Anxiety Treatment in San Diego

Anxiety disorders are treatable, and many effective treatments are available at the Mental Health Center of San Diego. With proper treatment, people with anxiety disorders can learn to manage their symptoms and live full and productive lives. Don’t face your anxiety alone; let MHC San Diego help.

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United States, affecting 40 million adults. That’s 18% of the population! Despite how common they are, anxiety disorders are often misunderstood and misrepresented. People with anxiety disorders are not simply people who are overly “worried” or “stressed out.” They experience intense, disabling symptoms that can make it difficult to function in daily life.

Anxiety disorders are divided into several unique types. Each affects the sufferer differently and may require specific treatment. Getting a correct diagnosis can help you target the treatment more specifically.

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Types of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are divided into several unique types. Each affects the sufferer in a different way and may require specific treatment. Getting a correct diagnosis can help you target the treatment more specifically.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

For those with generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety may seem to seep into every part of their lives. Whether they feel anxious after talking about a big project at work or before going out on a date, no matter what they do, it may feel like their brain second-guesses their decisions.
Those who deal with panic disorder experience sudden, unexpected bursts of panic, accompanied by a rapid heart rate and trouble breathing. Their flight or fight response may become triggered, and they feel like they must get out of a situation they are in. This can make situations like flying, driving long distances, or sitting in a classroom extremely difficult.

Social Anxiety

Interacting with others becomes especially difficult for those with social anxiety. They often feel judged when speaking or too shy to start a conversation. These feelings may result in severe physical symptoms like dry mouth and sweating, which in turn makes interaction feel even more difficult.

Agoraphobia is technically a fear of large, open spaces. However, it is most frequently characterized by difficulty leaving what feels like the safety of the home. Getting treatment for agoraphobia becomes increasingly difficult for sufferers as they believe they are unable to leave the house for therapy appointments.

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Mental Health Center of San Diego

Anxiety Disorder Treatment Options

Our team of experienced and licensed clinicians offer evidence-based approaches to treat the symptoms of Anxiety Disorders, such as:


Psychotherapy is the process of psychologists and patients working together to identify specific concerns and develop techniques to try and treat those concerns. Patients can expect to practice their new skills in a clinical setting and put them to use in real-world situations.

Psychotherapy has had a long evolution over the past century. While a stereotypical “laying on the couch” image may come to mind when you think of therapy, modern therapy is a very proactive, positive experience.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps replace negative, ingrained thoughts that may be triggering with more realistic thought processes. Patients can begin to climb out of the dark hole of anxious thinking and control their reactions to anything causing their anxiety.

CBT is also great for those who struggle with motivation or who procrastinate due to anxiety. With the use of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals, patients can accomplish the important things in their lives that anxiety had forced them to put off.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that involves gradually exposing a person to the situations they fear in a safe and controlled environment. The goal of exposure therapy is to help people cope with their anxiety by learning to control their reactions to the things they fear. Exposure therapy can be used to treat a variety of anxiety disorders, including phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder.


Medication is a safe and effective way to treat anxiety disorders that have been used for decades. Researchers have improved modern medications to maximize benefits and minimize the side effects of Anxiety. While some anxiety medication works to prevent your symptoms, other medications are designed to neutralize the symptoms after they occur.

Everyday Medications

Some anti-anxiety meds are taken every day. These are often antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or tricyclic antidepressants. These affect chemicals in the brain to seek a better balance over the long-term.

Medications Taken as Needed

Other medications only need to be taken when you are having a burst of anxiety. For example, some people who have panic attacks while flying may only use a medication like benzodiazepines before getting on a flight.

These are typically short-acting medications, meaning that in a few hours you will no longer feel the effects.

Get Help at the Mental Health Center of San Diego

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, there are a number of effective therapies that can help people manage their symptoms and live productive, fulfilling lives. The Mental Health Center of San Diego offers a variety of services for those struggling with anxiety disorders, including individual and group therapy, medication management, and case management.

Our goal is to provide each person with the tools they need to lead a happy and successful life free from anxiety. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, the Mental Health Center of San Diego can help; call us at (858) 258-9883.

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