Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Highland Ridge Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Highland Ridge Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Signs, Effects & Symptoms of Anxiety

Understanding the Signs of Anxiety

Understanding the signs of anxiety

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress; in many cases a bit of extra anxiety can lead to increased focus at work or at school. For some people, however, anxiety can be all-consuming. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses that cause some men, women, and children to feel extremely frightened, uneasy, fearful, and distressed in situations that would not normally lead to these feelings. Untreated anxiety disorders can negatively impact a person’s whole life – their ability to work or study is impaired, their social relationships with friends and others become strained, and the anxiety may shrink their world. Anxiety disorders can cause problems in even benign regular daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or cooking dinner. . The most common anxiety disorders include:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) people who have GAD may feel a severe, unremitting, chronic worrying about everyday life. This worry or anxiety lasts at least six months, impairs concentration, makes carrying out routine tasks complicated, and occurs for many hours throughout the day for many people. Some people who have GAD may spend much of their time feeling dread and “free-floating” anxiety not attached to any particular stimuli.

Panic disorder is characterized by panic attacks, or sudden feelings of terror that may occur repeatedly and without warning. Physical symptoms of a panic attack are in and of themselves frightening and may include chest pain, heart palpitations, feelings of being disconnected, and fear of dying. Many people who have panic disorder are ashamed of their panic attacks and may begin to avoid going to places that may bring about a panic attack.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder precipitated by a traumatic event involving the threat of death to a person or group of people. People who have PTSD suffer from nightmares, hyper vigilance, flashbacks, and emotional numbness and without proper care, these feelings can grow worse over time. A person who has PTSD may be ashamed of their reaction and may not seek the proper care needed to address this anxiety disorder.

Phobias are irrational and disabling fear of something innocuous that leads to avoidance of events or situations that may bring about feelings of extreme fear, panic, or dread. Phobias may be based upon an object (snakes) or a situation (heights).

Social phobia (social anxiety disorder) is a debilitating fear of being seen in a negative way in public that may cause a person to avoid social situations and appear to be extremely shy. It can be hard for people who have social phobia to productively work or go to school without feelings of extreme anxiety and dread.

Fortunately, anxiety disorders are an eminently treatable mental disorder. However, the shame and stigma surrounding mental disorders may prevent some people from taking the necessary steps and seeking treatment for their disorders. With proper care and therapies, people who have anxiety disorders can go on to lead normal, productive, and fulfilled lives.

Statistics

Statistics for anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting about 20% of the population at any given time. This means that about 40 million men and women living in the United States suffer from anxiety leading to unnecessary fearfulness, worry, and stress. It’s been reported that approximately 8% of teens aged 13 to 18 have an anxiety disorder; symptoms most commonly appear around age 6.

Causes & Risk Factors

Causes & risk factors for anxiety

It’s generally presumed by experts in the field that anxiety disorders are not caused by one particular factor, rather a combination of factors working together overwhelming the ego. The causes of and risk factors for anxiety disorders include:

Genetic: Anxiety disorders tend to run in families, suggesting a genetic component to these disorders. People who have a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) who have an anxiety disorder are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than others without a similar family history.

Physical: Neuroimaging of the brains of people who have anxiety disorders has shown that there are specific areas of the brain – the amygdala and the hippocampus – that are involved in anxiety disorders.

Environmental: Significant life experiences and stressors, both acute or ongoing, that overwhelm a person’s ability to cope can lead to the development of anxiety disorders.

Risk Factors:

  • Being female – women are 60% more likely than men to experience anxiety disorders
  • Experiencing military combat
  • Childhood trauma, neglect, or abuse
  • Chronic health disorder, can lead to constant worry about health and finances
  • Stress
  • Personality types
  • Substance abuse can exacerbate anxiety disorders
Symptoms

Symptoms of anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety disorders will vary based upon type of anxiety disorder, frequency of symptoms, presence of co-occurring disorders, and severity of the disorder. The most common symptoms of anxiety disorders may include:

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Inability to fulfill responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Easily startled
  • Twitchiness
  • Decreasing abilities to perform activities of daily living
  • Using more and increasing amounts of drugs or alcohol to relieve symptoms

Physical Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Muscle tension and aches
  • Headaches
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Nightmares
  • Pounding heart
  • Tremors in fine muscles
  • Dizziness

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mind going blank
  • Irrational fear and dread

Psychosocial Symptoms:

  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling as though danger is around every corner
  • Constant obsession and concern about small or large problems
  • Flashbacks
Effects

Effects of anxiety

If left untreated, the effects of anxiety disorders will permeate every aspect of an individual’s life. Long-term effects of untreated anxiety disorders may vary based upon individual genetic makeup, presence of co-occurring disorders, and severity of symptoms. The effects of anxiety disorders may include:

  • Substance addiction
  • Social isolation
  • Job loss or scholastic failure
  • Migraines
  • Bruxism
  • Digestive or bowel problems
  • Insomnia
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal ideations and behaviors
Co-Occurring Disorders

Anxiety & co-occurring disorders

Anxiety disorders are often accompanied by other types of co-occurring mental disorders. The most common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Depression

Highland Ridge really opened my eyes and helped me change my way of thinking.

– Rebecca N.