Treatment For Anxiety Disorders
There are two types of treatments that are effective treatments for an anxiety disorder. They are medication management and specific types of psychotherapy. Both approaches can be effective for most disorders either together or psychotherapy without medication can also be most effective if medication is not needed.
The first thing that is done at the doctor’s or therapist’s office is the diagnostic evaluation which will help the doctor determine if you have an anxiety disorder, which one you have and any coexisting conditions that may be present. If the coexisting disorder is having a big impact that it may be necessary to treat that first before the anxiety.
If medication is needed for the anxiety disorder, this is usually prescribed by a psychiatrist or sometimes by a family doctor. Ask your doctor about the side effects of the drug and how the drug is supposed to work to help you. Many of the medications for anxiety must be taken daily and cannot be stopped abruptly but must be tapered off slowly.
The recommended treatment for most anxiety disorders whether medication is needed or not is psychotherapy. This involves talking with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, counselor, psychotherapist or social worker to learn how to deal with problems like anxiety disorder.
Some of the most effective psychotherapies for anxiety disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), behavior therapy and a treatment approach called exposure and response therapy. These types of therapies usually last around 12 weeks. Many “homework” assignments are also given to the patient to work on between sessions.
Stress management techniques, meditation or guided imagery may help to calm the patient down and enhance the effects of therapy. Also exercise, yoga and other forms of aerobic activity may be of value. Of course, anyone with an anxiety disorder should consider decreasing or eliminating their use of caffeine or any illicit drugs.
So if you are suffering with an anxiety disorder, please seek help with a professional mental health worker in your area and consider the different forms of treatment we have discussed above.
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