Feeling anxious all of the time can have a serious impact on both your mental and physical health. At MultiCare Behavioral Health, our mental health specialists treat people struggling with anxiety, to help them let go of their worry and embrace their lives.
Help for Anxiety at MultiCare Behavioral Health
We offer a range of services for people struggling with anxiety, including:
- Children: In addition to primary care settings and our behavioral health agency, Child & Family Services are available in select school districts, pediatric clinics and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.
- Older Adults: Our outpatient Older Adult Services program specializes in treating adults over 55 years old. With a large team of state-certified geriatric mental health specialists, we specialize in age-appropriate treatment programs.
- Asian Pacific Americans: Meeting the unique needs of immigrants and refugees, our Asian Counseling program offers culturally appropriate care.
- Adults: With state-certified mental health professionals in 11 primary care locations, our integrated services help you get the care you need. Adults with private health insurance or who are interested in fee-based services receive expert treatment through our General Counseling Services. Adults with serious mental illness receive treatment and support through our Adult Community Support Services.
What is Anxiety?
It’s normal to be worried before a stressful event, such as a test, interview or first date. Anxiety becomes a problem when these symptoms interfere with your ability to go about your daily life.
At MultiCare Behavioral Health, our state-certified mental health specialists treat adults and children suffering from a broad range of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: This condition happens when you worry constantly about health, money, family, work or school. People with generalized anxiety disorder feel as if failure and disaster are inevitable.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): People with OCD feel the need to perform routines and rituals over and over. This may include hand-washing or having a recurring cycle of negative thoughts. People with OCD do these things to relieve anxiety, even though it gets in the way of their daily activities.
- Panic disorder: People who have panic disorder experience sudden attacks of intense terror and fear (panic attacks). These often lead to physical symptoms, including shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea and difficulty breathing.
- Phobia: When you have a phobia, you experience irrational fear and try to avoid certain objects or situations. You may be able to recognize your fear is irrational, but you are not able to control your anxiety.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This condition happens when traumatic events, such as military combat, rape or a serious accident cause lasting behavioral changes. Learn more about trauma and PTSD.
- Social anxiety disorder: People with social anxiety may be very anxious or self-conscious about being around other people. They may fear being judged by others or worry about going to places or events where others may be present.
Many people with anxiety also suffer from depression.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
In addition to excessive, unrealistic worrying, people with anxiety may also experience other symptoms such as:
- Feeling as if your heart is racing (heart palpitations)
- Excessive sweating
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Being easily startled
How Do We Diagnose Anxiety?
Some people first receive a physical exam from their doctor and then talk with a mental health professional. Together, you will discuss your mental health history and symptoms.
The goal of this evaluation is to learn more about how symptoms are affecting your daily life. This includes learning more about:
- How frequently you worry
- What you worry about
- Your ability to control your worrying
- Which symptoms you are experiencing on a regular basis
- Whether your symptoms are causing you to miss work, school or important social activities
We use this information to diagnose your condition and determine which type of anxiety disorder(s) you are suffering from. Diagnosing your condition is the first step in helping you get better.
How Do We Treat Anxiety?
Treatment can help you regain control of your life. At MultiCare, we deliver personalized treatments based on your condition and preferences. Your treatment may include:
- Counseling: Counseling includes regular sessions with one of our mental health specialists. This can help you:
- Learn how to process worrisome thoughts in a more constructive way
- Change behaviors that may be making your anxiety worse
- Find ways to work through situations that affect your anxiety
- Relaxation Techniques: These may include breathing exercises and meditation, which teach you how to calm yourself when your worrying starts getting out of control.
- Medication: Medication will not cure your anxiety, but it can provide symptom relief. At MultiCare, our doctors work closely with you and your therapist to determine what medication may be right for you.
Note: The condition description on this page is intended to be informational only, and should not be considered a diagnosis or medical advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified medical professional if you believe you have any of the symptoms described here.