AM Behavioral Health's Unique Approach to Anxiety Disorder Treatment

What are the short and long-term impacts of anxiety disorders? What treatment options are available? Find out here.

Table of Contents

Prevalence of Anxiety Disorders

The prevalence of anxiety disorders is staggering, affecting millions of people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions globally, with an estimated 4% of the global population affected.1

In the United States alone, anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million adults, making them the most prevalent mental health condition in the country. These disorders can take many forms, each with its own set of challenges.2

At AM Behavioral Health, we recognize the profound impact of anxiety disorders and are committed to providing comprehensive care to those affected.

Anxiety Disorders

AM Behavioral Health: Your Partner in Depression Recovery

Founded with a mission to foster, nurture, and stabilize people experiencing mental health and addiction disorders, we understand the complex interplay between these conditions and the importance of tailored, holistic approaches to treatment.

Our commitment encompasses:
  • A dedication to patient-centered quality care
  • Building committed relationships with patients, team members, and community partners
  • Employing cutting-edge clinical-interdisciplinary strategies
We believe in addressing the root causes of anxiety disorders while enhancing resilience and promoting well-being.

Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by persistent and excessive feelings of worry, fear, and nervousness.3
While it’s natural for everyone to experience some anxiety in response to stressful situations, people with anxiety disorders often find these feelings overwhelming and uncontrollable, interfering with their daily functioning and quality of life.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders manifest in various forms, each with its own set of triggers and symptoms. Some of the most common types include:3

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD is characterized by excessive worry and anxiety about various aspects of life, such as work, family, and everyday situations.
People with GAD often struggle to control their worry, experiencing physical symptoms like:
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty concentrating

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is marked by sudden and recurring panic attacks. These are intense episodes of fear or discomfort that reach a peak within minutes.

These attacks can be accompanied by physical symptoms such as:
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of impending doom

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder involves an intense fear of social situations and interactions, where people may fear judgment, embarrassment, or humiliation by others.
This fear can lead to avoidance of:
  • Social gatherings
  • Public speaking
  • Other situations where one might be the center of attention

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety disorder is most commonly diagnosed in children but can also affect adults. It involves excessive anxiety about separation from attachment figures. This leads to distress when apart from them.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD involves recurrent and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that cause anxiety, as well as repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) performed to reduce that anxiety.

Common obsessions include fears of contamination or harm, while compulsions can include behaviors like excessive cleaning or checking.


Phobias are irrational and excessive fears of specific objects, situations, or activities. Common phobias include:
  • Fear of heights (acrophobia)
  • Fear of spiders (arachnophobia)
  • Fear of flying (aviophobia)
Phobias can significantly disrupt a person’s life, leading to avoidance behaviors and heightened anxiety.

The Ripple Effect of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders can have a profound impact on a person’s daily life. The constant worry and fear can make it difficult to:
  • Concentrate at work or school
  • Maintain healthy relationships
  • Take part in activities that were once enjoyable
Sleep disturbances, fatigue, and physical health problems can also become issues. The fear of anxiety itself can lead to avoidance behaviors, further limiting a person’s life.

Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders often manifest through a combination of mental and physical symptoms. Here are some common signs to be aware of:

Mental Symptoms

Some common mental symptoms of anxiety include:
  • Excessive worry and fear that is out of proportion to the situation
  • Persistent negative thoughts and rumination
  • Feeling restless, on edge, or wound-up
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Irritability and impatience
  • Feelings of impending doom or danger

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms of anxiety can include:
  • Rapid heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Shortness of breath or feeling smothered
  • Sweating, trembling, or shaking
  • Fatigue and muscle tension
  • Headaches, stomachaches, or dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia) or restless sleep
It’s important to note that occasional anxiety or experiencing a few of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily indicate an anxiety disorder.
But, if these symptoms are persistent, severe, and significantly disrupt daily life, it’s crucial to seek professional help.

Risk Factors for Anxiety Disorders

Several factors can increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder. These risk factors can vary from person to person. Often, it’s a combination of factors rather than a single cause.
Some common risk factors associated with anxiety disorders include:
  • Genetics and family history
  • Brain chemistry imbalances
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Chronic stress
  • Personality traits (e.g., sensitivity, negativity)
  • Medical conditions
  • Substance abuse
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Personality disorders
  • Gender (women are more affected)

Explanation of Diagnostic Criteria

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines specific criteria for diagnosing anxiety disorders. Diagnosis often involves assessing the presence and severity of symptoms, duration of symptoms, and functional impairment.
For example, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is diagnosed when a person experiences excessive worry and anxiety about various aspects of life for most days over a period of at least six months.
This is accompanied by other symptoms such as:4
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbances
Panic disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences recurrent panic attacks, along with persistent concern about having additional attacks, for at least one month. Social anxiety disorder involves intense fear or anxiety about social situations, leading to avoidance behaviors or significant distress.5

Why Early Diagnosis Matters

Seeking professional evaluation and diagnosis is vital for successful treatment. An accurate diagnosis allows for the development of a personalized treatment plan that addresses the type and severity of a person’s anxiety disorder.
Early intervention can improve treatment outcomes and help prevent anxiety from worsening and impacting life further.
AM Behavioral Health’s team of experienced professionals can guide clients through the diagnostic process and create a path toward healing and management of your anxiety.

Treatment Options for Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are treatable conditions, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment.
AM Behavioral Health offers a comprehensive approach that combines evidence-based treatment modalities to address the root causes of anxiety and empower people to manage their symptoms effectively.
Some of our treatment options include:


Talk therapy is a powerful tool for managing anxiety. At AM Behavioral Health, we provide a range of evidence-based approaches to fit each person’s needs, including:
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT helps people identify and change negative thinking patterns that fuel anxiety.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT equips people with skills to manage emotions, communicate effectively, and regulate distress.
  • Additional options: We also offer therapies like motivational interviewing (MI), rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), telehealth serices, and trauma-focused therapies. Their use depends on each person’s situation.

Medication Management

In some cases, medication can be a helpful tool to manage anxiety symptoms. Our team of psychiatrists will work with clients to determine if medication is appropriate and develop a safe and effective medication plan, if needed.

Recreational Therapy

At AM Behavioral Health, we believe in the power of recreational activities to promote relaxation, enjoyment, and social connection.
Our unique recreational therapy program incorporates various activities to help people:
  • Manage stress
  • Improve mood
  • Build coping skills in a supportive environment

The Role of Therapy

Therapy plays a critical role in long-term anxiety management. Through therapy, clients will learn to:
  • Identify triggers: Recognize situations, thoughts, or events that often trigger anxiety.
  • Challenge negative thoughts: Learn to identify and challenge distorted thinking patterns that contribute to anxiety.
  • Develop coping skills: Develop healthy strategies for managing anxiety symptoms, such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness exercises, and exposure therapy.
  • Build resilience: Therapy empowers people to develop the tools and confidence they need to manage anxiety effectively in the long run.

Importance of a Multidisciplinary Approach

Anxiety disorders are complex conditions that often need a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. Collaboration among psychiatrists, therapists, and other healthcare professionals allows for comprehensive assessment, personalized treatment planning, and ongoing support.

Psychiatrists and Therapists

Psychiatrists play a vital role in medication management. They prescribe and monitor medications to reduce anxiety symptoms.

Therapists can include psychologists, social workers, and counselors. They provide psychotherapy and counseling services, addressing the psychological and emotional aspects of anxiety disorders.

Other Healthcare Professionals

In addition to medical and psychological interventions, other healthcare professionals may contribute to the holistic care of people with anxiety disorders.
These professionals include:
  • Nurses
  • Dietitians
  • Recreational therapists
A multidisciplinary team approach ensures that all aspects of a person’s well-being are addressed. This leads to more comprehensive and effective treatment outcomes.

Support and Resources for People with Anxiety Disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be isolating, but remember, you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you on your journey toward healing and management of your anxiety. Here are some ways to build your support network:

Support Groups

Joining a support group can provide people with anxiety disorders a sense of belonging, understanding, and encouragement.
These groups often consist of people who share similar experiences and challenges, offering a safe space to:
  • Share concerns
  • Exchange coping strategies
  • Provide mutual support
Organizations such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) and local mental health centers often facilitate support groups for people with anxiety disorders.

Peer Networks

Peer support networks, whether online or in-person, connect people with anxiety disorders to others who can relate to their experiences.
These networks foster a sense of camaraderie and validation, allowing people to:
  • Share stories
  • Offer advice
  • Receive empathy from those who truly understand what they’re going through
Websites such as and forums like Reddit’s r/Anxiety provide platforms for people to connect with peers and access valuable resources.

Community Resources

Many communities offer a range of resources and services to support people with anxiety disorders. These may include:
  • Free or low-cost counseling services
  • Mental health hotlines
  • Educational workshops
  • Wellness programs
Community centers, churches, and nonprofit organizations often provide such resources, helping people access the support they need close to home.
Anxiety Disorders

Seeking Help from Professionals

If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, reaching out for professional help is crucial. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, and with the right support, you can manage your symptoms and live a fulfilling life.

Trained professionals have the expertise to assess, diagnose, and treat anxiety disorders effectively. They can provide evidence-based interventions, such as therapy and medication management, tailored to each person’s specific needs and circumstances.

Importance of Seeking Help Early

It’s crucial for people to reach out for help early, rather than trying to cope with anxiety alone. Untreated anxiety disorders can worsen over time and lead to complications.
These complications can impact various areas of life, including:
  • Relationships
  • Work
  • School
  • Physical health
At AM Behavioral Health, we’re here to support you every step of the way, providing comprehensive treatment, resources, and a caring community dedicated to your well-being.

Breaking the Stigma: AM Behavioral Health's Commitment

At AM Behavioral Health, we believe that everyone deserves access to quality mental healthcare, free from stigma and shame.
That’s why we are committed to:
  • Raising awareness: We actively take part in educational initiatives and community outreach programs to increase public understanding of anxiety disorders and general mental health. By educating others, we can challenge misconceptions and foster empathy.
  • Reducing stigma: We strive to create open conversations about mental health, dismantling the stigma that often prevents people from seeking help. We believe that talking openly about anxiety disorders can empower people and encourage them to prioritize their mental well-being.

Experience the AM Behavioral Health Difference

At AM Behavioral Health, our expert team isn’t just another service. We’re a passionate team dedicated to putting you first. We offer a seamless continuum of care, ensuring you have the right support at every stage of your journey. Experience the difference a heart-centered approach can make.

Ready to take the first step? We make it easy. Call and schedule an appointment through our intake department or visit us during our walk-in hours. Our Admissions Coordinators will listen and guide you.

Join us, and experience the difference our team makes in your path to wellness.