Information about Anxiety and our Anxiety Disorders Clinic

What are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress – it pushes us to study for an exam, deal with a work problem, or be cautious when necessary. A certain amount of anxiety is normal and helps us cope with everyday challenges. However, it is not healthy when frequent anxiety interferes with work, activities, school, and recreation.

Anxiety disorders include:

• social phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder); • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); • generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); • panic disorder; • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); and • agoraphobia.

Approximately 40 million American adults have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can be successfully treated with appropriate therapy.

The Bert Nash Center’s Anxiety Disorders Clinic (ADC) has been established specifically for an outpatient setting and is based on rigorous, scientifically based treatment protocols. This program is unique to the Bert Nash Center. Developed by Sandra Lawrence, Ph.D., the clinic offers individuals methods for learning to manage and conquer their fears, anxieties or phobias. The ADC employs exposure therapy, a well- researched and effective form of therapy that helps individuals manage and recover from anxiety disorders.

How do I know if I have an anxiety disorder? You may be experiencing some of the symptoms listed below.

The following disorders cause great disruption in an individual’s daily life and relationships.

Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder – Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder is the extreme fear of being scrutinized and judged by others in social or performance situations. Such anxiety interferes with an individual’s ability to develop friendships, pursue job opportunities, complete school or pursue other goals. Individuals with social phobia recognize their disorder severely limits their activities. Approximately 15 million American adults have social phobia.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – PTSD can develop at any age. This disorder may occur after an individual has experienced a traumatic event, like a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado or earthquake) or a violent personal assault such as rape, mugging, domestic violence, or an act of terrorism. Approximately 7.7 million American adults suffer from PTSD. Approximately 19 percent of Vietnam veterans experienced PTSD at some point after the war and many veterans of recent wars have experienced PTSD symptoms.

Watch this video about PTSD from BringChange2Mind.org:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – GAD is characterized by persistent, excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday things. An individual with GAD experiences chronic and excessive worry about health, family, money or work issues. Physical symptoms of GAD may include muscle tension, fatigue, restlessness, difficulty sleeping and edginess. The individual’s ability to do his job, go to school or enjoy activities is severely compromised. Approximately 6.8 million American adults have GAD in a given year.

Panic Disorder – Individuals with panic disorder experience spontaneous panic attacks. During a panic attack an individual suffers from an abrupt onset of intense fear that reaches its peak within a few minutes. Physical symptoms of a panic attack mimic those of illnesses such as heart disease, thyroid problems, and breathing disorders. Individuals experiencing panic attacks may make repeated trips to their doctor’s office or the emergency room. Approximately 6 million American adults have panic disorder. About one in three people with panic disorder develops agoraphobia (see below).

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Individuals with OCD suffer from unwanted and intrusive thoughts that they cannot dismiss. As a result of these intrusive thoughts (obsessions), an individual may repeat specific behaviors and routines (compulsions) in an effort to ease their anxiety and get rid of the thoughts. For example, someone may fear germs and wash their hands repeatedly within a short period of time. Common compulsions include excessive hand washing, checking locks, obsessively repeating tasks or hoarding items. Approximately 2.2 million American adults have OCD.

Agoraphobia – Agoraphobia involves intense fear and anxiety of any place or situation where escape might be difficult. Individuals with agoraphobia often avoid situations such as being outside the home, traveling in a car, bus or airplane, or being in a crowd. Approximately 1.8 million American adults have agoraphobia without a history of panic disorder.

*What should I do if I think I have an anxiety disorder?*

Call the Bert Nash Center main number, 785-843-9192 (from Baldwin City call 888-843-9192), to make an appointment. Remember that mental health care, like other health services, is a resource that is available to you when you just can't seem to handle your problems on your own. Research tells us that one in four adults will experience a diagnosable mental illness in their lifetime.

Will insurance cover my treatment?

In order to receive services, you must be a Douglas County resident. During your initial phone call, you will be asked to provide information about insurance and income in order to determine your payment rate. Fees vary according to the services provided and are comparable to or lower than the cost of similar services in private agencies. Bert Nash is an approved provider for mental health services for many insurers. Our staff files claims to private insurance companies, Medicaid (Kansas), and Medicare. Clients without insurance may qualify for sliding scale fees based on income. Payment is expected at the time of service.

The Good News

No one needs to suffer in silence. Anxiety disorders cause extreme hardship for both individuals and families. With the right therapy, anxiety disorders can be treated. Successful treatment means that an individual can enjoy life again and contribute to his family, friends and community.

For a more in-depth look at Anxiety disorders, visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

Tagged: Bert Nash Center, Anxiety Disorders

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