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Treating Anxiety & Panic Disorder

Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders provides comprehensive and holistic treatment for mood, anxiety, and panic disorders at our residential eating disorder treatment centers. At Rosewood, we understand the complexity of mood disorders and know that a true healing experience requires emotional, spiritual, physical, and social components.  Our mood and anxiety disorder treatment protocols utilize an integrated approach to healing, combining traditional and progressive therapies to target the root of the disorder.

Whether the onset of a person’s mood disorder was triggered by an eating disorder, substance abuse, or other co-occurring disorders, our advanced treatment modalities aim to heal from the inside out, not just manage symptoms. Regardless of severity, no mood disorder should go untreated. Everyone is deserving of a full, happy life, unobstructed by mental health roadblocks.

Types of Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Mood disorders are psychological conditions characterized by the severe rising and falling of a person’s mood. Out of the 21 million Americans who suffer with mood disorders, the most common conditions include depression and bipolar disorder. These disorders dramatically alter the way the brain perceives information, making internal happiness seemingly unattainable. Mood disorders transform daily activities that should otherwise be effortless, into very stressful tasks. The negative thoughts and behaviors caused by mood disorders usually impact personal and professional aspect of life in devastating ways.

Depression. Depression is the most common mood disorder characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection that last for a long time. It’s normal for people to feel sad towards things like loss, injury, or poor self-esteem, but for those who experience intense feelings of hopelessness for a prolonged period of time, it’s likely they have developed clinical depression.

Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorder is another type of mood disorder characterized by alternating feelings of happiness and depression. People living with bipolar disorder often experience intense emotions, inconsistent sleeping patterns, and varying activity levels. People living with bipolar disorder also experience manic episodes, periods of extreme mood swings that are uncontrollable and frightening. Mania is described as being an overwhelming influx of thoughts and distractions making victims feel trapped and helpless.

Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety is a mental health condition that is characterized by nervousness, apprehension, fear, and worrying. Anxiety disorders often co-exist with eating disorders. In fact, eating disorders can become a method of coping with anxiety, feelings of stress, and excessive worry/fear.

Panic Disorder. Panic disorders are a type of mood disorder where individuals experience a severe rise in debilitating anxiety. Panic disorders can affect men, women, and adolescents of all ages, even in early childhood. Panic disorders are characterized by recurring panic attacks, where individuals experience intense periods of overwhelming and uncontrollable anxiety. Very often, panic attacks onset abruptly and can sometimes last up to an hour. Panic attacks are believed to trigger an individual’s fight-or-flight response. People who experience panic attacks describe the experience as being chased by a ferocious tiger for twenty minutes straight. Panic disorders are believed to develop due to a combination of biological, cognitive, genetic, and environmental factors.

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Signs of Mood Disorders

Although signs of mood disorders vary person to person, there are emotional and physical symptoms that people commonly experience. If you experience any of the following signs and symptoms of mood disorders, talk to your doctor to get a thorough assessment of your mental health state.

Depression Symptoms. Emotional symptoms of depression include feelings of anxiety, sadness, helplessness, pessimism, worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide. Physical symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, excessive sleep, indecisive thinking, headaches, body pains, and an overall decrease in energy.

Bipolar Symptoms. Emotional symptoms of bipolar disorder include mood swings, anxiety, agitation, discontentment, guilt, hopelessness, disinterest, mania, and an inability to experience pleasure. Physical symptoms include difficulty sleeping, weight fluctuations, rapid speech, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, unwanted thoughts, fatigue, and restlessness.

Anxiety Symptoms. Emotional symptoms of anxiety include feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness. Physical symptoms include problems sleeping, cold or sweaty hands or feet, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, being able to be still and calm, dry mouth, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, nausea, muscle tension, and dizziness.

Panic Symptoms. Panic disorder symptoms manifest into actual panic attacks, where people experience intense periods of fear, apprehensions, and anxiety. During panic attacks, and individual may experience physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, hyperventilation, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or dizziness. People who experience panic attacks describe the episode as an out-of-body experience that detaches one from surroundings. Some panic attacks can be so severe that individuals can fear dying. Panic attacks can happen in a series of episode that may cause changes in behavior and worry about anticipating another attack.

The symptoms of mood disorders are not exclusively internal. People who experience mood imbalances often have the tendency to alienate friends and family as well as have trouble performing well in school and jobs. It’s important to speak with a general practitioner or mental health professional about your mood disorder symptoms to seek proper medical advice.

Causes of Mood Disorders

Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Mood disorders are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that effects the way neurotransmitters process information. Although the exact cause is not fully understood, mood disorders can be triggered by substance abuse, eating disorders, stressful life events, or other medical conditions. Mood and anxiety disorders are also hereditary, meaning if someone in your family has had a mood disorder, you are more at risk to developing one as well.

Anxiety and Panic Disorders

Although the cause of anxiety and panic disorders is unclear as well, there are behavioral theories that aim to explain its development. The first causal theory of panic disorders is biological, meaning that there is irregular norepinephrine activity in the brain that leads to panic attacks. Another perspective theorists believe to cause panic disorders is largely cognitive. According to the cognitive perspective, individuals get panic attacks because they experience a distortion in bodily sensations and misinterpret them as life threatening. Panic disorders can also be genetic, and commonly inherited in families. It can also be situational and be triggered by stressful or tragic life events or environments.

Because panic disorders have strong and overwhelming physical affects, medication is typically rendered as a resource to immediately minify the physical effects of panic attacks. Treating panic disorders also usually requires comprehensive psychotherapy to teach relaxation and imagery techniques as well as how to manage and minimize emotional fears. Fortunately in most cases, psychotherapy is very effective in preventative maintenance for recurring panic attacks. But there are also other integrative and holistic techniques such as interoceptive therapy and meditation that are helpful as well.

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Mood Disorder Treatment at Rosewood

Understanding mood disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and panic disorder, can be very challenging to those who have not experienced it personally. The first and most important thing to know about people living with mood, anxiety, and panic disorders is that it is not a choice. At Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders, we understand the suffocating effect that mood disorders have on victims’ happiness and quality of life. No one deserves to live this way.

Thankfully, these disorders are highly treatable and manageable. However, those who suffer with mood disorders and panic disorders rarely seek medical attention to recover fully. Due to the stigma associated with mental health instability, mood disorder victims can be reluctant to seek professional help out of fear of embarrassment or judgment. At Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders, our mission is to make every client feel safe and comfortable in an environment that is free of shame. Not only are our therapists, advisors, and medical staff leading experts in their area expertise, they also share a love for people and a passion for patient care.

Our approach to treating mood and anxiety disorders at Rosewood combines traditional and innovative therapies that are both proven and effective. Our treatment offerings include dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), psychotherapy, family therapy, group therapy, equine therapy, recreational therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR).

Intake Evaluation. Although our treatment offerings for mood disorders are vast, our treatment programs are chosen for individuals based on a thorough intake assessment. The comprehensive intake assessment will involve thorough, one-on-one evaluation with a treatment specialist who will identify the mood disorder as well as co-occurring disorders such as eating disorders, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or PTSD and trauma. Identifying the presence of any co-occurring disorders is crucial to the type of treatment that will be administered and with whom. Every client needs tailored recovery plans that address unique needs and goals.

If you or someone you know is living with an eating disorder and a mood or anxiety disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, help is available. Our staff at Rosewood is standing by 24/7 to answer any questions about our mood disorder treatment and philosophy. Contact us today (800) 845-2211.

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