Anxiety disorders – 4: Treatment options for anxiety disorders

It is normal for people to occasionally feel anxious in some situations. Being anxious prepares a person to face a new situation, but when anxiety begins to affect one’s daily life it can become a problem. Feeling anxious without any specific cause for a long period is known as anxiety disorder. It is a disease that needs treatment. People with anxiety disorder feel anxious and cannot control the feeling. There are different types of effective treatments available for people with anxiety disorders.

In the first three articles of the series, “Anxiety Disorders,” types of anxiety disorders, the major symptoms and the diagnostic processes have been discussed. In this article, the various treatment options for people with the disorder are explored.

Treatment options for anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorder can be improved through various treatment options, which may include medications and inpatient therapies. The most common treatment options for the disorder are the following:

  1. Medication

The medications used for the treatment of anxiety disorders may be antidepressants, anticonvulsant medicines and low-dose antipsychotics.

  1. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Valium (diazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam) and other anxiety-reducing drugs may be used to treat anxiety. There are some side effects of benzodiazepines, such as drowsiness, dizziness and blurred vision etc.
  2. SSRIs, including Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro and Celexa have been used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. SSRI’s can have side effects, such as headaches, nervousness and dry mouth.
  3. Buspirone, or BuSpar, is a relatively newer anti-anxiety drug that is a mild tranquilizer. It is slow-acting but has fewer side effects, which may include dizziness, drowsiness and upset stomach.
  4. Beta blockers such as propranolol (Inderal) and atenolol (Tenormin) are also used as off-label anti-anxiety drugs. They may produce side effects, such as sleepiness, constipation and dizziness.
  1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a form of counseling used to address the emotional symptoms of mental illness. It is used to make the patients aware of the common symptoms and results of specific mental illnesses. During this process, a trained mental health professional helps a patient by introducing and talking them through strategies for better understanding of the diseases and to know how to deal with the disorder that is present in that particular patient. The therapies may include behavioral or cognitive aspects of the treatment and teaching coping skills.

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat anxiety disorder. It is a particular type of psychotherapy where the patient learns to understand and change the thought patterns and anxiety-related behaviors that lead to problems.

  1. Dietary and lifestyle changes

Doctors may also recommend specific dietary and lifestyle changes to help deal with anxiety. These may include reducing specific items, such as refined sugar, additives etc., and adding some healthful dietary options, such as fruits and vegetables.

  1. Relaxation therapy

Relaxation therapy is a way to calm the anxious mind with the help of yoga, meditation or other techniques. As anxiety is considered to be an excited state of mind, various breathing techniques that are used in these processes can be beneficial for those with anxiety.

If you have anxiety, seek treatment

Some people think that anxiety will just disappear. The fact is it is a mental illness and requires treatment. The earlier treatment is begun, the better the outcome can be. Procrastinating may lead to a worsening of the condition.

If you or a loved one are suffering from anxiety, have an online chat with the Anxiety Disorder Treatment Arizona representatives to learn about the latest progress being made in anxiety disorder treatment in Arizona. You can also locate the best anxiety disorder treatment centers in Arizona by calling our 24/7 helpline number at 866-425-9317.

The remaining parts of the series, “Anxiety Disorders,” can be read at the following URLs:

1: Different types of anxiety disorders

2: Common symptoms of all anxiety disorders

3: Diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders