Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about Beckett Springs

What medications help with anxiety?

Medication is often prescribed in combination with other therapies for anxiety. Some medications are habit-forming, and may be prescribed for short-term or limited use. Others may be used consistently to prevent, manage or cure the problem. Types of medications used to treat anxiety disorders include antidepressants, anxiolytics, antihistamines, and other substances. You will need to talk with your doctor about benefits, risks and side effects of new medications, and to adjust medications over time. Contact Beckett Springs to learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

How can I help someone with anxiety?

It is hard to see someone you care about struggling with an anxiety disorder, and to know what to do. One of the challenges of an anxiety disorder it that it can lead a person suffering from it to isolate themselves or avoid situations and people. It can be tempting to think your loved one is experiencing something like the anxiety we all experience in stressful situations, and that they should be encouraged to respond and behave similarly. In an anxiety disorder, the experience of anxiety changes brain chemistry and causes physical symptoms, creating a negative feedback loop which perpetuates and intensifies the anxiety.

Here are some things you can do when a loved one has an anxiety disorder:

  • Learn about their condition
  • Ask about how you can help (and listen carefully)
  • De-stigmatize their condition - let them know that they can talk to you about it openly and without fear of judgement
  • Provide positive reinforcement
  • Understand and support the steps they are trying to take away from avoidance behavior
  • Take care of yourself and know your own boundaries.
  • Encourage them to get treatment - they may want you to help with scheduling an appointment, going into the doctor, or practicing strategies they learn treatment Be aware that appropriate treatment can help your friend or loved one have a productive life and rich personal relationships.

Recovery is hard work for the patient, and for their family. At Beckett Springs, our goal is to create a complete program that focuses on inspiring positive change. That includes involving friends and family members in a loved one's recovery. Learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

Who treats anxiety?

A variety of mental health professionals work with anxiety conditions:

  • Psychiatrists are medical doctors who diagnose medical conditions, prescribe medications, and provide psychotherapy.
  • Psychologists have a non-medical doctorate degree, and are expert in specialized diagnostic testing and therapy.
  • Therapists and counselors usually have a masters degree and licensure to provide individual,family and group therapy.
  • Social Workers usually have a Masters of Social Work (MSW) or can be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). They provide individual,group and family therapy and act as the liaison between you, your family, and the treatment team.
  • Staff Nurse - Performs duties as prescribed by a physician, including administering medication, observing your behavior, and reporting on your conditions to treatment team members.
  • Patient Care Assistant (PCA) - Assists you through your daily routine.
  • Recreational/Expressive Therapist - Provides therapy through games, crafts, leisure education, creative expression, relaxation training and more.

Beckett Springs has a team dedicated to coordinating your care and recovery. Learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

How to treat PTSD?

People with PTSD may feel like they will never lead a normal life. They can suffer from flashbacks, loss of memory, insomnia, anxiety, and other painful emotions. But there are effective treatment options for PTSD, which can significantly improve symptoms, and provide skills for dealing with the effects of trauma. Therapy is an important element in treatment, and is often combined with medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used, to understand and change thought patterns. When patients are avoiding activities that are associated with symptoms, therapists can help with skills and a plan to gradually increase exposure to environments that were triggering. Medications can also help adjust the neurotransmitters associated with the fight-or-flight response, and with anxiety and depression symptoms. At Beckett Springs, our treatment team works with PTSD patients to create and adjust a customized treatment plan, combining cognitive therapy, medication, and holistic treatments to help you get your life back after you have been through a trauma. Learn more in our PTSD treatment section.

How do therapists treat ADHD in adults?

While there is a stereotype of boisterous, highly active children, many adults with ADHD can have symptoms that are misunderstood as rudeness, laziness, or disorganization. These negative labels can lead adults to go undiagnosed, experience low self-esteem, anxiety and depression, and to problems with work and relationships. There are several kinds of ADHD, which have different symptoms and treatment strategies: Inattentive ADHD, hyperactive-impulsive ADHD, and combined ADHD. ADHD-trained therapists can work with adult patients to identify how ADHD impairs their lives and affects their relationships, and to plan treatment to address those issues. Medication, education, holistic and behavioral therapies can be very effective to understand and work through past issues. At Beckett Springs, therapists work with adults with ADHD on coping strategies to help with emotional regulation, organization, and prioritization. Learn more in our ADHD treatment treatment section.

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack comes on very quickly, and includes intense physical and emotional symptoms. Some of the symptoms include heart palpitations or racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fear, sweating, or chills. These symptoms can mimic those of breathing disorders, heart attacks, and other life-threatening illnesses, leading to visits to the ER or doctor. Some people experience panic attacks related to an anxiety disorder, while other people have attacks during an otherwise calm situation. The attacks are terrifying, and after having them, people may avoid situations, or change their lifestyle because they are worried about having another attack, or want to avoid the embarrassment of being seen in this state. In the long-term, this avoidance behavior leads to more sustained anxiety. It is important to know that this is a real, and treatable disorder, and that there are therapists trained to help. At Beckett Springs, we perform an assessment to understand co-existing disorders, then work with our patients on a plan for therapy to reduce the incidence and impact of panic attacks. Treatment likely includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), possibly in combination with medication, education, and holistic therapy, Learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

What is borderline personality disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental condition in which a person has long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions. People with this condition are often terrified of abandonment, have feelings of disassociation, and view things in extreme, changing from one extreme to another quickly. These inner experiences often result in impulsive actions and chaotic relationships with other people. BPD is associated with high rates of self-harm and suicidal behavior. Several risk factors may contribute to development of this condition: brain structure, family history, and trauma. There is an unfortunate stigma with the term "borderline," which originally was described as on the border between psychosis and neurosis. It is more helpful to think about the condition as a problem of emotional regulation, which centers in the brain's amygdala. People with this condition may have bouts of anger, and episodes of aggression, self-injury, impulsive behavior, and drug or alcohol abuse. Relationships and feelings about friends and family can sway broadly and rapidly from positive to negative. BPD can require extensive care, including hospitalization, when impairment is acute. With specialized therapy, medications, and group, peer, family support most people with BPD experience fewer symptoms, and are able to reduce problem behavior and suffering. The Beckett Springs multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, therapists and clinicians work together to thoroughly assess each patient and ensure they receive a customized plan of care. Learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

What causes panic attacks?

An panic attack occurs when the natural fight-or-flight response is activated without a real immediate danger. Often, the tendency to have panic attacks runs in families - there may be a genetic predisposition in some, and others respond to a childhood environment or anxiety or risk. Major life changes and severe stress can be connected with panic attacks. Stimulant use and medication withdrawal can cause panic symptoms. Medical conditions may contribute to panic attacks - you should see a doctor to rule out mitral valve prolapse, hypoglycemia, and hyperthyroidism. A panic attack is such an intense and overwhelming feeling. While some people experience one or two instances, then have no more complications, Other people can experience repeated attacks, which can contribute to ongoing anxiety and changes in behavior which grows into a more disabling panic disorder. It is important to know that this is a real, and treatable disorder, and that there are therapists trained to help. At Beckett Springs, we perform an assessment to understand co-existing disorders, then work with our patients on a plan for therapy to reduce the incidence and impact of panic attacks. Treatment likely includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), possibly in combination with medication, education, and holistic therapy, Learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

How long does postpartum depression last?

There is not a simple answer to this question - there is a wide range of onset and resolution periods. Most moms with postpartum depression will fully recover, but the longer you wait for diagnosis and help, and the more severe the symptoms, the more time it may take to reach full recovery. In addition to seeking treatment, the environment is crucial. Moms with postpartum depression need support from friends and family. In addition to emotional support, friends and family can provide help around the house, and assure that mom has healthy food, time and resources for self-care, and plenty of rest. Even as symptoms improve, it is important to continue with support groups and to slowly wean off of a treatment plan, as the condition can ebb and flow before complete resolution. Learn more in our depression disorder treatment section.

Do I have PTSD?

If you have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, and are re-experiencing the event, or intensely reminded of it in ways that lead you to detach or avoid people or situations, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you are having problems sleeping, focusing, or managing your emotions, this may be related to your previous trauma. If thoughts or feelings from trauma are interfering with your daily life, treatment can help. Even if the trauma happened years ago, the condition can be treated. Untreated, the symptoms can interfere with your relationships. At Beckett Springs, our experts can diagnose PTSD, and provide education and treatment to improve your quality of life.

What causes postpartum depression?

Physical and emotional factors can contribute to postpartum depression. Estrogen and progesterone, as well as hormones produced by the thyroid, can all drop after childbirth, leading some new mothers to feel tired and depressed. With the responsibilities of a new baby, new parents can be stressed and sleep-deprived. There may be worries about your capabilities as a parent and about the future. Some new parents feel a loss of control or loss of identity. Personal and family history of depression, bipolar disorder, and mood disorders increase the risk of postpartum depression. If there are medical, financial, or relationship problems, or a limited support system, there is an increased incidence of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is not your fault, and it isn't a weakness. Prompt treatment can help you manage your symptoms, and enjoy your baby. Learn more in our depression disorder treatment section.

Do I have borderline personality disorder?

There are a number of symptoms associated with BPD, though some are also present with other conditions, or due to stressful life events: - A pattern of unstable personal relationships - Fear of abandonment, and intense effort to avoid abandonment - Impulsivity - Self-harm or suicidal ideation - Emotional instability - Feelings of emptiness - Unstable self-image - Inappropriate anger - Dissociation - Paranoia or difficulty trusting people At Beckett Springs, we have a team of licensed mental health professionals who can perform an interview and assessment to determine whether your symptoms and behavior match the DSM criteria for this condition. We have expertise in treating BPD and can help with a plan on your path to healing. Learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

How can I help someone during a panic attack?

If you are with someone having a panic attack, it can be hard to know what to do. You should know that the person is experiencing intense physical symptoms and emotional responses, even if you know there is no immediate threat. In many cases, there is a trigger - a person, situation, or thing that is associated with fear or anxiety, though it could also happen in a place and time with no obvious triggers. Panic attacks intensify quickly and are often over within 20 minutes, though may last up to an hour. Symptoms of a panic attack are sometimes confused with a heart attack or other urgent medical condition.

They may include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Feeling of choking or trouble breathing
  • Shaking Chills or sweating
  • Upset stomach and nausea
  • Dizziness

Stay calm. Listen to the person and ask them what they need, but don't overwhelm them with questions or suggestions. Do not touch a person having a panic attack without asking and getting clear permission. If you are with someone as a panic attack strikes, you can support them by helping them find a seat in quiet place, and to take slow, full breaths. Ask them if they have a technique or medication they have used before to shift their focus or center their thoughts. You can let them know that you think it is a panic attack, and that they are not in danger. Reassure them that they are supported, have nothing to be embarrassed about, and that the feelings will pass and they will be OK. If the person has never experienced a panic attack before, or if the symptoms last longer than an hour, it is best to seek emergency medical attention, especially if there are existing medical problems. Long term, repeated panic attacks can lead to development of a panic disorder, and can lead the person to limit or avoid activities. If this is happening, encourage the person to seek treatment.

How is bipolar disorder treated?

An initial review should encompass physical evaluation and lab tests, along with a psychiatric assessment. If a bipolar diagnosis is confirmed, you should expect to work with a treatment team that includes a psychiatrist (medical doctor expert in mental disorders), psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, and therapists experienced in holistic treatments. Treatment for bipolar disorder usually involves medication combined with psychotherapy, along with education and support groups. A variety of medications address different aspects of bipolar symptoms, including mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications. It can take some time and patience, working with your doctor and therapist, to find an effective combination and level of medications for an individual patient.

Therapies effective for bipolar disorder include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Solution-focused therapy
  • Trauma-focused therapy groups
  • Holistic therapies: yoga therapy, art therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, recreation therapy
  • Educational programs: mindfulness training, fitness & wellness education, nutrition education

Bipolar disorder is a long-term condition - treatment is focused on education and managing symptoms. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, treatment at Beckett Springs might involve medication management, outpatient or partial hospitalization (PHP) programs. If symptoms are more severe, or combined with substance abuse or self-harming behavior, an inpatient program may be recommended. Learn more in our bipolar disorder treatment section.

What is a manic episode?

A manic episode may be diagnosed as part of bipolar disorder. It is a period where someone experiences heightened energy, productivity and sometimes euphoria - in a more intense form than a "good mood," and distinctly different from the typical moods and behaviors of that person. People may have increased sexual desire, talk more loudly or rapidly, spend excessively, and act jumpy or "high." They may express grandiose or extreme beliefs and confidence. During a manic episode, it may be hard to sleep. Manic episodes may be experienced as pleasant and powerful, but there may also be a high level of irritation or anger with others who don't concur with the person's ideas of behavior. A manic episode lasts for a week or more, and interferes with the person's ability to function. Hypomania is a milder, and often shorter version of a manic period. With bipolar disorder, a person cycles through mood disruptions - periods of mania (or milder hypomania) and depression. After a manic episode, people may feel a crash - feeling extremely tired, and not remembering or being able to accept the outcome of actions they did during the episode. While bipolar is a long-term condition, Beckett Springs works with patients with bipolar disorder to create a customized treatment plan to manage their emotional states and lead a full and productive life.