clarity clinic

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a natural stress response, but when it becomes overwhelming or constant, it can have a significant impact on our well-being and daily functioning. At Clarity Clinic, we understand the complexities of anxiety and its effects on individuals' lives. Our anxiety treatment is designed to provide you with the tools and strategies needed to manage anxiety effectively and foster inner peace.
Find Anxiety Disorder Specialists
default
Jump to...

What are Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are a spectrum of disorders that share similar traits such as excessive fear, worry, and associated behavioral and physiological disturbances. Where fear is an emotional response to real or perceived threats, anxiety is an anticipation of future threats. These two may overlap but there are distinct ways in which they differ. Fear is more often associated with physiological changes necessary for fight or flight, anxiety is often associated with muscle tension and preparation for future danger with cautious or avoidant behavior.

Anxiety disorders typically last long periods of time, causing impairment in all aspects of your life, including work, school, or relationships. Anxiety symptoms may start in early childhood or adolescence and persist into adulthood. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older. However, while anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only about one-third of those suffering symptoms seek anxiety therapy treatment.

Anxiety disorders are primarily differentiated by the subjects or situations that induce fear, anxiety, or avoidance behavior and associated physiological responses. Anxiety disorders can also be differentiated by the associated symptoms, which can be similar across these disorders. Anxiety disorders can be best identified by close observation and documentation of the types of situations that create anxiety or avoidance and the content of the associated thoughts or beliefs.

Types of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The key characteristic of generalized anxiety disorder is excessive anxiety and worry about any number of events or activities. Those who struggle with generalized anxiety disorder find it hard to control their worries and keep their thoughts from interfering with their focus on day-to-day activities.

Adults with generalized anxiety disorder often agonize over everyday, routine life circumstances, such as health, finances, responsibilities, job performance, or house chores.

Children with generalized anxiety disorder tend to stress over their ability or their quality of performance.

Worries that are associated with generalized anxiety disorder are in excess and are often intrusive and disruptive. Generalized anxiety disorder often manifests as physical symptoms such as restlessness, muscle tension, feeling on edge, and being easily fatigued.

Many individuals with generalized anxiety disorder also experience physical symptoms such as sweating, nausea, or diarrhea. Other conditions that may be associated with stress include irritable bowel syndrome and headaches.

There are several subtypes of anxiety disorders in addition to Generalized Anxiety Disorder including:

Agoraphobia

Fear or worry about certain places or situations triggers a severe panic of feeling trapped or helpless.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent and unexpected panic attacks. These panic attacks come about as a strong surge of intense fear and/or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. The abrupt surge of symptoms can occur from a calm state or an anxious state.

The frequency and severity of attacks can widely vary and they are often accompanied by and compounded by concerns and worry about the consequences of a panic attack (e.g., heart attack or “losing it”) or feeling embarrassed.

With panic attacks, four or more of the symptoms are present:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying

Social Anxiety Disorder

With social anxiety disorder or social phobia, individuals are anxious or excessively nervous about their social interactions with others. These anxieties stem from the extreme fear of being scrutinized and often make social situations very uncomfortable for individuals who suffer.

Those with social anxiety disorder often experience negative emotional feelings in the following situations:

  • Being introduced to other people
  • Being teased or criticized
  • Being the center of attention
  • Being watched while doing something
  • Meeting people in authority (“important people”)
  • Most social encounters, especially with strangers
  • Going around the room (or table) in a circle and having to say something
  • Interpersonal relationships, whether friendships or romantic

The thought of being negatively judged by others, being embarrassed, humiliated, rejected, or offending others causes an immense amount of stress. Some concerns of those who struggle with social anxiety are that they may be viewed or act in a manner that would suggest they are anxious, weak, crazy, stupid, boring, intimidating, dirty, or otherwise unlikeable. They also fear they will act or appear in a certain way that will show symptoms of their anxiety, such as blushing, trembling, sweating, stumbling over their words, or staring, and will be negatively judged by others.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

A childhood anxiety disorder that induces excessive fear or worries over separation or fear of abandonment of parents or primary caregivers.

Selective Mutism

A childhood anxiety disorder manifests itself in a consistent failure to speak in specific situations, primarily in school or social encounters. Children with this disorder have no issues speaking at home or with close family members.

Is a Panic Attack the Same as Anxiety?

Panic attacks and anxiety are often used interchangeably but are different. Anxiety is pervasive or excessive worry about a future event or situation which may include rumination, irrational thinking, or cognitive distortions. Anxiety can be long-lasting and hard to control and may or not include bodily sensations connected to worry.

Panic attacks are abrupt feelings of panic triggered by a perceived immediate threat or danger. Panic attacks can induce rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, and chest pains that sometimes are misidentified as heart attacks. Many times, the anxiety is surrounding the fear of a future panic attack and struggling with intense symptoms, so individuals begin to avoid places or situations that were thought to trigger intense bodily sensations.

Causes of Anxiety

While they are no definitive causes of anxiety, several factors can trigger anxiety disorders. Those include:

Genetics

A growing body of research has linked genetics and anxiety. Additionally, there is an assumption that some responses to everyday situations are learned behaviors of children by adults. If you had a primary caregiver that exhibited anxiety symptoms in response to everyday stressors, children may be prone to modeling those behaviors.

Trauma

Those who have experienced trauma or witnessed traumatic events are at a higher risk of anxiety.

Substance Abuse

Those who struggle with substance abuse or are withdrawing from drugs or alcohol are more prone to anxiety disorders. Additionally, those who experience anxiety may be more prone to turn to drugs or alcohol to lessen their symptoms.

Medical Conditions

Those dealing with a medical condition or serious illness may experience anxiety disorders.

Anxiety, worry, or associated symptoms make it hard to carry out day-to-day activities and responsibilities. They may interfere with work or school and may affect relationships.

Do I Have Anxiety?

A diagnosis of anxiety requires an evaluation by a licensed clinician such as a psychiatrist or psychologist who specializes in anxiety. At Clarity Clinic, we offer anxiety disorder diagnoses and treatment for children, teens, and adults aimed at understanding the anxiety, as well as triggers associated with symptoms. At Clarity Clinic, we conduct anxiety assessments to determine the severity of the anxiety and identify any coexisting conditions that can frequently be a contributing factor to anxiety, such as depression, substance abuse, and mood disorders.

Treatment for Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are highly treatable using a combination of medication management and psychotherapy.

Our psychotherapists specialize in cognitive-behavior therapy to treat anxiety. Cognitive-behavior therapy is the most widely used psychotherapy treatment for anxiety disorders and research has shown it to be highly effective in the reduction of symptoms. Cognitive-behavior therapy or CBT is a short-term, goal-oriented therapy that focuses on changing behaviors and thought patterns for those suffering from anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder. At Clarity Clinic, our therapists are trained in CBT interventions and strategies to help patients reduce their anxiety and worry and refocus and redirect their negative thought patterns to reduce their symptoms.

Our psychiatrists ensure a proper diagnosis and take care of specialized medication management for clients treating anxiety through pharmacological treatment. Working in conjunction with Clarity Clinic therapists, the treatment team works together to devise an individual treatment plan tailored to each client’s symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a reference manual used by healthcare professionals as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders – the symptoms of anxiety – specifically Generalized Anxiety Disorder — are listed below and must occur more often than not for at least 6 months:

  • Edginess or restlessness.
  • Tiring easily; more fatigued than usual.
  • Impaired concentration or feeling as though the mind goes blank.
  • Irritability (which may or may not be observable to others).
  • Increased muscle aches or soreness.
  • Difficulty sleeping (due to trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, restlessness at night, or unsatisfying sleep).

Many individuals with anxiety disorders also experience symptoms such as sweating, nausea, or diarrhea. Additionally, the symptoms associated with the anxiety or worry disrupt daily activities and tasks, and make cause issues at school, at work, or in relationships.

Expert Anxiety Disorder Treatment at Clarity Clinic

At Clarity Clinic, we specialize in providing comprehensive and personalized treatment for anxiety disorders. Our experienced team of therapists is dedicated to helping you overcome the challenges of anxiety and regain control of your life. Don't let anxiety hold you back any longer – take the first step towards a calmer and more fulfilling life by scheduling an appointment today. Your journey to lasting peace and well-being begins right here.

Anxiety Disorders FAQ

Anxiety Disorders Providers

Jenny
Jenny Mantis, LCSW, MBA
Therapy
Bryanna
Bryanna Tartt, LCSW
Therapy
Alexandra
Alexandra Gremp, LPC, MEd, PEL
Therapy
Jade
Jade Austin, MA
Therapy
Elizabeth
Elizabeth Black, LCPC
Director of Clinical Therapy
Ross
Ross Pepper, MD
Psychiatrist
Jessica
Jessica Selk, LPC
Therapy
Bellah
Bellah Kiteki, LPC
Therapy
Anish
Anish Desai, MD
Psychiatrist
Eldina
Eldina Okic, LCPC
Therapy
Rebecca
Rebecca Helm, LSW
Therapy
Peri
Peri Drury, Clinical Intern
Therapy
Ryan
Ryan Atkins, PA
Psychiatry
Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn Ehler, LSW
Therapy
Cesar
Cesar Feijoo, PA-C
PA-C
Hannah
Hannah Wychocki, PA-C
PA-C
Maisha
Maisha Lowery, LCPC
Therapy
Lauren
Lauren Isdale, NP
Nurse Practitioner
Hope
Hope Hirsch, LPC
Therapist
Nathaniel
Nathaniel Epstein, MA
Therapist
Gabriella
Gabriella Lerner, PA-C
PA-C
Cyrus
Cyrus Ma, PA-C
PA-C
Maggie
Maggie Semprevivo, LSW
Therapy
Kamille
Kamille Haywood, LSW
Therapy
Zubair
Zubair Khan, PA-C
PA-C
Michelle
Michelle Augoustatos, LCSW
Therapy
Zachary
Zachary Delgado, LSW
Therapy
Nicholas
Nicholas Zaris, LPC
Therapy
Jordyn
Jordyn Pope, MA
Therapist
Laurel
Laurel Meiborg, LSW
Therapy
Haley
Haley Tarling, LPC
Therapist
Debby
Debby Fox, MA
Therapist
Raul
Raul Andrade, MA
Therapist
Sarah
Sarah Tarabey, LCPC
Therapist
Kumail
Kumail Hussain, MD
Young Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Kyla
Kyla Goggin, LCSW
Therapist
Michele
Michele Sitorus, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Jaimee
Jaimee Jaucian, LCPC, BC-DMT
Therapy
Yenisis
Yenisis De Los Santos, LSW
Therapy
Sloan
Sloan Kodroff, LCPC
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Rahael
Rahael Mathew, LCPC
Therapist
Megan
Megan Becker, PA-C
PA-C
Emma
Emma Arsic, PA-C
PA-C
Paul
Paul Bamberger, PA-C
PA-C
Tonie
Tonie White, LCSW
Therapy
Jason
Jason Brescia, LCPC
Therapy
Sankrant
Sankrant Reddy, MD
Psychiatrist
Virginia
Virginia Harren, LCPC
Clinical Supervisor
Stephanie
Stephanie Osborne, PA-C
Psychiatry
Ashley
Ashley Seredynski, PA-C
PA-C
Christine
Christine Lantin, PA-C
PA-C
Brittney
Brittney Segoviano, LCPC
Therapist
Callie
Callie Perlman, LPC, NCC
Therapist
Maria
Maria Vasilopoulos, LPC, NCC
Therapy
Chad
Chad Gaynier, LCPC
Therapist
Bianca
Bianca Miller, LCPC
Therapist
Sean
Sean Saltzberg, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Victoria
Victoria Nieman, LCPC
Therapist
Timothy
Timothy Kaatman, MD
Psychiatry
Sudhakar
Sudhakar Shenoy, MD
Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Tara
Tara Ufer, LCPC, CADC
Therapist
Sharon
Sharon Koys, PA-C
PA-C
Sara
Sara Fakhri, MA
Therapy
Veronika
Veronika Schroeder, Clinical Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Sarah
Sarah Smith, MA
Therapy Clinical Intern
Sean
Sean Saltzberg, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Shanta
Shanta Gomez, LSW
Therapy
Reggie
Reggie Pacheco, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Sarah
Sarah Beerman, LCSW, CADC
Therapist
Renie
Renie Stoller-Zak, LCPC
Therapy
Sahar
Sahar Eftekhar, DO
General & Addiction Psychiatrist
Rebecca
Rebecca Gilfillan, MD
Psychiatrist
Rebecca
Rebecca Kuhn, PA-C
PA-C
Rachael
Rachael Pettinicchi, MA
Therapy Clinical Intern
Shelby
Shelby Gordon, LCSW
Therapy
Sonnie
Sonnie Cousins, MA
Therapy
Nicole
Nicole Ortiz, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Raymond
Raymond Monge, LPC, NCC
Therapy
Elana
Elana Horowitz, PA-C
PA-C
Pavan
Pavan Prasad, MD
Psychiatrist
Melissa
Melissa Melzer, LPC
Therapy
Mary
Mary Leighton, LPC
Therapy
Raymond
Raymond Myles, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Michael
Michael Colombatto, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Lovea
Lovea Smith, LCPC
Director of Therapy– Loop
Mariyah
Mariyah Hussain, MD
Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Leslie
Leslie Wolf, LCPC
Therapist
Maddie
Maddie Barnes, LCSW, PMH-C
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Lindsey
Lindsey Ashamalla, PsyD (PD)
Therapist
Khrystyna
Khrystyna Helner, LPC, MBA
Therapist
Laura
Laura Schroeder, LCPC
Therapist
Katerina
Katerina Fager, LCPC
Clinical Specialist
Kelli
Kelli Lo, LSW
Therapy
Kiran Binal
Kiran Binal Maharaja, MD
Psychiatrist
Karen
Karen Richardson, LCSW, ICDVP
Therapy
Keri
Keri Perillo, LCPC, CADC
Therapy
Lizzie
Lizzie Ausland, LCPC, CADC
Therapist
Kimberlie
Kimberlie Kuehne, LCPC
Therapy
Kalyan
Kalyan Rao, MD
Psychiatrist
Jonathan
Jonathan Kolakowski, MD
Psychiatrist
Karla
Karla Avila-Polanco, Clinical Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Judy
Judy Bitzer, LCPC
Therapist
Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn Delaney, MA, ATR-P
Therapy
James
James Histed, Clinical Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Keith
Keith Merrifield, LCSW, CCTP, ADHD-CCSP
Therapist
Julia
Julia Ray, Clinical Intern
Therapy
Jessica
Jessica Masbaum, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Erika
Erika Bielenstein, LCPC
Therapist
Janel
Janel Wenger, AMFT
Therapist
Jeanette
Jeanette Marinier, PA-C
PA-C
Jamie
Jamie Schubert, PA-C
PA-C
Sherita
Sherita Hernton, PA-C
PA-C
Julie
Julie Daley, MSW
Therapist
Hattie
Hattie Awe, Clinical Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Jodi
Jodi Randle, LCPC, CADC
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Emily
Emily Maurer, LCPC
Therapist
Frank
Frank Sassetti, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Emily
Emily Street, PA-C
PA-C
Emily
Emily Shelton, LCPC, LMHC, CADC, CAGCS, CRSS
Therapy
Eric
Eric Buchkoe, PsyD (PD)
Therapy
Tyler
Tyler Basham, Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Elizabeth
Elizabeth Russell, MA
Therapist
Thomas
Thomas Thurlow, NP
Psychiatry
Savannah
Savannah Sullivan, PA-C
PA-C
Kathryn
Kathryn Ross, PA-C
Psychiatry
Summer
Summer Slininger, PA-C
PA-C
Ravali
Ravali Poreddy, MD
Psychiatrist
Ariella
Ariella Panos, PA-C
PA-C
James
James Ham, PA-C
Psychiatry
Rayna
Rayna Gorstein, PA-C
PA-C
Daniel
Daniel Shuter, LSW
Therapist
Victoria
Victoria Akhteebo, LPC
Therapy
Sierra
Sierra Purcell, PA-C
PA-C
Darian
Darian Carter, LPC
Therapy
Emily
Emily Hoag, MD
Psychiatrist
Ali
Ali Sheikha, PA-C
PA-C
Grace
Grace Starrs, PA-C
Psychiatry
Cassie
Cassie Donahue, PA-C
Psychiatry
Gayathri
Gayathri Ganesh, PA-C
PA-C
Stella
Stella Tantillo, LSW
Therapy
Samuel
Samuel Budyszewick, LCSW
Director of Therapy- Evanston
Sydney
Sydney Means, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Sara
Sara Pickens, LSW
Therapy
Ryan
Ryan Watters, LSW, CADC
Therapy
Samuel
Samuel Eckert, PA-C
PA-C
Cindy
Cindy Meraz, LPC
Therapy
Chloe
Chloe Wesley, Clinical Intern
Therapy
Nayeli
Nayeli Cruz-Castillo, LCPC
Therapy
Rafael
Rafael Lopez, MD
Psychiatrist
Nicholas
Nicholas Little, PA-C
PA-C
Samantha
Samantha Espinosa, MA
Therapy
Randi
Randi Schulman, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Savanna
Savanna Murphy, LSW
Therapy
Kaitlin
Kaitlin Digrispino, LPC
Therapy
Scott
Scott Shadrick, PA-C
PA-C
Khadija
Khadija Manzoor, LPC, CRC
Therapy
Mira
Mira Ebalo, PA-C
PA-C
Lauren
Lauren Stanley, LCSW
Therapy
Meredith
Meredith Henry, LSW
Therapy
Mark
Mark Bey, LPC
Therapy
Samantha
Samantha Adjekum, LCPC
Therapy
Miriam
Miriam Mixon, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Joel
Joel Muller, Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Therapy- River North
Mary
Mary Ivory, LCPC
Therapy
Cynthia
Cynthia Sodini, LCSW
Therapy
Jessica
Jessica Baran, LCPC
Therapy
Justin
Justin Lee, PA-C
PA-C
Jacqueline
Jacqueline Campagna, MA, EdS
Therapy
Jordan
Jordan Valentic-Holden, MA
Therapy
Jerri
Jerri Ganz, LCSW
Therapy
Katherine
Katherine Cunningham, LPC, CADC
Therapy
Elia
Elia Narvaez-Mushtaq, LPC
Therapy
Sam
Sam Donham, LCPC
Therapy
Carol
Carol Briggs, LPC, NCC
Therapy
Emily
Emily Filip, PA-C
PA-C
Gloria
Gloria Aguilar, LPC
Therapy