Child and Adult Therapy
Lynn Goya, M.Ed., Psy.D., Psychologist

Anxiety

                        Email Dr. Goya at lkgoya@yahoo.com                          
For an appointment or free phone consultation.

Mililani Tech Park    100 Kahelu Ave.  Suite 109   Mililani, HI  96789

What are the major kinds of anxiety disorders?


People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder have recurring fears or worries, such as about health or finances, and they often have a persistent sense that something bad is just about to happen. The reason for the intense feelings of anxiety may be difficult to identify. But the fears and worries can be very real to the person and often keep individuals from concentrating on daily tasks.

Panic Disorder
involves sudden, intense and unprovoked feelings of terror and dread. People who suffer from this disorder generally develop strong fears about when and where their next panic attack will occur, and they often restrict their activities as a result.

People with Phobias, or intense fears about certain objects or situations, may fear encountering certain animals or flying in airplanes, whereas social phobias involve fear of social setting or public places.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is characterized by persistent, uncontrollable and unwanted feelings or thoughts (obsessions) and routines or rituals in which individuals engage to try to prevent or rid themselves of these thoughts (compulsions). Examples of common compulsions include washing hands or cleaning the house excessively for fear of germs, or checking something repeatedly for errors.

Someone who suffers severe physical or emotional trauma involving direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury may experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns become seriously affected by reminders of the event, sometimes months or even years after the traumatic experience.

Symptoms such as shortness of breath, racing heartbeat, trembling and dizziness often accompany certain anxiety disorders such as panic and generalized anxiety disorders. There is some evidence of a genetic or family predisposition to certain anxiety disorders.


Why is it important to seek treatment for anxiety?


If left untreated, anxiety disorders can have severe consequences. For example, some people who suffer from recurring panic attacks avoid at all costs putting themselves in a situation that they fear may trigger an attack. Such avoidance behavior may create problems by conflicting with job requirements, family obligations or other basic activities or daily living.

Many people who suffer from an untreated anxiety disorder are prone to other psychological problems, such as depression, and they have a greater tendency to abuse alcohol and other drugs. Their relationships with family members, friends and coworkers may become very strained. And their job performance may falter.


Are there effective treatments for anxiety disorders?


Yes. Most cases of anxiety disorder can be treated successfully.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, research has demonstrated that both “behavioral therapy” and “cognitive therapy”, can be highly effective in treating anxiety disorders. Behavioral therapy involves using techniques to reduce or stop the undesired behavior associated with these disorders.

Through cognitive therapy, patients learn to understand how their thoughts contribute to the symptoms of anxiety disorders, and how to change those thought patterns to reduce the likelihood of occurrence and the intensity of reaction. The patient’s increased cognitive awareness is often combined with behavioral techniques to help the individual gradually confront and tolerate fearful situations in a controlled, safe environment.

Proper and effective medications may have a role in treatment along with therapy. In case where medications are used, the patient’s care will be managed collaboratively by a therapist and physician.


How long does treatment take?


It is very important to understand that treatments for anxiety disorders do not work instantly. The patient should be comfortable from the outset with the general treatment being proposed and with the therapist with whom he or she is working. The patient’s cooperation is crucial, and there must be a strong sense that the patient and therapist are collaborating as a team to remedy the anxiety disorder.

No one plan works well for all patients. Treatment needs to be tailored to the needs of the patient and to the type of disorder from which the individual suffers. Dr. Goya and the patient will work together to assess whether a treatment plan seems to be on track. Adjustments to the plan sometimes are necessary, since patients respond differently to treatment.