Six Signs it’s Time to Seek Anxiety Disorder Inpatient Treatment

Anxiety mental disorder – portrait of a troubled woman on black background

Anxiety is a prevalent mental health disorder that affects millions of people globally.

Although it can be highly unpleasant, most of us have experienced anxiety at some point, whether due to work pressures, relationship stress, or other issues we may be dealing with.

While many of us will experience symptoms of anxiety at various points in our lives, it becomes a cause for concern when it lingers beyond the triggering event and begins to interfere with a person’s daily functioning, routine, and everyday activities.

When this happens, an individual may require some form of anxiety disorder inpatient treatment.

If you are experiencing anxiety symptoms and struggling to cope, you must consult a mental health professional who can advise you on the next steps.

Fortunately, anxiety disorder is a treatable mental health condition, with many people experiencing favourable treatment outcomes.

Contact our friendly team at our Ontario treatment centre for further advice and support on our inpatient anxiety disorder treatment program.

What is anxiety disorder?

Anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that can cause an individual to experience intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.

It can sometimes be challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of an individual’s anxiety, and a person may be in remission for months or even years before experiencing another episode.

Anxiety is extremely common, and most of us will experience feeling anxious from time to time. 

Perhaps you are going through a stressful time at work, having money problems, or experiencing relationship difficulties and the situation is making you feel anxious.

You may find it difficult to sleep, lose your appetite, or notice that you often feel on edge or sick to the stomach.

These responses, although unpleasant, are common reactions to stress and usually disappear once things calm down.

However, if your anxiety symptoms meet a specific criteria, your physician or doctor may diagnose you with an anxiety disorder.

Some of the most common anxiety disorders are:

  • Social anxiety disorder: involves experiencing extreme anxiety or fear of social situations, including social gatherings, parties, work events, or other places where you have to interact with other people. The condition is also called social phobia. 
  • Phobias: involve a severe fear of a particular object or situation; for instance, you may have a phobia of driving (situation) or experience extreme anxiety when exposed to a specific object, for example, a wasp or a spider. 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is when an individual has repetitive thoughts, urges, or behaviours. For example, someone with OCD may constantly wash their hands a specific number of times to avoid contamination or switch the lights on/off ten times to prevent something terrible from happening to them or someone they care about.
  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is when someone experiences uncontrollable anxiety about many things. Unlike other anxiety disorders, which tend to have a specific trigger, someone with GAD may have various worries or concerns much broader than a fear of contamination or social anxiety. A person with GAD may worry about many things simultaneously, such as natural disasters or something tragic happening to a family member or loved one. 
  • Panic disorder is when an individual experiences frequent panic attacks without an apparent trigger or cause. This condition can be very frightening, and sufferers often fear having another panic attack, creating a vicious cycle of uncontrollable anxiety.
  • Health anxiety: involves extreme anxiety related to one’s health. According to Mind, a person with health anxiety may experience compulsions and obsessions related to illness or disease; for example, they may research their symptoms online or repeatedly check their body for signs of disease.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after someone experiences something traumatic. For example, if an individual experiences the sudden loss of a loved one or a physical assault, they may experience PTSD symptoms. Common PTSD symptoms include flashbacks or re-experiencing, which can feel like you are reliving the traumatic event again; you may also experience nightmares, hypervigilance, and avoidance behaviours such as substance abuse.
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) involves compulsions or obsessions about physical appearance. A person with BDD may spend much time worrying or obsessing over flaws in their appearance, which are often unnoticeable to others. Anyone can develop the condition, but it is most common in young adults and teenagers.
Young teenage girl looking in the mirror in the room.

If you are concerned that you may have an anxiety disorder, it may be time to speak with a mental health professional.

Various treatment options are available to anxiety sufferers, including inpatient treatment, which is one of the most effective as it provides a safe and supportive environment where an individual receives intensive care and treatment.

What is inpatient treatment?

Inpatient treatment is typically recommended for those experiencing severe anxiety symptoms that cannot be managed through medication or outpatient treatment.

Inpatient treatment requires you to stay in a mental health facility such as a residential recovery centre or hospital for a specific period.

People in inpatient treatment receive around-the-clock care from a professional mental health team, such as psychiatrists, therapists, psychologists, nurses, etc.

Inpatient treatment aims to help you understand and manage your anxiety symptoms, develop healthy coping strategies, and improve your general well-being.

Moreover, inpatient treatment usually involves a combination of different therapies and treatments and may depend on a person’s family, medical history, and other factors.

However, inpatient treatment typically involves the following:

Inpatient treatment can be profoundly beneficial for those at risk of self-injury or those who may harm themselves or others. 

This treatment can give individuals a supportive, safe environment to learn to manage their symptoms in a compassionate, non-judgemental space.

There are numerous benefits to inpatient treatment for anxiety sufferers. However, in our experience, knowing when to seek help and support for anxiety symptoms can be challenging, particularly in inpatient treatment, as it is the most intensive and requires staying in a treatment centre or hospital for a recommended timeframe.

Fortunately, some common signs may help you decide whether or not inpatient treatment is the right option for you.

Let’s explore these further!

Six signs it’s time to seek anxiety disorder inpatient treatment

There’s much to consider when deciding on the best treatment for anxiety disorder. Only you will know which treatment option feels right for you and your condition.

However, studies have shown six factors or ‘signs’ to watch out for when determining whether or not you should seek inpatient treatment for an anxiety disorder.

These include:

1. A lack of improvement (or progress) in outpatient treatment

One sign that you may require inpatient treatment for anxiety disorder is a lack of improvement or progress in other forms of anxiety treatment you may be having.

For example, suppose you have been going to a therapist for a while and are not seeing any significant improvement in your anxiety symptoms. 

In that case, it may be a sign that you need to explore more intensive treatment options, such as inpatient treatment, as it provides more intense care and support.

Unlike outpatient treatment programs, individuals undergoing inpatient treatment have 24-hour access to intensive therapy and support from a team of multidisciplinary professionals.

Inpatient treatment can help you manage your anxiety symptoms and understand the root cause, allowing you to develop coping mechanisms and skills to help you better handle your condition.

Moreover, inpatient programs are more intense than outpatient therapy, meaning individuals experience an improvement in anxiety symptoms much quicker than other forms of treatment.

If you have been having therapy for a while and your symptoms aren’t improving, it may be time to consider enlisting in an inpatient treatment program.

2. Having another mental health condition

A man with bipolar disorder at the mirror. Bipolar affective disorder

As well as having anxiety, it is common for individuals to suffer from other mental health issues simultaneously, such as depression or substance addiction. Mental health professionals refer to this condition as co-occurring (or concurrent) disorders.

Inpatient treatment provides those with co-occurring disorders an integrative, comprehensive approach to treatment that addresses both the anxiety disorder and any concurrent conditions.

An integrated treatment approach to recovery helps individuals achieve the best outcomes possible as co-occurring disorder treatment gets to the root cause of a person’s issues, allowing them to reprocess and unpack past traumatic experiences that may cause or contribute to their anxiety.

3. Experiencing severe anxiety symptoms

Another sign that you may need inpatient treatment is when your anxiety disorder symptoms are severe and unmanageable.

Anxiety can be a crippling condition, impairing an individual’s ability to function or carry out everyday tasks or activities.

An individual may have frequent panic attacks, engage in self-harming behaviours, or experience suicidal thoughts as part of their anxiety disorder.

When anxiety symptoms are severe, an individual may need immediate medical attention from a mental health professional.

Inpatient treatment provides people with a safe, supportive foundation for recovery where they receive around-the-clock care, supervision, and, where necessary, medication from an experienced healthcare team.  

4. Avoidance behaviours

Side view of elderly woman looking out the window

If you are avoiding people, places, or situations due to anxiety or fear, it could indicate that you need a more intense treatment program, such as inpatient therapy.

Avoidance behaviours can lead to various complications in a person’s mental and physical health, so avoidance behaviours must be addressed quickly.

For example, a person with social anxiety may numb or suppress their anxious thoughts and feelings by drinking alcohol to cope in social situations, putting them at higher risk of an alcohol use disorder. 

On the other hand, someone with health anxiety may ignore physical symptoms because they fear going to the doctor, which may cause complications to their health further down the line.

Individuals engaging in avoidance behaviours usually require more intense anxiety treatment, such as inpatient treatment, as it works more efficiently than other anxiety treatment programs, minimising the risk of future health complications.

5. Health and safety concerns

Anxiety disorder symptoms that cause health and safety concerns for the sufferer or those around them may signify that inpatient treatment is necessary.

People with severe anxiety symptoms may engage in risky behaviours that put their health and safety and those around them in danger.

Inpatient or residential treatment provides a safe, secure environment for people to recover, helping them manage their anxiety symptoms and adopt healthy coping skills.

It can also minimise the risk for those who engage in self-harm or other self-injurious behaviours. 

Furthermore, inpatient treatment allows individuals to get to the root cause of their anxiety, helping them understand where their distress might be coming from and work toward acceptance and resilience.

6. Interference with daily life

When anxiety disrupts your ability to work, socialise, or perform daily activities, it indicates that intensive professional treatment may be needed.

Since outpatient treatment can take time before you notice any improvement, you may not receive the immediate care and support you need to help you manage your anxiety symptoms and resume daily living.

Inpatient treatment can be a helpful option for those with severe anxiety disorder as it provides more intensive care than outpatient treatment can offer, helping you feel better more quickly and get back to your daily life.

How long does inpatient treatment usually last?

Anxious man telling his story to psychologist

Inpatient treatment usually lasts from a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity of your anxiety symptoms and other medical conditions you may have.

Assessment and diagnosis

The first stage of inpatient treatment is a full assessment and diagnosis.

This stage may involve the following:

  • A thorough medical evaluation and checkup
  • Psychological testing and assessments
  • Being interviewed by a mental health professional

This assessment aims to determine the severity of your anxiety, identify any co-occurring disorders and decide on an individualised treatment plan based on your needs, goals, and preferences.

Your treatment plan will likely combine various evidence-based therapies and approaches, including behavioural therapy, individual and group therapy, mental health treatment, and mindfulness therapy.

Anxiety disorder treatment at Centres for Health and Healing

Centres for Health and Healing provide personalised addiction and mental health treatment to clients in Ontario and surrounding regions.

Our multidisciplinary team of experienced professionals come from diverse backgrounds and experiences and can diagnose and treat various mental health issues, including depression, substance addiction, and anxiety disorder.

We understand that the journey to wellness and recovery may be daunting and complex, but you don’t have to go through it alone.

We are here to help guide you in whatever way you need. 

With proper treatment, care, and support, you can overcome your anxiety and start living the life you always imagined. 

Contact our friendly treatment centre in Ontario for further advice and support on our anxiety disorder inpatient treatment program.

We are here and ready to help.

Additional resources

  1. When to Seek Inpatient Treatment for Anxiety: Signs to Look Out For, Danxiety 
  2. Anxiety and panic attacks, Mind
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