An Integrated Approach to Young Adult Mental Health Rehab

Anxiety

Anxiety in young adults is at an all-time high. Statistics show that one out of every five young people suffers from anxiety disorders.

Anxiety issues in young adults can be crippling. At this critical stage of life, as they confront the hard work of establishing autonomy and selfhood, anxiety in young adults can be paralyzing. As a result, the demands of college-level academics, the workplace, and intimate relationships become too much to handle. Perhaps it’s no surprise that one recent study found that 50 percent of millennials and a full 75 percent of Gen Z youth have left a job for mental health reasons.

Treatment for anxiety disorders at Newport Institute takes into account the unique challenges faced by young adults in the 21st century, as well as their individual history and circumstances. Through tailored treatment plans, we address not only the external signs of an anxiety disorder, but also the mental, emotional, and physical components of anxiety. We uncover underlying issues, and equip young adults with tools for emotional self-regulation and skills for living an empowered life. 

Signs of an Anxiety Disorder

What’s the difference between an anxiety disorder and simply feeling anxious? 

Everyone feels anxious sometimes. But the feelings generally pass once the triggering event or concern has been addressed. However, with an anxiety disorder, the distress continues to increase in both frequency and intensity, rather than improving on its own. Furthermore, the symptoms of an anxiety disorder are significant enough to affect daily functioning in school, at work, in relationships, and in social settings.

Left untreated, anxiety disorders can negatively impact multiple areas of your life, including your ability to succeed at work or in a job, and your relationships with significant others, friends, and family members. In addition, anxiety in young adults can lead to co-occurring disorders, such as eating disorders and substance abuse. 

Here are 13 of the most common signs of an anxiety disorder: 

  • Feelings of worry and stress that seem impossible to control
  • A sense of restlessness or being on edge
  • Fatigue for no apparent reason, feeling worn down
  • Sleep problems—either insomnia or sleeping too much
  • A dip in academic or work performance
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of appetite and other disruptions to eating, including inability to enjoy food
  • Physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, stomachaches, and headaches
  • Nausea, sweating, and shaking—particularly associated with social anxiety
  • Increased use of alcohol and/or substances as a form of self-medication
  • Avoidance—staying away from situations or places that trigger anxiety
  • Anxiety attacks.

How do I know if I’m experiencing an anxiety attack?

Anxiety attacks typically occur when you encounter a specific stressor that triggers intense feelings of physical and emotional distress. While anxiety attacks pass after the stressful event is over, they are one of the signs of an anxiety disorder, and therefore indicate a need for assessment and treatment. 

Symptoms of an anxiety attack include: 

  • Feelings of dread and fear 
  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Cold sweat 
  • Dizziness or wooziness 
  • Chills 
  • Shaking. 

What are the causes of anxiety in young adults? 

Research shows that anxiety issues in young adults are the result of a combination of genetic makeup and life circumstances. Between 30 and 40 percent of the factors related to anxiety disorders are genetic and can be inherited.  

Life experiences are also significant in determining the likelihood of an anxiety disorder. Traumatic events, such as abuse, neglect, or the early death of a parent, can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders in young adults.

Know the Facts

According to the latest facts about anxiety, an increasing number of millennials and Gen Z are experiencing anxiety—more than any other age group. New statistics show that the largest increase in psychological distress over the last decade was among young adults ages 18 to 25. Distress levels in this age group rose by 71 percent between 2008 and 2017.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders 

When signs of an anxiety disorder are present, it’s important to rule out medical factors and to determine what type of anxiety disorder you may be experiencing. Hence, a comprehensive assessment will include the following:

  • Physical exam. A doctor may do a full physical exam and ask about your physical symptoms and medical history. This is to rule out any underlying health problems that may be causing signs of an anxiety disorder. 
  • Lab tests. Such tests can help identify physical conditions that may be causing symptoms of anxiety, such as an overactive thyroid, hormonal or adrenal issues, sleep apnea, diabetes, or medications you’re taking. 
  • Psychological evaluation. A doctor or mental health professional will inquire about your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Your answers will help them to reach a diagnosis and also reveal whether co-occurring disorders are a concern. 

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is the most common type of anxiety in young adults. This type of anxiety involves excessive worry and distress over everyday occurrences.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety, also referred to as social phobia, refers to anxiety triggered by social settings. Therefore, social anxiety in young adults can interfere with everyday activities at work or in school.

Panic Disorder

Late adolescence and early adulthood is the most common period for panic disorder to set in. Panic attacks—sudden and often unexpected periods of intense fear—are the main symptom of panic disorder.

Specific Phobias

A phobia, which is considered a type of anxiety disorder, is an irrational fear or aversion to something that poses little or no actual danger, such as spiders, heights, germs, etc.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD in young adults can cause unwanted and disturbing obsessions that create extreme anxiety. To relieve the anxiety, people with OCD engage in repetitive thoughts or actions known as compulsions—for example, excessive hand washing, counting, or repeatedly checking that a door is locked.

What should I do if I think I might have an anxiety disorder?

If your anxiety is interfering with your daily life and keeping you from pursuing the goals that matter most to you, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. It’s important to recognize that you’re not alone, and there is hope. Young adult anxiety is very treatable, and reaching out for help and support is the first step on the path to healing.  

Although it might feel scary, it’s worth it—because signs of an anxiety disorder don’t get better on their own. Talk to someone you trust, whether that’s a close friend, a family member, your doctor, or a therapist at a college counseling center.

How to Help Young Adults with Anxiety

First and foremost, let them know that you’re there for them, no matter what. People with anxiety often feel isolated and hopeless. It’s hard for them to believe that things can get better.  

Emphasize that getting help is essential, and assure them that you will support them on the journey of healing. That might mean accompanying them to a clinic or therapist’s office where they can talk to a mental health professional, or holding their hand as they make that first phone call.

Know the Facts

Generation Z and millennials are more likely than any other generations to seek help for mental health challenges. According to the American Psychological Association, 37 percent of Gen Z adults and 35 percent of millennials say they have received treatment from a mental health professional.

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Care at Newport Institute

Care at Newport Institute

An Integrated Approach to Healing Anxiety Disorders

At Newport Institute, we treat depression and anxiety in young adults using an integrated approach. During their time with us, young people gain skill sets and self-understanding that allow them to find resilience and move into a life of well-being, based in self-respect and connection. Through comprehensive treatment that includes clinical therapy, experiential modalities, academic support, and life skills mentorship, we bring them from darkness to light, into happy, fulfilling lives.

With the right treatment, young adults who are struggling with anxiety and co-occurring disorders can move into the future as compassionate, empowered individuals who will make our world a better place. We offer unconditional love helping our young adults understand that change is a possibility and healing is within reach.

Ryan Fedoroff
National Director of Education

Know the Facts

More than 40 randomized clinical trials support the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.

Types of Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Clinical Modalities

Our integrated treatment approach uses evidence-based clinical modalities, proven to have significant positive outcomes for anxiety disorders and co-occurring issues. We address anxiety disorders in young adults at multiple levels; uncovering underlying trauma is a key aspect of our treatment philosophy.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Medical Care
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy
  • Emotional Freedom Technique
  • Person-Centered or Humanistic Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Acceptance Commitment Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Medical Care
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy
  • Emotional Freedom Technique
  • Person-Centered or Humanistic Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Acceptance Commitment Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Medical Care
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy
  • Emotional Freedom Technique
  • Person-Centered or Humanistic Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Acceptance Commitment Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Experiential Modalities

Because each young adult is unique, our treatment plans are also different for each individual. Tailored treatment for young adult anxiety may incorporate several of the following experiential therapies. These modalities are scientifically validated to address the signs of anxiety disorders by activating the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” nervous system.

  • Yoga
  • Music Therapy
  • Martial Arts Group
  • Photography Arts
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Culinary Arts
  • Art Therapy
  • Fitness Activity
  • Horticulture
  • Community Service
  • Mindfulness/Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Culinary Arts
  • Music Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Martial Arts Group
  • Fitness Activity
  • Photography Arts
  • Horticulture
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy
  • Community Service
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Mindfulness/Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Music Therapy
  • Martial Arts Group
  • Photography Arts
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Culinary Arts
  • Art Therapy
  • Fitness Activity
  • Horticulture
  • Community Service
  • Mindfulness/Meditation

Meditation and yoga activate the body’s relaxation response and buffer the areas of the brain associated with emotion regulation, which helps to reduce anxious feelings.

Dr. Barbara Nosal
Newport Institute’s Chief Clinical Officer

Our Team of Experts, Guided by Medical Experience

Newport Institute’s team of industry experts provides the most medically sound treatment in the country, delivered with compassion and led by personal experience. Many of our clinical professionals, including psychiatrists, family therapists, nurse practitioners, counselors, equine therapists, art therapists, music therapists, adventure therapists, registered dietitians, nutritionists, and mentors, bring their own stories of recovery and healing to their work, and our entire team is driven by a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of young adults. 

Marks of Quality Care

Our innovative approach to mental healthcare earns accolades from press around the world, but it is our dedication to our client success that has helped us achieve accreditation from The Joint Commission, exceed licensing standards of care, and nurture affiliations with the following:

Newport Institute

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