At Modern Recovery Services, we provide mental health therapy for teens and adolescents.

We have worked with adolescents who struggle with all kinds of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and ADHD. By offering a variety of therapy and treatments, we are confident that we can provide the support you are looking for.

Types Of Anxiety Disorders

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural and important emotion. It is our body’s normal reaction to stress. Anxiety alerts our body that danger or a threat could be near. Sometimes however, it can become an unhealthy response when no danger is present.

A number of changes happen when one is a teenager. New schools, new environments along with the normal changes that occur with growing up can cause anxiety to interfere with day-to-day life.

When this happens, anxiety can become exaggerated and this normal response becomes an unhealthy one.

What are the Different Types of Anxiety?

There are five major types of anxiety disorders. These are:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Social Phobia/ Social Anxiety Disorder

What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Although under the same general diagnosis of anxiety, the different types have different symptoms associated with each one.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is broadly characterized by constant worry or tension when there is nothing that has seemed to cause it. Although we all experience worry or fear, for those with generalized anxiety disorder, that feeling does not go away and can get worse.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is more commonly referred to as OCD. This type of anxiety can have unwanted thoughts or obsessions and repetitive behaviors such as constant hand washing or obsessive cleaning. Someone who may have this type of anxiety may feel the urge to repeat these behaviors over and over.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by an unexpected episode of intense fear. This episode is accompanied by physical symptoms such as dizziness and chest pain.

Panic attacks can be triggered by an object or situation that is feared such as public speaking or heights.

People with panic disorder often worry about the possibility of another attack. They may avoid places or situations that have been associated with previous panic attacks. This avoidance can lead to the development of other mental health disorders if not properly diagnosed and treated.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety that can be developed after a terrifying event or stressful situation. A traumatic event could be military combat or a personal attack.

Often the person experiencing PTSD feels a “flight or fight” response in their body. This response is a normal reaction if there is a danger, however, those with PTSD often experience it when danger is not present.

Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder

Social phobia/social anxiety disorder is characterized by overwhelming fear or worry in everyday social situations. These situations could be fear of speaking in front of others or fear of eating and drinking in front of others. Social phobia could develop into a fear of being around other people in general.

People with social anxiety often worry they will be thought of negatively by others and this will lead to embarrassment.

Getting Treatment for Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are generally treated with therapies and or medications. Individuals should be evaluated and given some options for treatment based on their own personal history.

Psychotherapy is a therapy that involves talking about the issues in order to learn to control anxiety and the behaviors associated with the disorder. Individual therapy, as well as group therapy, can be beneficial.

Anti-anxiety medications are another tool used for the treatment of anxiety. While medications cannot take away the disorder, they can lessen or relieve the symptoms.

Medications-blisters

Types of Medications for Anxiety

Medications can help alleviate physical symptoms but they do not cure anxiety disorders.

All medications must be prescribed and monitored by a doctor or psychiatrist.

The most common medication prescribed for anxiety disorders are benzodiazepines. These medications are effective and take effect faster than other antidepressant medications, however, there are some drawbacks.

Taking a benzodiazepine for a long time can cause a person to build up a tolerance to them. If a tolerance occurs, there may be a need to take higher and higher dosage amounts to achieve the same effect as when they were first prescribed. This can also cause dependency issues.

Antidepressants can also be used to treat anxiety disorders. This type of medication works to improve the chemicals that control mood or stress. These medications take time to build up in your system and work.

A different type of anti-anxiety medication is buspirone. Buspirone is a non-benzodiazepine medication specifically indicated for the treatment of chronic anxiety. Like the other medications, it is important to work closely with a doctor to determine which one is best suited for the individual.

Beta-blockers have also been used in some cases to treat anxiety. These seem to help to relieve physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shaking or trembling. These medications are usually not used long term and sometimes only to deal with a predictable form of anxiety such as speaking in front of a large group when one has anxiety attacks.

The combination of medication and therapy can be effective, however, medications in teens need to be monitored by a doctor very closely. There have been some increases in suicidal thoughts or behaviors when first starting antidepressant medications in people under the age of 25. Please be sure to keep up with doctor’s appointments and tell your doctor of any changes in mood or behaviors.

Types of Therapy for Anxiety

There are a few different types of therapy that can be used to help treat those who suffer from anxiety disorders.

Psychotherapy is commonly used with people who have anxiety disorders. Talk therapy is individualized to the person seeking support.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another form of treatment used to support those who have anxiety disorders. CBT works by teaching people different ways of thinking and reacting to anxiety-producing objects and situations.

CBT will often involve “homework” on the part of the individual. By exposing themselves to fearful situations and using the methods taught in CBT sessions, people can learn how to engage in activities they may have been avoiding due to anxiety.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is also a method of therapy that can be used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. This type of therapy focuses on the individual confronting their fears while engaging in the activities that cause the fear.

This type of therapy could be done in a few ways.

One way is actually confronting actual real-life situations or objects that cause intense fear. This is known as in vivo exposure.

Imaginal exposure is when someone may be asked to vividly recall a situation that caused them intense fear or trauma. This has been known to work by allowing the patient to describe the experience in order to reduce the feeling of fear.

Virtual reality exposure is being used as technology continues to advance. Someone who may have a fear of flying can take a virtual flight in the safety of a psychologist’s office. Being able to experience the event while also being reminded to use the newly learned coping skills allows new experiences to replace the ones filled with fear.

Another type of exposure therapy is known as interoceptive therapy. This therapy causes deliberate physical sensations that are harmless, yet feared by the individual.

For example, someone who experiences panic disorder may avoid situations where their heart speeds up. Interoceptive therapy may involve running in place in order to learn that this sensation is not dangerous

Dealing with Teens and Anxiety

Anxiety disorders vary from teenager to teenager. Some teens may have physical symptoms or just seem withdrawn and tired.

Adolescence is a time when people experience so many changes physically due to hormones and puberty. These changes in themselves can create symptoms that may appear to be normal changes or could be signs of anxiety.

Being a teenager is hard as school demands and other responsibilities increase. Adolescents are learning about relationships and trying to find independence. These can all be stressors.

It is important for teens who are dealing with anxiety to remember they are not alone. Many teens struggle or have struggled in the past with this issue.

Finding someone who can provide the support you need is a very important step in learning how to manage mental health issues.

Managing anxiety is possible through treatment. Working on developing strategies to cope with anxious episodes allows teens and adolescents who are struggling to gain control over their mental health issues.

Modern Recovery Services

Whether your teen has come to you asking for therapy, or if you are concerned and would like an outside perspective, Modern Recovery is here to help. Contact us today for more information or if you have any questions regarding health insurance coverage. We would be happy to help you find the answers you need.

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