Table of Contents

Medical Reviewer

Marjorie Gies, M.D. Psychiatrist & Medical Director

anxiety treatment for women

Primary Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety Treatment Center for Women

Casa Serena offers primary anxiety treatment in Santa Barbara, California. Our partial hospitalization program allows clients to participate in daily treatment without requiring them to live at our facility. If you are coming from out of town or if you want to live in a safe, comforting environment while participating in treatment, we offer supportive housing.

Our team separately offers dual diagnosis treatment for women who are struggling with addiction and anxiety.

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Introduction to Anxiety Treatment

One does not need to struggle with a mental health condition to experience anxiety. Anxiety is an emotion that many people have at some point in their lives. There are many reasons for anxiety, most of which arise from everyday events. It is important to note that anxiety can occur from both positive and negative events. For example, getting married, having a baby, starting a new job, or other major life events. In most cases, feelings of anxiety typically resolve quite quickly; Usually, after the event that led to unpleasant and anxious emotions is over or the situation has resolved.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for all. For some people who struggle with chronic anxiety, the intense emotions produced by anxious situations evolve into something far more challenging to manage. For these individuals, stress becomes overwhelming and leads to fear and terror. In some cases, anxious feelings become so intense that it leads to panic attacks. It is not uncommon for their reaction to anxiety-producing stimuli to be far in excess of what is necessary or “expected” for the situation. When someone struggles with an anxiety disorder, they experience persistent, excessive feelings of worry about everyday situations. Most people who struggle with anxiety disorders cannot control their symptoms or their reaction to anxiety triggers. To make their symptoms manageable, they will actively avoid circumstances that may produce panic, including people, places, or events.

Some people who struggle with anxiety look to dull their symptoms by using substances, such as drugs and alcohol. When they experience a situation that causes fear or panic, they may turn to drugs or alcohol to help calm their fears and reduce the intensity of their anxiety. While this often works as a temporary solution, it is just that, temporary. Before long, the effects of drugs or alcohol wear off, and the anxiety frequently returns, sometimes more pervasive and more intense. When symptoms return, the anxious person reaches for drugs or alcohol again, hoping to achieve freedom from their symptoms for a bit longer. This vicious circle often leads to dependency and eventually drug and alcohol addiction.

When you struggle with both a substance use disorder and a mental health condition, you have what is called a dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. When you have a dual diagnosis, it is crucial to seek help to manage your symptoms at a gender-specific treatment center that focuses on the unique treatment needs of women looking to address addiction and mental health conditions. Because mental health symptoms and addiction affect men and women differently, the treatment models and therapeutic plans utilized at a women’s treatment center differ from those found in non-specialized programs. Choosing a program specializing in your treatment needs can help improve your opportunities for positive treatment outcomes and lasting treatment success.



Learn how women are affected differently

Anxiety in Women

Anxiety disorders are considered the most common mental illness in America. Data provided by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America indicates that as many as 40 million adults across the nation struggle with anxiety disorders. This accounts for a little over 18% of the overall population of the United States. Although anxiety disorders are highly treatable, like many mental health conditions, a small percentage of those who struggle with the illness will ever seek help at a treatment center. Data from the same report suggest that less than 40% of those with an anxiety disorder will receive the potentially life-changing help they need to learn to manage their symptoms. Anxiety affects men and women differently. In general, women are twice as likely to struggle with anxiety disorders. This statistic includes all types of anxiety. Whether it's a generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, specific phobias, or social anxiety disorders, women are generally considered twice as likely to experience persistent symptoms.

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What to Expect in a Women's Treatment Center for Anxiety in California

There are several reasons why women experience anxiety at higher rates than men. A few possibilities include differences in brain chemistry, hormone fluctuations, reproductive events (pregnancy, childbirth, menopause), and life events. Research suggests that women react differently to stressful events. Also, women are often more prone to stress which can lead to increased anxiety levels. Additionally, women tend to use different coping strategies than men when faced with stress or anxiety-producing situations. Another possibility is that women are statistically more prone to trauma or abuse. This is not to say that men do not experience traumatic situations or are not the victims of domestic abuse; however, statistically, women experience these circumstances more often. Therefore, women are more likely to develop anxiety disorders and co-occurring substance use disorders related to trauma history than men.

As a result, it is often important for women to seek help overcoming their anxiety in an environment where they feel safe and supported. If a woman seeks help too hill from a trauma-based anxiety disorder, she is likely to feel safer and more comfortable disclosing emotions and discussing a trauma history and environment that is gender-specific. If she is seeking help for an anxiety disorder that is rooted in trauma history, sharing openly in communicating in a mixed-gender setting may be difficult or even re-traumatizing. When you seek help at a women's treatment center for anxiety, members of a treatment team will work with you to ensure the treatment plan is designed around your physical, psychological, and spiritual needs.

Mental health symptoms and substance use disorder struggles are challenges unique to the individual. This means that the symptoms you experience when using drugs or alcohol, the symptoms you have as part of a mental health condition, and the challenges you face as you are trying to heal and get well, will all be different from those of someone else. Consequently, the most successful treatment programs are those that are designed based on individual needs and goals. Although all treatment programs provide quality, evidence-based care, not all are equipped to meet the needs of gender-specific care or dual diagnosis treatment.

At our Santa Barbara women's treatment center, our skilled therapy providers understand the needs of both scenarios. Our caring and compassionate treatment providers specialize in gender-focused care. We know that a woman seeking help to heal from mental health challenges or to overcome addiction will benefit significantly from trauma-focused, gender-specific care. Additionally, it is not uncommon for women seeking help to address their mental health concerns to also struggle with a substance use disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment requires a specific treatment process and level of care that is not found in all treatment settings.

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Our Women's Anxiety Treatment Center Can Help You

Acknowledging the struggle with a mental health condition or an addiction is a challenging step. Admitting you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol or that anxiety symptoms have begun to interfere with your day-to-day life is the first step towards healing and recovery. Deciding to reach out and seek help to learn how to manage your symptoms is the next step. However, that step is often more difficult than accepting that you need help. Many factors go into deciding to seek treatment. Deciding on the type of treatment program you believe is best to meet your needs is critical in achieving your treatment needs and goals.

At our woman's anxiety treatment center in Santa Barbara, we understand women's struggles when deciding to seek mental health support and care. We know that the process of seeking help is not easy; however, we are here to help you heal, overcome mental health struggles, and take the first steps on the path towards a healthier, stronger you.

Contact our admissions team today if you would like to learn more about how programs at our women's anxiety treatment center can help you steal from anxiety and overcome co-occurring substance use struggles.
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