As one of the most common mental health conditions, anxiety disorders can take over a person’s life. While many therapies can help with managing symptoms, a luxury anxiety treatment program comes with additional benefits that go far beyond extra comfort.
Understanding Anxiety and Mental Health Disorders
While some people have learned to cope with the mental health disorder anxiety with skills such as exercise, mindfulness, or meditation, many others – in an attempt to manage symptoms – self-medicate with substances or engage in maladaptive behaviors. This causes a series of problems, necessitating a higher level of intervention such as substance abuse treatment.
A mental health disorder affects a person’s thinking, mood, and behavior. While it is safe to assume that everyone experiences a form of anxiety at some point in their lives, it is an individual experience that in some cases does not go away, and must be treated professionally.
Mental health disorders commonly co-occur with substance abuse or substance use disorder. The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use reported 17 million people in the US had both a SUD and a mental illness. Anxiety disorders are among the most common co-occurring disorders with addiction, as a person may abuse street drugs, prescription medication, or alcohol as a coping mechanism for intense emotions and anxiety-induced thoughts. When combined with a substance use disorder, it can lead to other mental health conditions, such as depression.
Without intervention from drug and alcohol treatment centers, a debilitating addiction can lead to poor quality of life, and even death. Anxiety treatment programs as well as addiction treatment programs therefore commonly include dual diagnosis, whereby co-occurring disorders are diagnosed and both are treated.
Anxiety is a normal response to a stressful or frightening experience, whereby a person’s brain sends hormones throughout their body so that they can be vigilant, aware, or hyperalert, and their heart rate speeds up. Once removed from a dangerous environment or threat, the mind calms down and the body functions return to normal. But this is not the case for someone suffering from an anxiety disorder. For them, the fear-induced symptoms do not go away and can cause persistent worry, and feelings of fear, anger, and being overwhelmed, for no specific reason.
Anxiety disorders may mean that a person’s typical day includes struggling with feelings of impending doom, feeling worried all the time, and not understanding why these fears are significant. Physical symptoms including stomach cramps, headaches, lightheadedness or dizziness, vertigo, or sensitivity to light, combined with overstimulation in busy environments and a constant alertness to danger, may make them withdraw from daily life, things they enjoy doing, or socializing.
Without treatment programs, they may use drugs or alcohol in an attempt to control the various anxiety symptoms. A shocking 40 million US adults are affected by anxiety disorders, yet only 36.9% of them receive treatment.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
There is a complex set of risk factors that are considered to play a role in the development of anxiety disorders. Personality traits, life events, genetic vulnerability, and environmental factors all contribute. Researchers also believe that anxiety disorders may stem from areas in the brain that are responsible for storing and retrieving emotional or fear-related memories, as well as controlling fear.
A person could develop anxiety disorders due to:
- medical issues or other mental health disorders
- substance use or substance abuse
- child abuse – among other environmental factors
- a family history of anxiety disorders
- occupational hazard or surgery
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Like many other mental health issues, anxiety affects each person differently and to various degrees. Some anxiety disorders are very debilitating, and most cause physical symptoms such as a fast heart rate or heart palpitations, sweating, and difficulty catching breath.
Regardless of the kind of anxiety a person experiences, it is a serious condition that necessitates an anxiety treatment program.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common type of anxiety, affecting 6.8 million people in the US.
It includes persistent, unreasonable, and excessive anxiety, and a sense of fear and worry, for months. The emotional signs are typically accompanied by difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, and restlessness.
Generalized anxiety disorder interferes with a person’s ability to engage in relationships, accomplish their goals, or live their life. Signs that a person with GAD may benefit from luxury anxiety treatment include:
- being easily fatigued
- difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless and unsatisfying sleep
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty controlling worry or fear
Panic disorder features stronger and more intense feelings than most other anxiety disorders, as it includes sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear, called panic attacks. Feelings of terror could unexpectedly start or come from a trigger, like facing a situation a person does not like.
Panic attacks can resemble heart attacks. A person may experience heart palpitations, chest pain, or chest tightness, and feel like they are choking. Numbness and tingling sensations in the face, hands, or feet, shaking, sweating and chills are other symptoms. Shortness of breath and the fear of losing control or dying comes with panic attacks too.
People with panic disorder may spend a lot of time and have intense worries about when the next attack will occur or may avoid situations that could trigger an attack.
An intense fear of objects or certain situations is called a phobia. While some fears, like a fear of snakes, may make sense, other cases come with a level of fear that does not match the situation. A person suffering from a phobia may spend a lot of their time attempting to avoid any situation that may trigger the phobia.
While simple phobias may include a fear of animals, blood, needles or injections, flying, or heights, agoraphobia involves the fear of being unable to get help or being overwhelmed. Agoraphobia usually includes having a fear of two or more of the following environments:
- public transport
- lines or crowds of people
- places outside your house, or open spaces
- situations and places where you could be trapped
In severe cases of agoraphobia, a person may not leave their house at all as they may worry about having a panic attack in public. Agoraphobia can seriously interfere with quality of life and an anxiety treatment program can be useful in the treatment of it.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This condition used to be referred to as social phobia. People suffering from social anxiety disorders may avoid social interactions entirely, as they may have an overwhelming worry about others judging them, and have anxiety about embarrassing themselves and being exposed to ridicule. An extreme self-consciousness with daily life and social situations exists as a person fears being rejected and simultaneously may fear offending others.
A person suffering from social anxiety disorder may rely on alcohol to calm their nerves in a social setting. But alcohol only intensifies the symptoms of anxiety in the long-term, as it weakens the brain’s ability to regulate emotions. This often causes a person to rely on alcohol, causing a vicious cycle of substance abuse with suppressed underlying issues at the root of an addiction.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety disorder is an extreme fear of being separated from either a loved one or a caregiver. It can affect children and adults. Children may worry that their parents will not come back as they promised, or that something bad may happen to them during separation.
The condition includes a fear of being left alone, following loved ones around the house, or having a fear of being abducted. Separation anxiety disorder can be caused by the loss of a loved one, overly protective parenting, or big life changes. It can also happen because of a diagnosis of other anxiety disorders or other mental health disorders.
A social anxiety treatment program typically includes cognitive therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. In some cases, medications may be prescribed.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is when unreasonable fears, worries, or thoughts frequently occur. It is when disturbing images or intrusive thoughts, ideas, feelings, or sensations cause severe anxiety and drive someone with OCD to carry out compulsive, repeated behavior or rituals in an attempt to manage or reduce their anxiety.
Recurring, irrational, and obsessive thoughts leading to compulsive behavior can be very tiring and time-consuming, causing significant distress to a person facing it and taking a toll on loved ones too.
As symptoms could range from mild to very severe, get better or worsen, and sometimes come and go over time, treatment for anxiety disorders like OCD is vital.
Anxiety Treatment Programs
Anxiety disorders are complex and require individual attention and care. Psychotherapy commonly includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). Medication is often also part of an anxiety treatment program.
The basic underlying concept of CBT, a one-on-one therapy, is that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interrelated, therefore altering one can help to alleviate symptoms in another. For example, changing negative thinking patterns may lead to less anxious feelings.
Maladaptive thinking about worries, repeating worries instead of trying to solve them, and an excessive, uncontrollable fear contribute to anxiety. Difficulty in relaxing, and attempting to avoid situations that might provoke anxiety, further maintains it. CBT techniques focus on modifying negative thinking patterns or beliefs, while behavioral techniques focus on relaxation training, and choosing reactional behavior to fears.
In ERP, a person may be exposed to thoughts or situations that are being avoided or that trigger fear, in a safe, controlled environment under the guidance of a therapist. This helps a person to learn that feared outcomes are invalid and experience reduced anxiety over time.
Anxiety treatment programs may also include complementary health techniques, such as stress management or mindfulness, while medical staff may prescribe anti-anxiety or anti-depressant drugs.
Staying aware of potential co-occurring mental health problems and substance abuse plays a role in the design of a treatment plan for anxiety disorder. For those with strong substance dependence, drug or alcohol detox may be the initial stage of therapy. While some people may have to undergo addiction treatment, mental health professionals also consider that anxiety commonly stems from poor relationships, stress, hormonal disorder, or trauma, and may use dual diagnosis to design a treatment plan addressing both anxiety and substance use.
Benefits of a Luxury Treatment Center
Anxiety disorders can completely take over a person’s life. You may find that the benefits of a luxury treatment center greatly enhance anxiety disorder treatment.
Individualized care is key when dealing with mental health issues, especially anxiety. Many standard treatment centers are unable to accommodate a large amount of staff, meaning that patients outnumber staff by far. Luxury treatment centers typically come with more staff members on-site, meaning a person will have the opportunity to be under more constant and attentive care throughout their stay.
Group therapies may consist of smaller groups, meaning that a person gets a better chance to know their peers and make meaningful connections.
In a luxury anxiety treatment program a therapist may be more available throughout the day whenever a person struggles. Luxury treatment also means that you won’t have to wait in line to receive help.
A luxury treatment center will treat anxiety disorder with the effective treatments mentioned above but will consider looking further into the whole system of anxiety contributors. They may emphasize that anxiety stems from various nature and nurture experiences, and therefore offer alternative or additional therapies and activities to enhance your treatment success.
This could include fitness centers, basketball courts, meditation, yoga, biking, spas, and massages. A luxury anxiety treatment program may offer cognitive behavioral therapy in an outside setting, offer mountain hikes, or have a horse arena.
These activities aim to help a person physically and mentally to heal and gain strength to succeed in recovery. Encouraging healthy coping mechanisms or responses to fears, as well as practicing, developing, and reinforcing skills through physical activity can be vital for those suffering from anxiety disorders.
The location of the facility when attending an anxiety treatment program can be vital. A small or unpleasant location can make a treatment center have a ‘hospital-like’ feeling, causing additional stress or anxiety. It could prevent a person from fully focusing on getting better.
Luxury treatment programs choose serene or astounding locations so that a person can heal in beautiful surroundings. This allows for comfort, which is again something needed for a person living with immense fear and worry. Breathtaking surroundings are not only visually or aesthetically conducive to relaxation, but also allow for outdoor activities.
Comfort and Luxury
Being overwhelmed by people, fearing social interaction, or having a fear of specific objects may make a basic room or sharing one with a stranger very difficult for someone with anxiety.
That is why the seemingly unimportant extra feature of private rooms and bathrooms, or quality linens can actually make a big difference. Privacy and comfort in accommodation help a person to feel more at peace with themselves and therefore makes them more receptive to an anxiety treatment program.
A luxury treatment facility may have living spaces that are designed to be relaxing. This may include wooden furnishings, comfortable reading areas, or open and light spaces.
A luxury facility will emphasize nutrition as it can greatly enhance the health of a patient.
Eating balanced and nutritious meals has a very positive effect on a person’s state of mind and mood. A mental health disorder may make it difficult to manage everyday life and maintain a full and healthy diet. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and can cause a series of other health concerns.
That is why delicious and nutritious food is prepared by chefs in luxury rehab or treatment programs throughout the day. Fresh and high-quality ingredients are used, while individualized meals can be prepared on request.
If you or a loved one is seeking a luxury anxiety treatment program, Cirque Lodge is here to help.
We know that anxiety, treatment, and the healing process are life-altering and personal experiences, which is why we have a holistic approach and we design an individualized treatment plan according to your physical, emotional, and mental health needs.
Apart from dual diagnosis and co-occurring substance abuse treatment, our evidence-based treatments such as cognitive therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, family therapy, and group therapy can be further combined with treatment alternatives.
Experiential therapies such as equine therapy in an indoor and outdoor area, art therapy, and outdoor adventure therapy are available for your mental and physical well-being. We also offer yoga, peaceful mountain hikes, and snowshoeing as part of the treatment process.
Caring and experienced staff provide 24/7 help and emotional support in our state-of-the-art facilities, in a serene mountain setting. Cirque Lodge can provide you with help, comfort, and care so that you may focus on healing.