How Do I Know If I Have An Anxiety Disorder?

how-do-i-know-if-i-have-anxiety

Do you ever feel overwhelmed, on edge, or constantly worried? 

While it’s normal to experience stress and anxiety from time to time, if these feelings persist and interfere with your daily life, it could be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States, affecting millions of people each year. 

But how do you know if what you’re feeling is just everyday stress or something more serious? In this week’s blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of anxiety disorders and their symptoms, as well as the causes behind them and available treatment options. 

The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorder is a broad term that encompasses different types of mental health conditions. These disorders share common symptoms of excessive fear, worry or nervousness that can interfere with daily activities. However, each type has its own unique characteristics.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder and involves chronic anxiety or worry about everyday events and activities. 

Panic Disorder causes sudden episodes of intense fear or panic attacks that can be triggered by specific situations or happen unexpectedly.

Social Anxiety Disorder, also known as Social Phobia, involves extreme self-consciousness in social situations that leads to avoidance behavior. 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) includes intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) develops after exposure to a traumatic event such as assault, war or natural disaster causing flashbacks and nightmares. 

Separation Anxiety Disorder affects children who experience excessive distress when separated from parents or primary caregivers.

Specific Phobias cause irrational fears of specific objects, animals or situations such as flying in an airplane, heights or spiders.

Understanding the various types of anxiety disorders helps in recognizing their symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment for individuals affected by them.

Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders

Symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary from person to person, but they all share a common thread: severe feelings of fear and worry that interfere with daily life. Physical symptoms can include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating 
  • Trembling
  • And shortness of breath which may lead to a panic attack

Anxiety disorders also commonly manifest in psychological symptoms like excessive worrying or an inability to control anxious thoughts. Sufferers may feel constantly on edge or have difficulty concentrating. They may avoid certain situations due to irrational fears or become easily agitated.

Additionally, anxiety disorders can cause physical discomfort such as stomach problems and headaches. In some cases, sufferers may experience sleep disturbances including insomnia or nightmares.

It is important to note that experiencing occasional anxiety is normal. It is when these feelings begin interfering with daily life that professional help should be sought out.

Causes Of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental influences. In some cases, anxiety disorders may also be triggered by traumatic events or significant life changes.

One of the primary causes of anxiety disorders is genetics. Studies have shown that individuals with a family history of anxiety are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder themselves. This suggests that there may be genetic components involved in the development of these conditions.

In addition to genetics, brain chemistry can also play a role in the development of anxiety disorders. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine are known to influence mood and behavior, and imbalances in these chemicals can contribute to the symptoms associated with anxiety.

Environmental factors such as stress and trauma can also trigger or exacerbate symptoms of an anxiety disorder. For example, someone who experiences a traumatic event such as abuse or violence may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which often results in severe feelings of panic or fear.

While there is no one specific cause for all types of anxiety disorders, various biological and environmental factors appear to play important roles in their development. It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with an anxiety disorder will vary based on individual differences in biology and environment.

When To Seek Help For An Anxiety Disorder

It can be challenging to determine when seeking professional help is necessary for individuals experiencing anxiety. However, it’s crucial to recognize the signs that tell us when we need medical attention.

If you’re frequently feeling anxious or worried about everyday activities and events, have trouble controlling your worries, experiencing panic attacks often or are avoiding social situations due to fear of being judged or embarrassed— these could all be symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders can also lead to physical manifestations such as sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating and muscle tension. If left untreated, they may impact your daily life causing significant distress in relationships, work performance and general functioning.

The bottom line? If you notice persistent feelings of anxiety impacting different areas of your life and interfering with daily activities despite attempts at self-help techniques like relaxation exercises or positive thinking, it might be time to seek professional treatment from a mental health provider like us who specializes in anxiety disorders. Remember, it’s essential not only for yourself but also for those around you and there is no shame in seeking help. 

Have An Anxiety Disorder? We Can Help You

Anxiety disorders are common and can have a significant impact on an individual’s life. It is important to recognize the symptoms of anxiety disorders so that appropriate treatment can be sought. Treatment options range from therapy to medication, or a combination of both.

If you suspect that you may have an anxiety disorder, it is essential to seek guidance and support from a qualified healthcare provider like the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. With proper care and management, individuals with anxiety disorders can lead fulfilling lives. You can reach us at (888) 574-3506.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine