Anxiety is a feeling of worry. It’s when you’re afraid that something bad will happen or something is about to go wrong.
Some people feel it when they go in for medical procedures; some people feel anxious when they fly or travel, or do something new. It’s a perfectly natural emotion that every human being is going to feel at some point in their lives.
But as normal as anxiety is, it’s supposed to be a temporary emotion. It’s not supposed to persist, and it’s not supposed to be prevalent. It’s supposed to come in short bursts, not for long stretches of time. Anxiety is supposed to be momentary and not someone’s natural state of being.
All too often, people suffer from a variety of mental health disorders that can cause them to be anxious. For some people, they have social anxiety and have trouble navigating social situations.
Other people have phobias, and being exposed – or potentially exposed – to the object of their phobia makes them anxious. Then there are people who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) who worry about everything and cannot control that they worry about everything.
What is an IOP
People who experience anxiety cope with it in a variety of ways. Some people use prescription medication and therapy to deal with their anxiety disorders. Those who have situational anxiety, such as nervous flyers, develop coping mechanisms to distract themselves.
Some people suffer from anxiety so much that their treatment program may require a level of care that medication as a weekly individual therapy session can’t provide. Many people check into an inpatient program to receive intensive treatment for their anxiety.
But not everyone can check into an inpatient facility and be away from home, work, or school for days or weeks on end. People have responsibilities and can’t just pause their lives to get the help they need at a treatment center.
Outpatient treatment offers people a high level of care while also allowing them to continue their lives. An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a flexible treatment plan that gives people who need flexibility the option of receiving care.
Who Would Benefit From an IOP?
There are quite a number of people who would benefit from intensive outpatient treatment. These people can include:
- Individuals in transition: Some people complete residential treatment or reach milestones in their treatment program. These people will come to a point where they need to lower their level of care. An IOP can make the transition back to their regular lives easier while also allowing them to receive continuous care.
- Working people and students: Many people have work and/or school so they’re not able to just check into an inpatient facility for anxiety treatment. They have professional and academic obligations which they must meet. An IOP offers them the professional care that they need while also giving them the flexibility they need to manage their anxiety while also being able to meet their obligations at school or work.
- Those with families: Much like the above, people with families can’t just leave them for inpatient treatment. IOPs allow them to meet their treatment needs while also fulfilling their familial responsibilities.
- People with mild to moderate anxiety: Anxiety affects different people in different ways. Some people have anxiety but it’s so mild that they can ignore it. Others can have it to a more substantial degree but they generally function. Some people can be crippled by it.
What to Expect in an IOP
An IOP uses a number of evidence-based treatment modalities to help people who are struggling with anxiety. These methods can include:
- Group therapy: At Luxe Recovery LA, our IOP includes group therapy sessions so people who are suffering from anxiety know that they’re not alone.
- Family therapy: Mental health disorders can take a serious toll on the immediate family. We employ family therapy sessions to not only repair familial relationships but also so that family members are better equipped to support an individual’s recovery.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): This is a type of therapy that is focused on mindfulness and acceptance. Essentially, it helps people accept their feelings.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts and feelings. The aim is to help patients identify and change harmful thought patterns.
- Therapy sessions: In addition to group and family therapy sessions, the treatment process of an IOP also includes individual therapy sessions multiple days per week.
Why Choose an IOP?
An IOP offers flexible and individualized treatment. People who choose one can have the care of mental health professionals in treating anxiety while also allowing them to continue living their lives.
What Causes Anxiety?
Anxiety is caused by a number of factors. These factors can include:
- Genetics: Like many other chronic diseases, mental health conditions such as anxiety can be passed down genetically.
- Trauma: People who’ve been through traumatic experiences can develop anxiety disorders.
- Substance abuse: Abuse of mind-altering substances can affect brain chemistry and cause people to become paranoid and anxious. Anxiety and substance abuse can also be a chicken-and-egg situation wherein it may be difficult to determine which came first.
- Perfectionism: People who have perfectionist tendencies can be more susceptible to thought patterns that lead to anxiety.
How Do I Know I Have Anxiety, and When Should I Seek Help For It?
Because the occasional bout of anxiety is so normal, it can be difficult to tell if you have an anxiety disorder.
Many anxiety disorders go untreated because people do not recognize that they need mental health treatment. Some people self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to overcome their anxiety.
There are a few signs that you should look out for if you suspect that you may have an anxiety disorder:
- Persistent worry: You may have an anxiety disorder if you find yourself constantly worrying about every little thing.
- Physical symptoms: Headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, an increased heart rate, and restlessness – including trouble sleeping – can be indicative of an anxiety disorder.
- Panic attack: Experiencing sudden and intense panic that includes physical symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath can be a symptom of an anxiety disorder.
Seek Help Today
If you suspect that you are struggling with anxiety and it begins to have a debilitating effect on your life, then contact Luxe Recovery LA today and get started on your recovery. We accept most forms of insurance.