Feeling anxious or worried from time to time or in response to an everyday life stressor is quite common. However, if someone feels like their mind is always racing with these anxious thoughts or if they are unable to let them rest or enjoy their life, they might be suffering from an underlying anxiety disorder. Despite a high level of stigma around them, anxiety disorders are real and can be extremely crippling and debilitating for anyone. These disorders can easily destabilize anyone, making it impossible to function effectively every day. Fortunately, seeking anxiety inpatient treatment can help such patients make a full recovery and learn to live happily and healthily without any negative thoughts filling their minds.
When to Seek Anxiety Inpatient Treatment: Signs and Symptoms to Identify
Everyone can feel anxious and worried from time to time, often as a response to something stressful. However, people struggling with an anxiety disorder may experience particularly intense emotions which may keep them from functioning effectively daily and may negatively impact their health and overall well-being. However, before you can seek help for this disorder, it is crucial to know that anxiety is a broad term that covers various disorders, such as the following:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder, including panic attacks
- Separation anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Adjustment disorder
The symptoms of an anxiety disorder may vary depending on the type you are suffering from. However, some of the most common ones typically include the following:
- A persistent sense of worry and dread
- Increase in blood pressure
- Anger and irritability
- Breathing problems
Inpatient Psychotherapy for Anxiety
Experts may use multiple inpatient psychotherapy approaches to manage anxiety disorders. These therapies may include the following:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT works on the concept that negative thought patterns inside a person’s mind reinforce the development and worsening of anxiety over time. These negative thought patterns can be deeply rooted and may force individuals to evaluate situations in certain unhealthy ways. CBT aims to address these unhealthy thought processes underpinning anxiety levels and help users learn why they developed it in the first place. Ultimately, they can view everyday situations more positively without having anxious thoughts.
Despite having a high difficulty level, exposure therapy is one of the best ways to overcome an anxiety disorder with success. It involves experiencing a situation or thing an individual fears in a safe environment while receiving help and support from a team of compassionate staff members. The experience challenges the individual’s perception and allows them to associate different outcomes of feelings with the situation, object, or activity they had been avoiding for a long time. Exposure therapy also gives them evidence that no matter how painful an experience is, they can endure and survive it.
This type of therapy takes place in a direct setting that involves a patient and their therapist. This highly private environment helps therapists explore their patient’s unique concerns and support them to achieve the best for themselves.
This therapy allows different patients to sit together in a room, giving them a platform to open up about their struggles and discuss them with others going through the same phase in life. Group therapy aims to provide a patient an opportunity to share their experiences with other members, explore their anxiety in a compassionate, non-judgmental, and safe setting, and offer mutual support and guidance.
Family And Couples Therapy
This therapy takes place in a group setting involving close family members, such as siblings, partners, children, or parents. The aim is to allow patients to have honest conversations with their family members so that everyone can collectively understand what anxiety is, how it manifests, and how the disorder impacts people and their loved ones.
Inpatient Care for Anxiety: The Provision of Complementary Therapies
As experts continue to manage your anxiety treatment conservatively based on evidence-based therapeutic medications, they may also add some complementary therapies to bring down the overall stress levels and help patients achieve emotional balance. Following are some complementary therapies commonly offered as a part of many anxiety inpatient treatment programs:
Exercise has proven to be a natural anxiety and stress buster. As little as 30 minutes of physical activity at least three times a week can provide significant relief from high anxiety levels. For this purpose, many inpatient rehabs have onsite fitness centers equipped with different exercise equipment to give patients a chance to enjoy the healing powers of exercise.
Mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and other types of relaxation techniques can increase emotional well-being while controlling anxiety in a much better way. Yoga is also offered by many rehabs during inpatient management for similar reasons.
Biofeedback therapy involves using sensors to measure certain physiological functions, such as muscle tension, breathing, and heart rate, to help patients identify their response to anxiety. Once these anxiety attacks are easier to identify, patients can work on learning how to control them using various relaxation techniques.
Many experts use hypnosis together with CBT to bring down high anxiety levels. Hypnosis can also help people to face their fears and look at them in a completely different way.
Residential Anxiety Treatment and the Role of Medications
Many inpatient anxiety treatment centers use medication as a part of their routine programs alongside CBT and other forms of psychotherapy. All prescriptions take place after a qualified psychiatrist has assessed the patient and the choice of medication is carefully decided so that it can complement the rest of the treatment. Mentioned below are different types of anxiolytics that a person may use during their stay:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs are one of the most recommended anxiety medications, also used for depression management due to their dual action. These medications do not have a high addiction potential and may start working within a few weeks of consistent use. However, experts strongly advise completing the complete course of SSRIs, usually lasting nine months, before withdrawing from it.
- Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers, for example, propranolol, can help manage the physical symptoms of anxiety disorder. Hence, experts prescribe it to many patients to help them in certain situations, such as public speaking or facing anything that makes them anxious.
- Anxiolytics: These anxiolytics, such as diazepam, are only for short-term relief as they have a high addiction potential and may pose a risk of addiction and dependence if continued.
Rehab for Anxiety: Treating Anxiety Without Using Medications
While medications can make a difference in treatment for many people fighting anxiety, some cases may benefit more from alternative, drug-free procedures, such as the following:
Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation or DBS is a procedure in which a highly trained expert implants a small electrode in the brain. Just like a pacemaker delivers a small electrical current to the heart to keep it beating normally, this brain electrode helps regulate mood. However, because DBS is invasive, it is usually applied as the last resort for people with severe, persistent anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) that do not respond to any other treatment modality.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
This therapy, also known as rTMS, creates a magnetic field in the brain using an electrode placed on the scalp. Initially used for OCD, experts are now exploring it for other psychiatric treatment disorders, such as panic disorders, social disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Vagus Nerve Stimulation
The Vagus nerve is one of the major nerves in the brain that extends to multiple, deeper parts of the organ. Hence, scientists have been studying it for a long time to deliver impulses into the deeper areas without requiring surgery or other invasive procedure. So far, the therapy has shown promise in managing refractory cases of panic disorder, anxiety, and OCD.
Other Brain Stimulation Therapies
Additional therapies that may possibly happen as a part of anxiety inpatient treatment may include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and transcranial electrical stimulation (tES). However, because of limited research on the relation of these procedures with anxiety management, experts do not consider it a first-line treatment for psychiatric disorders. However, ongoing research shows their potential for treating generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.
When to seek help for anxiety?
If you feel like your anxious thoughts are getting intense with every passing day, interfering with your life, and stopping you from working from day to day, it is a sign that you need inpatient care for anxiety. Anxiety is a treatable condition and no one needs to suffer from it alone without seeking out help. Many rehab centers are successfully working from different parts of the United States, helping thousands of people beat this psychiatric disorder with a combination of medication, therapy, and complementary activities. These rehabs have highly professional and trained medical teams who can help people every step of the way to control their rising anxiety levels.
How successful is cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of anxiety?
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is one of the most crucial elements of psychotherapy aimed to control anxiety. Multiple studies back up its efficacy in treating all types of anxiety disorders by equipping patients with useful strategies. This short-term therapy option helps patients learn how to identify and cope with everyday anxiety symptoms while reframing their behaviors and thoughts and building a healthier mindset in the long run.
How effective is anxiety inpatient treatment?
According to mental health experts, anxiety is a treatable condition provided a patient gets the right supervision, tools, and guidance to overcome it. An inpatient anxiety treatment program can help these people remain under the 24/7 supervision of trained experts who can observe and guide them every step of the way regarding how to approach their underlying mental health illness more healthily. This round-the-clock supervision can support patients to live daily life while keeping their symptoms under control and hopefully be symptom-free one day.
How long does inpatient therapy for anxiety last?
The duration of inpatient anxiety treatment can vary from one person to another, depending on how severe their issue is and how well they respond to help. Some people may start experiencing improvements immediately while others may require time to adjust. In general, most people respond to 6 to 24 therapy sessions or spend 28 days in an inpatient setup before showing any improvements. A mental health specialist can guide you better about the estimated time you may need to spend in an inpatient setup to overcome anxiety by assessing your current and past situation.
Is it better to receive CBT in an inpatient than in an outpatient setting?
Receiving CBT in an inpatient setup is more beneficial as it allows the treatment team to deliver this therapy in a more intensive format. This setup allows the staff members to conduct frequent behavioral experiments or exposure in a friendly and supportive environment. Moreover, clients also have more opportunities for modeling and receive frequent positive reinforcement from others. Increased flexibility is another advantage of seeking CBT as an inpatient to keep the momentum running. Lastly, the fact that an inpatient program removes a patient from its triggers can also aid in their recovery process. However, remember that the ideal setting to receive CBT may vary from one person to another, and some people may not require it as an inpatient.
Can you be hospitalized for severe anxiety?
You can be hospitalized for severe anxiety attacks that make it difficult for you to cope every day or put your life at risk.