly improve anxiety disorders in youth. The effects were maintained for four years following the conclusion of this particular study. Results from this study show similar outcomes for adults.
Your first meeting with your anxiety therapist will be a mental health evaluation. Your therapist will use clinical tools and evidence-based practices to diagnose you with an anxiety disorder. Your diagnosis will be the basis of your treatment plan.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders. All can be treated with clinically-proven approaches including therapy and medication. Below are some of the anxiety disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which mental health providers use to diagnose and treat anxiety.
Diagnoses are important tools in treating anxiety. They provide the basis for the healing process and offer a direction for treatment. They also have limitations. Some patients feel stigmatized by diagnoses. Your experience of anxiety is valid regardless of which diagnosis you receive.
People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) feel persistent worry or dread that's difficult to control. Nearly 3% of adults have GAD according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Other common symptoms include difficulty relaxing and trouble concentrating. You may also experience physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach issues, and sleep problems.
In panic disorder, people experience panic attacks. These are episodes of intense anxiety and fear. Panic attacks also consist of other symptoms such as lightheadedness, feeling out of control, rapid heart rate, sweating, and trembling. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 2.7% of American adults have panic disorder.
People with social anxiety disorder or social phobia have a strong fear of being watched or judged by others. This impacts their ability to have relationships with others. They might blush, sweat, feel sick, or have trouble making eye contact in social situations. Some people with social phobia avoid certain social situations altogether.
Trauma-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are classified separately from anxiety disorders in the DSM. However, traumatic events often cause anxiety symptoms. Research shows that childhood trauma is a risk factor for developing an anxiety disorder as an adult.
Other mental health disorders also feature anxiety symptoms. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is marked by highly distressing intrusive thoughts. Patients then engage in repetitive behaviors to soothe the anxiety from these thoughts. During your diagnostic evaluation, your therapist will determine which disorder your symptoms align with.
There is no singular cause of anxiety. Risk factors for anxiety disorders can vary from person to person. They can also vary based on the type of anxiety disorder a person has. Experts currently hypothesize that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contributes to anxiety.
Not all predispositions for anxiety are currently known. However, researchers have been able to identify some general risk factors. These include:
Medical issues can also trigger anxiety-like symptoms. Heart conditions can mimic certain physical anxiety symptoms. Substances such as caffeine can also provoke these symptoms. A thorough diagnostic evaluation is necessary to rule out other conditions before diagnosing anxiety disorders.
Anxiety is treated using a variety of clinically-proven methods. This often involves individual therapy, psychiatric medication, or both.
Some empirically supported talk therapy practices for treating anxiety include:
Pharmacological interventions can also support anxiety recovery. Some common types of anti-anxiety medication include:
You will work with your therapist to determine which treatment options are right for you.
Dr. Zacharias has worked in healthcare for over two decades, training at the Mayo Clinic, Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Washington, and the Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute. He has accumulated extensive experience in research, speaking, publishing, and direct patient care. This has given him a deep understanding of highly effective, evidence-based approaches for treating anxiety disorders.
Please visit Dr. Zacharias' “About” page for more information about his professional experience, honors, awards, and distinctions. You can also review his curriculum vitae and his peer-reviewed publications for further information about his work.
Dr. Zacharias partners with each of his patients to create a customized treatment plan using clinically-proven methods. He also has a passion for helping people understand the human experience. He goes beyond the diagnosis and takes the whole person into account when treating anxiety. Dr. Zacharias is committed to helping each person with their unique path toward self-discovery and growth.
Dr. Zacharias uses a relational, existential approach to treatment for anxiety. The therapeutic relationship is the foundation for healing. He also recognizes each patient as an individual. He works with each patient to determine which evidence-based practices are the best fit. This is often talk therapy alone but may also include the addition of psychiatric medication.
Dr. Zacharias will also provide referrals to other treatments or modalities, such as family therapy or group therapy, as necessary. He is dedicated to providing individual patients with the most effective support possible.
Effective anxiety treatment is more than symptom relief. Committing to the process will ensure personal growth and emotional healing as well. Reach out today for a complimentary consultation to get a better sense of whether Dr. Zacharias is the best Seattle anxiety therapist for you.
Anxiety treatment in Seattle can help whether you have mild, moderate, or intense anxiety. We will explore your needs, values, and goals to determine a treatment plan. Using a combination of evidence-based methods can help you feel more grounded in your daily life.
Many individuals go years without seeking treatment for anxiety. The process can be difficult but it is well worth it. Many patients can experience significant relief from their anxiety symptoms and drastically improve their quality of life.
Reach out today to schedule a session with Dr. Zacharias. Together, you will determine whether individual therapy, medication, or a combination of both is best for you. We look forward to hearing from you.