Frequently Asked Questions: Mental Health Conditions

Mental Health Conditions

How long does treatment last?

Our care is individualized to each patient. The length of your program will be determined based upon your treatment needs and goals that are identified between you, your assigned provider, and the treatment team.

How do I know if I need treatment for anxiety?

Everyone experiences anxiety sometimes, but if you worry excessively, to the extent that it interferes with daily activities, or experience extreme panic or phobias, you may have an anxiety disorder. These conditions are real, serious, and treatable. Untreated anxiety disorders can lead to problems with school, work, and personal life, as well as to development of secondary conditions like substance abuse and depression.

Beckett Springs has experts who can provide treatment for anxiety disorders that enables you to live a more full and productive life.

What is the difference between inpatient, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient services?

Inpatient is a short-term, 24-hour intensive treatment program provided in a safe and secure hospital setting. It includes 24-hour nursing care and daily provider visits not available on an outpatient basis.

Partial hospitalization is a short-term, high-intensity, therapeutic, and recovery-focused program.

Intensive outpatient is a high-intensity, therapeutic, and recovery-focused program that typically meets in a group environment.

What is the treatment for anxiety?

Anxiety disorder treatment involves psychotherapy, medication, or a combination, along with education. Depending on the severity of the condition, a patient at Beckett Springs may have an outpatient treatment plan, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, medication management, or inpatient treatment plans. 
 
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is very effective for anxiety disorders. It focuses on developing skills to manage your worries, and allow you to gradually build success in activities you were avoiding because of anxiety. Other modalities include Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MBCT), solution-focused therapy, trauma-focused therapy groups. 
 
At Beckett Springs, these behavioral therapies may be augmented by holistic therapy, group sessions, and educational programs. Contact Beckett Springs to plan your treatment.

Learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

What are the types of anxiety disorders?

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is excessive and uncontrollable worry about everyday issues.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is recurrent unwanted preoccupations (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions).
  • Panic disorder involves episodes of intense, unexpected fear, along with physical symptoms like racing heart, trouble breathing, dizziness, fainting, or abdominal pain.
  • Social anxiety disorder is excessive anxiety in everyday social situations. 
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety that occurs after a life trauma (physical or emotional). People may avoid situations, become detached, have difficulty concentrating and sleeping, and may relive traumatic experiences long after they have occurred.
  • Some people have phobia(s) associated with specific objects, situations, places, animals, etc.

While most people experience some degree of anxiety, it can become a serious problem when it disrupts your quality of life. Anxiety disorders can be treated. If you or a loved one are experiencing these problems, Beckett Springs can help with diagnosis and treatment.

Learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

How are people evaluated for anxiety?

Your medical team will ask detailed questions about symptoms and medical history. They may else look at physical symptoms, condition, medications, and blood work to understand whether any medical conditions are contributing.. They may use psychological questionnaires. Experts will relate your symptoms to criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. Contact Beckett Springs to schedule an evaluation and learn more in our anxiety disorder treatment section.

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.