Anxiety Disorders

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Although occasional anxiety is a regular and often daily occurrence, anxiety disorders involve much more than temporary apprehension or fear of making a big decision or taking a test at school or work. Anxiety disorders are mental health issues categorized by intense feelings that don’t cease and symptoms that may worsen over time.

We understand that your anxiety may not co-occur with a substance use disorder. For this reason opened our Residential Mental Health Program which features a dedicated space separate from the rest of Hanley Center where you can recover from your anxiety disorder. Our program features its own 24/7 nursing and medical care unit to enhance your privacy and confidentiality while you receive treatment.

Categories of Anxiety Disorders

Symptoms of anxiety disorders often interfere significantly with social relationships at home, work, and school. Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with the disease of addiction as individuals misuse alcohol and drugs to manage their anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Individuals with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worrying about loved ones, health, work, social interactions, and everyday life tasks. The frequency of GAD symptoms is difficult to control and occurs most days over a six-month period.

Other symptoms include:

  • Feeling restless, tense, or edgy
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Brain fog or blanking out
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Inability to fall or stay asleep
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia and resulting tiredness

Panic Disorder

Panic attacks are intense bouts of fear with a rapid onset reaching their peak within a few minutes. Individuals with panic disorders suffer from frequent unanticipated panic attacks.  These debilitating panic attacks occur unexpectedly or respond to a trigger, such as a fearful situation, object, or interaction with a particular person.

During a panic attack, people may experience symptoms such as:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Accelerated or pounding heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shaking
  • Shortness of breath, choking or smothering
  • Feelings of impending disaster
  • Feelings of no control

To prevent a panic attack, people with a panic disorder may avoid specific situations, social interactions, behaviors, or visiting places they associate with panic attacks. The anxiety of a potential panic attack and the effort put into preventing panic attacks causes significant problems in various life areas, further adding to their anxious feelings.

Phobia-related Disorders

Extreme fear or aversion to specific things or situations is known as phobia. Phobias create anxiety which is out of proportion to the danger posed by an object or a problem. Specific or simple phobias may include the fear of heights, flying on airplanes, animals, insects, reptiles, or the sight of blood. Individuals with a phobia may experience:

• Excessive or irrational fear of contact with an object or situation
• Active steps of avoidance of the feared object or situation
• Immediate, intense anxiety upon encountering the feared situation or object
• Unavoidable situations and objects are endured with severe anxiety

Separation Anxiety Disorder

The fear of being separated from a person to whom you are attached and an underlying fear that something detrimental will happen to that individual once separated is known as a separation anxiety disorder. Individuals with a separation anxiety disorder may avoid being alone and experience nightmares about being separated from attachment figures. Physical symptoms like stomach pain and headaches may appear when the separation occurs.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Intense fear of public situations such as in the classroom or workplace are symptoms experienced by a person with a social anxiety disorder. Worrying about the embarrassment and negativity associated with the social anxiety disorder, these individuals often avoid social situations and then experience the negativity of isolation. The pressure to perform publicly is particularly frightening.


People with agoraphobia will have an extreme fear of two or more of the following situations:

  • Enclosed spaces
  • Open spaces
  • Public transportation
  • Alone outside of the home
  • Lines or crowds of people

People with this anxiety disorder may avoid these situations because they fear an impending panic attack or other embarrassing experience may occur if they cannot leave the scary situation. In extreme cases, a person may become housebound.

Integrated Treatment Is Key

An approach like the one provided by Hanley Center includes comprehensive therapeutic resources to help an individual heal physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Every person is unique. Some anxiety disorders are not apparent until after addiction sets, while others may precede the onset of substance use.

Comprehensive treatment for people with co-occurring anxiety disorders should include:

  • Ongoing psychiatric services
  • Medical care and appropriate medication
  • Familyeducation
  • Life skills training
  • Spiritual care services
  • Continuing careplanning
  • Evidence-based therapies
  • Case management

At Hanley Center, our individualized treatment plans take a person’s total well-being in mind by addressing the health of their body, mind, and spirit. Comprehensive behavioral health assessments ensure that co-occurring anxiety disorders are identified and treated.

The treatment of co-occurring anxiety disorders must coincide, in the same location, and by the same treatment team to be effective. We offer simultaneous treatment of co-occurring anxiety disorders by highly trained professionals in our multidisciplinary, medically intensive program. One-on-one sessions with their primary therapists and detailed clinical interviews lay the groundwork for developing an individual treatment plan.

Our treatment teams treat our patients’ physical and mental well-being and their spiritual and psychological needs. Our expert and caring staff — including medical professionals, licensed therapists, and psychiatrists — meet every day to discuss each patient’s case and develop solutions. This model of integrated, specialized treatment helps improve outcomes and quality of life.

Co-occurring disorders can aggravate each other, which can make successful treatment difficult. Our health psychology department provides specialized, evidence-based therapy interventions to address brain health. Hanley’s Center for Brain Recovery addresses the link between addiction and mental health disorders like anxiety. It includes treatment for both conditions simultaneously, providing our patients with a better chance at lasting recovery.

At Hanley Center for Brain Recovery, we provide intensive psychological testing such as:
• Personality Inventory for DSM-5—Brief Form (PID-5-BF)
• CNS VS (Central Nervous System Vital Signs)
• MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2)
• MCMI (Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory)

Hanley Resource Center

People Can and Do Recover

With the proper approach to co-occurring disorders, individuals succeed in leading lives filled with hope and courage. Personalized, integrated, intensive treatment is the key. Individuals with co-occurring disorders deserve long-term support and therapeutic interventions.

Hanley Center recognizes that co-occurring anxiety and substance use disorders are interrelated and require concurrent treatment. Recovery consists of mental, physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being.


Start your journey to freedom and fulfillment today by calling the Hanley Center team at 561.841.1033. 

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