Anxiety

Prolonged or intense anxiety can impact your daily functioning. With evidence-based treatment options, our anxiety specialists help patients free themselves from the burdens of obsessive thinking, compulsive behaviors, and phobias, and empower them to regain peace of mind.

About Anxiety:

Anxiety is an “uncomfortable” feeling that can take many forms, including panic attacks, phobias, and difficulties in social situations and interactions. If it persists, it can interfere with everyday activities; and if left untreated, it may end up causing serious consequences on the mental, physical, and social wellbeing of an individual. The therapists at American Hospital’s Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Center provide specialized anxiety treatment in a comfortable and supportive environment.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety:

While perhaps mostly associated with behavioral changes, anxiety can also have serious consequences on an individual’s physical health. Anxiety manifests itself in various symptoms, such as:

  • Feeling panic and nervous
  • Feeling tense and restless
  • An elevated heart rate, heart palpitation, or chest pain
  • Sweating and shaking (trembling)
  • Breathing problems (shortness of breath)
  • Extreme fatigue and weakness
  • An inability to concentrate and/or control fears
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Insomnia, headaches, irritability
  • Muscle aches

    If you’ve been experiencing the above-listed symptoms, we encourage you to seek appropriate help as only specialized and timely care can help you manage symptoms and prevent from developing the worst consequences.

Types of Anxiety:

Anxiety disorders have various types; each can be just as inhibiting to an individual’s quality of life. These have been grouped as:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD is characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and stress, even in the absence of any triggers.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is characterized by repetitive behaviors and obsessions e.g. hand washing, cleaning, counting, or checking. Performing these activities may provide temporary relief, but not performing them significantly intensifies anxiety.

Panic Disorder: It involves intense fear followed by physical symptoms such as heart pounding, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or faintness, and/or abdominal distress.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): It develops after exposure to a terrifying event that has caused grave physical or mental harm. PTSD may trigger by violent assaults, natural disasters, or accidents.

Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder): It refers to feeling excessive self-consciousness in day-to-day social situations. Social phobia can be characterized by the fear of speaking, drinking, or eating in front of others. If not addressed adequately, social phobia patients may feel symptoms almost anytime they come in contact with other people.

Causes of Anxiety:

A lot of research is being conducted to identify as many causes of anxiety disorders as possible, for their effective treatment and management. Sometimes anxiety runs in the family, and it passes into the next generation. For some people, it’s triggered by traumatic experiences, whereas for others, it can be caused by a health problem. Here are some of the health conditions believed to cause anxiety:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Thyroid issues
  • Tumors
  • Respiratory problems, such as asthma
  • Use of certain drugs or withdrawal from certain medications
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic pain, menstrual cycles, headaches, or migraines

Role of the mental health specialist in the Management of Anxiety:

If you experience anxiety symptoms, you may need to see a mental health specialist. This can be either a psychiatrist or a psychologist, who may have to collaborate to:

  • Talk with you about your concerns
  • Evaluate symptoms for the diagnosis of anxiety disorder
  • Provide treatments – such as psychological treatments or medication
  • Educate people around you on the management of your condition
  • Keep track of medication side effects and your progress
  • Provide the appropriate referrals

Anxiety Treatment Options:

At the Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Department of American Hospital Dubai, we provide a wide range of treatment options including medications and evidence-based therapies for OCD, anxiety, and related disorders to meet each patient’s individual needs. The main objective of each treatment option is to help our patients break free of repetitive patterns, and regain peace of mind.

Medication for Anxiety:

Depending upon the symptoms and severity of anxiety and related disorders, anti-anxiety medication is prescribed to cure or prevent the problem. Medication is useful for alleviating the symptoms of GAD and is often prescribed in combination with psychotherapies. Antidepressants, antihistamines, and beta-blockers can help treat and prevent anxiety and related disorders. However, different mental health disorders follow different medication regimens. Only an experienced mental healthcare professional can diagnose and address anxiety, as well as brief the patient about the benefits, risks, and possible side effects of medication.

Therapies for Anxiety:

A skilled therapist can help the anxious patient understand how fears or certain situations make them anxious, enable them to overcome those challenges, and empower them to lead more fulfilling lives.

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the anxiety management therapies provided on regular basis:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A short-term but practical approach to treatment, CBT helps to a great extent to effectively deal with anxiety and other related issues such as depression, insomnia, and other difficulties.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): IOP involves focused and personalized therapy sessions that are conducted for up to 2 weeks. This specific therapy offers patients a higher level of care and is advised to patients with complex or severe symptoms.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): This specialized treatment is aimed at treating patients who struggle with regulating emotions. It follows a structured approach and is highly effective for improving behaviors and relationships.

Schedule an Appointment:

We are a multi-disciplinary team of caring psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and physicians working together to provide effective outpatient and intensive treatment to make a difference in the lives of patients we serve. If you want to get rid of anxiety and its root causes, please fill out our secure web form to schedule an appointment or connect with us - we are happy to help!

Doctors Panel of Anxiety

Joseph El-Khoury

Consultant Psychiatrist

Arabic, English, French

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