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General Anxiety Disorder and other types of Anxiety Treatment in San Diego

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Treating anxiety at Refresh Recovery rehab in San Diego requires understanding, care, and knowledge of one’s unique physiology, circumstances, and history.

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health problems. They include generalized anxiety disorders, social phobias, specific phobias (claustrophobia and agoraphobia), and panic disorders. Depression is often related to anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders affect millions of adults in the United States, impacting daily life and well-being. These prevalent mental health conditions encompass generalized anxiety, social phobias, phobias like claustrophobia, and panic attacks, often intertwined with depression. Understanding the types of anxiety, their symptoms, and available treatment options empowers individuals and their loved ones to seek help and manage these challenges.

By raising awareness and reducing stigma, Refresh Recovery dual diagnosis rehab in San Diego can create a supportive environment where individuals with anxiety disorders can thrive.

Anxiety disorders are common mental health problems that affect many people. Approximately one-fourth of the population has an anxiety disorder that sometimes requires treatment. Up to another 25% have less severe anxieties, such as fears of insects and mice.

Anxiety disorders are prevalent mental health conditions affecting millions worldwide. Characterized by excessive worry, fear, and physical symptoms, they can significantly impact daily life. Statistics show that one in four adults experience an anxiety disorder at some point requiring treatment, while many others face milder anxieties.

If you or someone you know struggles with anxiety, remember that effective treatment options and support resources are available at Refresh Recovery dual diagnosis rehab in San Diego.

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How much fear and anxiety is normal?

Fear and anxiety are normal and helpful human emotions that help us deal with danger. However, some people experience excessive and irrational worries that become constant and disturbing, interfering with their daily lives. This may indicate an anxiety disorder. Often there appears to be no apparent or logical reason for the person’s feelings. This may make an anxiety disorder even more worrying to the patient.

Symptoms of Anxiety

The main features of an anxiety disorder are fears or thoughts that are chronic, distressing, and interfere with daily living. Other symptoms of an anxiety disorder may include avoidance behavior, physical anxiety reactions (nausea, sweating, faintness, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and trembling), and panic attacks or a fear of these.

A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense terror that may occur in specific situations or for no apparent reason. Panic attacks are a common feature of each type of anxiety disorder. They may be related to a chemical response in the brain caused by actual threatening or stressful events or by thinking about stressful events. The brain response leads to physiological changes, such as shallow breathing and increased heartbeat.

Panic attacks are frightening. Some people say they feel like they will die or lose their minds. They may avoid situations in which they think attacks might occur. In some cases, this may lead to the development of other anxiety disorders like claustrophobia.

Anxiety disorders can affect a person’s work, study, and socialization. There are different types of anxiety disorders. These include:

Anxiety disorders are distressing and debilitating. They contribute to losing educational and employment opportunities and family and social relationship difficulties.

Generalized anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD is excessive anxiety and constant worry about many things. The focus of the concern might be romantic relationships, friends, health, work, money, or forgetting necessary appointments. You may be diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder if you find it hard to control your anxiety and if the worry has been prevalent for over half a year.

Cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) has been more researched and specifically targets thoughts, physical symptoms, and behaviors, including the over-preparation, planning, and avoidance that characterizes GAD. Supportive and interpersonal therapy can help with GAD. Mindfulness-based approaches and acceptance commitment therapy are implemented at Refresh Recovery San Diego, given its evidence-based options for anxiety.

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Treating Anxiety in California with Utmost Care and Compassion

Anxiety Treatment at Refresh Recovery San Diego

Teaching mental health tools at Refresh Recovery is part of our unique long-term and real-life transition focus. Some of our anxiety treatment tools for anxiety disorders include learning about anxiety, relaxation methods, mindfulness, appropriate breathing techniques, cognitive and behavior therapies, counseling, dietary and exercise suggestions, assertiveness, structured problem-solving, and medication treatment.

Learning about Anxiety

Education is a meaningful way to promote control over symptoms. Education about anxiety includes examining the physiology of the ‘flight-or-fight’ response, which is how the body deals with impending danger. This response is inappropriately triggered by generally harmless situations for people with anxiety disorders.


When anxious, a person can spend much time catching up on anxiety-provoking thoughts. Mindfulness guides you to bring attention to the present moment and unhook from unwanted thoughts.

Proper breathing

The physical symptoms of anxiety may be triggered by hyperventilation, which raises oxygen levels and reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood. Carbon dioxide assists in the regulation of the body’s reaction to anxiety and panic.
Learning to breathe from their diaphragm rather than their chest is reasonable to safeguard against hyperventilation. The key is allowing your belly to expand as you live.

Cognitive Behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on changing patterns of thinking and beliefs that foster and are linked to anxiety. For example, a person with a social phobia may worsen their anxiety with negative thoughts such as, ‘Everyone thinks I’m problematic.’

The basis of cognitive therapy is that beliefs trigger thoughts, which then trigger feelings and produce behaviors. For example, let us say you believe that you must smile at everyone to feel worthwhile. If someone does not greet you back, you may think, ‘This person hates me,’ making you anxious.

Cognitive therapy strategies include rational ‘self-talk,’ reality testing, attention training, cognitive challenging, and cognitive restructuring. This includes monitoring your self-talk, challenging unhelpful fears and beliefs, and testing out the reality of dark thoughts.

Behavior and exposure therapy

A significant component of behavior therapy is exposure. Exposure therapy involves deliberately confronting your fears to desensitize yourself. Exposure therapy allows you to train yourself to redefine the danger or fear of the situation or trigger.

The steps of exposure therapy may include the following:

  • Think about the feared situation. Imagine yourself experiencing the problem. Analyze your fears. Rank your concerns in order, from most to least threatening.
  • Work out a plan that includes several small steps – for example, gradually decrease the distance between yourself and the object of your fear or progressively increase the amount of time spent in the feared situation.
  • Stay despite the fear. Use relaxation, breathing techniques, and coping statements to help manage your anxiety.
  • Note that nothing terrible happened.
  • Repeat the exposure as often as possible to build confidence to cope.


Even though nutrition is not currently part of our program at Refresh Recovery, we suggest keeping specific macronutrient needs met and a general understanding of essential stimuli and physiological needs such as sleep and exercise.

Nicotine, caffeine, and stimulant drugs (such as those that contain caffeine) trigger your adrenal glands to release adrenaline, one of the main stress chemicals. 


The physical symptoms of anxiety are caused by the ‘flight-or-fight’ response, which floods the body with adrenaline and other stress chemicals. Exercise burns up stress chemicals and promotes relaxation. At Refresh Recovery, we encouraged an environment and suggested activities conducive to a physiological re-education and behaviors supportive of our treatment.

Assertiveness Training

Learning to behave assertively is central to developing stronger self-esteem, and being assertive means communicating your needs, feelings, beliefs, and opinions to others directly and honestly. A person with an anxiety disorder may have trouble being powerful because they are afraid of conflict or believe they have no right to speak up. However, relating passively to others lowers self-confidence and reinforces anxiety. At Refresh Recovery, we emphasize embracing healthy and realistic self-esteem through supportive group exercises and a personal understanding by our therapists.

Structured Problem Solving

Some people with anxiety disorders are worriers who fret about problems rather than solve them. This is a valuable skill that can help manage generalized anxiety. At Refresh Recovery, we will help you break down a problem into various components and then decide on a course of action.  

Other anxiety disorders, depression, or substance abuse often accompany GAD, which rarely occurs alone; co-occurring conditions must also be treated with appropriate therapies and, at times, with medication-assisted treatment. Our clinicians at Refresh Recovery will have the proper intake and support to attend to our clients suffering from anxiety and substance use disorders.

Receive the Highest Care for Anxiety Treatment in San Diego Today

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