Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations. In some people, anxiety can become excessive and can interfere with a person's ability to carry out normal activities, such as work or sleep. This type of anxiety can disrupt relationships and enjoyment of life, and over time it can lead to health concerns and other problems.

Our experts care for patients with anxiety every day, offering inpatient treatment to adults and seniors. We help patients take control of their condition and return to their daily activities.

Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling apprehensive
  • Feeling powerless
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired

Common anxiety disorders include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Agoraphobia: Anxiety about, or avoidance of, places or situations where you might feel trapped or helpless if you start to feel panicky.
  • Specific phobias: Severe anxiety and fear when around specific objects or situations
  • Social phobias: Major anxiety provoked by exposure to certain types of social or performance
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): Persistent, recurring thoughts, images or impulses (obsessions) and/or an irresistible desire to perform irrational or seemingly purposeless acts or rituals (compulsions)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): The feeling that you're re-experiencing an extremely traumatic event
  • Substance-induced anxiety disorder: symptoms of anxiety that are a direct result of abusing drugs, taking medications or being exposed to a toxic substance

How is anxiety treated?

When anxiety disrupts your day-to-day life, causes panic attacks or doesn't get better over time, you may have a disorder that needs to be diagnosed and treated.

The two main treatments for anxiety disorders are behavior therapy (psychotherapy) and medications. Sentara Behavioral Health Services provides comprehensive treatments options at our inpatient treatment centers for adults and seniors facing anxiety. Our experts will work with you to find the treatment plan that’s right for you.

If you think you or someone you love may be struggling with anxiety, please contact us so the Sentara psychiatric team can recommend the best next steps for you or your family.

If this is an emergency, please go to the nearest emergency room.