Navigating Anxiety with Continuum Outpatient Center

Learn about the intricacies, risk factors, and treatment options for anxiety. Discover tailored treatments empowering your path to wellness

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal human emotion characterized by feelings of worry, apprehension, and fear. It’s the body’s natural response to stress and can be helpful in stimulating people to take action in dangerous situations. 

However, when anxiety becomes excessive and persistent, it can develop into a debilitating condition.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are several types of anxiety disorders, each characterized by specific symptoms and patterns of excessive worry or fear. Here are some common types of anxiety disorders:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

This involves chronic and excessive worry about various aspects of life, such as:

  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Health
  • Everyday situations
People with GAD often find it challenging to control their worrying.

Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder experience recurrent and unexpected panic attacks, which are intense episodes of fear accompanied by physical symptoms like:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • A feeling of impending doom
Panic attacks can occur without an apparent trigger.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Also known as social phobia, this disorder involves an intense fear of social situations and a fear of being judged or embarrassed by others. It can lead to an intense avoidance of social interactions and activities.

Specific Phobias

These are intense fears of specific objects, situations, or activities. Common phobias include fear of:

  • Flying
  • Heights
  • Animals or insects
  • Needles
People with specific phobias will go to great lengths to avoid the feared stimulus.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is characterized by persistent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions). These behaviors are often performed in an attempt to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsessions.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD can develop after exposure to a traumatic event. Symptoms include:

  • Intrusive memories
  • Nightmares
  • Avoidance of reminders of the trauma
  • Heightened vigilance
PTSD can affect those who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

This is more common in children but can also affect adults. It involves excessive fear or anxiety about being separated from a person whom an individual is emotionally attached to.

Selective Mutism

This primarily affects children and involves a consistent inability to speak in specific social situations where there is an expectation to communicate, despite being able to speak in other settings.

Risk Factors for Developing Anxiety

Several factors can increase one’s risk of developing anxiety, including:

  • Genetics: If someone has a family history of anxiety disorders, they’re more likely to develop one yourself.
  • Brain chemistry: People with anxiety may have imbalances in certain brain chemicals that contribute to feelings of worry and fear.
  • Life experiences: Traumatic events, stressful life situations, and chronic medical conditions can all increase the risk of anxiety.
  • Substance use: Alcohol and drug abuse can worsen anxiety symptoms.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety can manifest in various ways, both physically and emotionally. Some common symptoms include:

  • Excessive worry
  • Fear
  • Apprehension
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling on edge
  • Feeling out of control
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches and nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty sleeping

Prevalence of Anxiety in the U.S. and Texas

Anxiety is a pervasive concern across the United States and Texas. The below statistics shed light on just how common it is:

In the U.S.

Statistics show that anxiety disorders affect millions worldwide, with an estimated 284 million people experiencing them globally and 31.1% of U.S. adults experiencing one in their lifetime.

These disorders are more common in women (23.4%) than in men (14.3%). Some types, like GAD, tend to develop in early adulthood, while others, like specific phobias, can emerge at any age.

Major life events, such as trauma, loss, or significant changes in life circumstances, can increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder, regardless of demographic.

In Texas

A recent statistic revealed that Texans are experiencing anxiety and depression at a higher rate than the national average. 

In February 2023, nearly 37% of adults in Texas reported symptoms of these conditions, compared to 32.3% of adults across the United States. This significant difference highlights the need for increased mental health awareness and resources in the Lone Star State.

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The Nexus Between Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety and addiction can be interconnected in several ways, and the relationship between them is complex. People may turn to substances or behaviors to cope with the distressing symptoms of anxiety, and this can contribute to the development of addiction. 

Here are some ways in which anxiety and addiction can be linked:

Self-Medication

People experiencing anxiety may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate and reduce their symptoms. Substance use can provide a temporary escape or relief from anxiety, creating a cycle where the person relies on substances to manage their emotional state.

Escapism

Anxiety can be overwhelming, and people may seek to escape or numb themselves from the distressing feelings associated with anxiety. Substance use or addictive behaviors can provide a temporary distraction or relief from emotional pain.

Genetic Predisposition

There is evidence to suggest that there may be a genetic predisposition to both anxiety disorders and addiction. People with a family history of anxiety or substance use disorders may be more vulnerable to developing both conditions.

Neurochemical Changes

Substance use can affect the brain’s neurochemistry, including neurotransmitter levels and receptor sensitivity. Over time, these changes can contribute to the development of tolerance, dependence, and addiction.

Some substances may provide a temporary sense of calm or pleasure, reinforcing the desire to use them as a coping mechanism for anxiety.

Dual Diagnosis

Many people with substance use disorders also have co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders. This is known as a dual diagnosis or comorbidity. Treating both the anxiety and the addiction at the same time is crucial for successful recovery.

Poor Coping Skills

Some people may not have developed effective coping mechanisms to deal with stress and anxiety. Instead of using healthy coping strategies, they may turn to substances or addictive behaviors as a way to cope with life’s challenges.

Breaking the Cycle: Continuum Outpatient Center’s Approach to Treat Anxiety

At Continuum Outpatient Center, we understand the delicate nature of anxiety and are committed to guiding you towards a brighter, more resilient future. 

Our dedicated professionals employ a holistic approach to address both anxiety and addiction at the same time. By unraveling the intricate threads of these co-occurring disorders, we empower people to break free from the cycle and embark on a journey toward lasting recovery.

Comprehensive Assessment

At Continuum Outpatient Center, our experienced team conducts a thorough assessment to understand the specific nature of our patients’ anxiety symptoms and their impact on their lives. This allows us to create a customized treatment plan that addresses each person’s individual needs.

Evidence-Based Therapies

We offer a range of evidence-based therapies proven to be effective in treating anxiety disorders, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Exposure therapy
  • Mindfulness-based approaches

These therapies are designed to help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns, gradually face fears, and cultivate mindfulness for better stress management.

Medication Management

Our skilled psychiatrists may determine that medication is an appropriate part of an individual’s treatment plan. Medications can be beneficial in reducing symptoms and supporting well-being.

Individual and Group Counseling

We believe in the power of connection and support. Our individual counseling sessions provide a one-on-one space for individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings, while group therapy allows individuals to connect with others facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of community.

Holistic Approach

We recognize the importance of addressing the whole person. Our holistic approach includes incorporating lifestyle modifications, stress management techniques, and wellness practices to enhance overall mental health and resilience.

Ongoing Support and Follow-Up

We are committed to all of our patients’ long-term success. Our team provides ongoing support and follow-up to monitor individuals’ progress, adjust treatment strategies as needed, and celebrate achievements along the way.

Collaborative Care

Collaboration is at the heart of our approach. We work closely with other healthcare providers, ensuring seamless coordination of care and addressing any additional medical or psychiatric concerns that may impact one’s well-being.

Transform Your Life in 12 Weeks

At Continuum Outpatient Center, we offer a transformative journey specifically designed to address anxiety disorders through our 12-week curriculum. Each week focuses on essential themes and equips individuals with the skills, insights, and resilience needed to manage anxiety and achieve lasting well-being.

Week 1 – The Four Agreements

The first week delves into the profound impact of The Four Agreements on your anxiety recovery journey. 

We’ll introduce these powerful principles and explore how they can transform your relationship with yourself and others, fostering a foundation of self-acceptance, forgiveness, and personal empowerment.

Week 2 – Brain Works

Our next focus is to navigate the intricate connections between your brain, anxiety, and recovery. We will unveil the impact of negative thoughts and trauma on brain function, providing tools for understanding your unique responses and developing strategies to promote neural pathways that support well-being

Week 3 – Human Relationships

In this module, we explore the profound impact of anxiety on your relationships. Learn how anxiety can affect communication, intimacy, and social interactions. 

We will provide tools for:

  • Rebuilding trust
  • Setting healthy boundaries
  • Fostering supportive connections with loved ones

Week 4 – Trauma and Growth

We have dedicated this week to equip you with skills to conquer past traumas intricately connected to anxiety. You will establish a sturdy foundation for long-term success on your anxiety recovery journey through resilience-building tools.

Week 5 – Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Basics

This week introduces the essential principles of DBT, a powerful framework for managing emotions, regulating behavior, and improving relationships. 

You’ll learn practical skills for:

  • Mindfulness
  • Emotional regulation
  • Distress tolerance
  • Interpersonal effectiveness

Week 6 – Emotional IQ

This module focuses on enhancing your emotional intelligence (EQ), the ability to understand, use, and manage your emotions effectively. Learn how to identify your emotions, express them assertively, and navigate challenging situations with greater awareness and control.

Week 7 – Mindfulness

In week 7, we will help you focus on the transformative power of mindfulness. You will be able to immerse yourself fully in the present moment, cultivating a state of being where anxiety is managed without feeling overwhelmed. This practice becomes a cornerstone for your anxiety recovery journey.

Week 8 – Life Skills

This module helps you regain control of your life by addressing the practical challenges often associated with anxiety. We’ll provide guidance on managing finances, developing healthy routines, and engaging in activities that promote personal growth and sustainable well-being.

Week 9 – Relapse Prevention

Here, our focus is to help you identify stressors and triggers fueling anxiety. We will work on empowering you to steer clear of triggers or effectively cope with them, ensuring a robust defense against relapse on your anxiety recovery journey.

Week 10 – Balance and Boundaries

Week 10 emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy balance in your life and setting clear boundaries. 

Learn how to:

  • Prioritize self-care
  • Say “no” when needed
  • Manage stress effectively to prevent anxiety from overwhelming you

Week 11 – Self-Care

We also realize the importance of self-care. This module focuses on prioritizing self-care activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. We’ll explore various self-care practices, including exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation techniques, so you can discover what works best for you.

Week 12 – Family Roles

This week concludes your 12-week journey with a focus on healing and strengthening your relationships with family and loved ones. We’ll provide tools for effective communication, forgiveness, and building a supportive network that enhances your well-being.

Tailored Timings for Your Anxiety Recovery Journey at Continuum Outpatient Center

Discover flexibility in your anxiety healing journey with Continuum Outpatient Center, a premier anxiety-focused intensive outpatient program in beautiful San Antonio, Texas. 

Our structured schedule includes:

  • Daytime IOP: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Evening IOP: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Telehealth Options: Available for added accessibility
Choose the time that aligns with your lifestyle as we guide you toward a path of anxiety recovery and well-being.

Begin Your Journey to a Continuum of Wellness

At Continuum Outpatient Center, we’re more than just a treatment center; we are your partners in healing. By understanding the various facets of anxiety, its connection to addiction, and the tailored treatments we offer, you can embark on a journey toward lasting wellness. 

Join us as we navigate this continuum together, ensuring that you emerge stronger, resilient, and empowered to face life’s challenges with confidence.

Visit Continuum Outpatient Center at 6200 UTSA Blvd., Ste. 102, San Antonio, Texas, 78249, or call us at (210) 405-5935. We’re dedicated to helping you create a personalized plan for success and guide you towards a future filled with hope and resilience. Let’s start healing together.