Anxiety is a common disorder for over 120 million people. Many factors can contribute to anxiety; for example, family history, personal life experiences, learned behaviors and thinking patterns, and of course, the environment can all lead to anxiety disorders. Approximately two-thirds of people with anxiety disorders are women. Women’s hormonal fluctuations can often trigger a chemical imbalance to their endocrine system, and it is this imbalance that can provoke anxiety or depression.
Anxiety can have many symptoms. Some of the most common are; sleeplessness, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, shortness of breath, racing pulse, sweating, trembling, dry mouth, fear of losing control, tingling in hands or feet, and nausea. Often these symptoms are so severe as to necessitate treatment for relief and/or control of them.
Anxiety is also a common factor associated with an eating disorder. A person with an eating disorder is consistently anxious about the state of their body, as well as their relationship with food. It is important for a person with an eating disorder to control their anxiety, in order to prevent an escalation of their eating disorder.
Anxiety is most commonly treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Counseling can help a person uncover the source of the anxiety and teach new ways to cope, while antidepressant medications commonly called SSRI’s, can help control the physical symptoms. Art therapy can also be a calming and therapeutic release for anxiety in people suffering with eating disorders. Here at the Eating Disorders Treatment Center, our therapists have the training and experience to uncover the root causes of the eating disorder and work with our clients to address those causes in conjunction with addressing the eating disorder processes and symptoms. Often this means addressing the anxiety or mood disorders as the primary diagnosis.