For those seeking treatment for anxiety disorders, there are a number of different options available to help them manage and relieve their symptoms. During treatment, people affected by anxiety disorders learn valuable skills that can help them manage their symptoms of anxiety more effectively. Medications can assist in reducing anxiety symptoms especially when a person is actively involved in therapy. There are also various lifestyle and diet changes that people affected by anxiety disorders can do to help improve their condition.
Psychotherapy is a type of counseling that addresses the emotional response to anxiety. During psychotherapy, a person talks to a trained mental health professional about strategies to understand and deal with an anxiety disorder. There are several different types of therapy approaches that can be effective for treating anxiety.
One well-known psychotherapy approaches is interpersonal therapy. During interpersonal therapy, the therapist discusses the patient’s experience of depression and significant relationship problems and helps him or her find more effective ways to deal with his or her problems. There are a number of different approaches of talk therapy that are tailored to the individual’s needs. Interpersonal therapy can help people with anxiety disorders resolve underlying depression and provide them with techniques to deal with symptoms of anxiety.
Cognitive behavioral therapy –CBT- is another widely used form of therapy for anxiety disorders. It is based on the assumption that our thoughts have a direct influence on our feelings and behaviors. CBT can be conducted in an individual or group therapy setting. During therapy, clients learn to identify, challenge and change their irrational or maladaptive thoughts.
Clients are taught problem-solving skills and learn more effective reactions to anxiety-provoking situations. During therapy, clients are encouraged to practice changing negative thinking patterns and using problem-solving skills they learn in therapy. CBT can be useful for changing thoughts and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings associated with anxiety.
Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing a person to anxiety-provoking stimuli. Exposure therapy can be useful for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or specific phobias. Individuals affected by these disorders will sometimes go out of their way to avoid objects, places or situations that can make their anxiety worse. As therapy progresses, clients become more comfortable with imaginary or real anxiety-provoking stimuli through a process called systematic desensitization. The end goal of exposure therapy is to have the person eventually come face-to-face with the feared object, place or situation.
Eye desensitization movement reprocessing – EMDR – is a nontraditional psychotherapy treatment that is used for the treatment of Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – and other anxiety-related problems. During EMDR, the therapist uses the client’s rapid and rhythmic eye movements to repeatedly activate the right and left hemispheres of the brain while they recall certain traumatic events. Over the course of therapy, the negative emotions that arise when recalling traumatic events weaken and become less disabling as the person is able to process and resolve them.
The most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety are antidepressants which include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclics. Many of these medications are prescribed to alleviate anxiety-related symptoms and underlying depression. An anti-anxiety medication called buspirone can also be used to relieve anxiety, but may take several weeks to begin working. For the short-term relief of acute and severe anxiety symptoms, benzodiazepines may be prescribed if patients do not have a previous or co-occurring substance use problem.
As with most medication, individuals should keep in close contact with their doctor to monitor any adverse side effects the medication could cause.
Alternative therapeutic options
There are a few alternative methods used to help a person on their road to recovery from anxiety that prove helpful.
Relaxation techniques can be a great help when dealing with anxiety. Mind-body approaches involve the use of mindfulness, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation techniques to reduce the impact of stress on the body and mind. Relaxation techniques are effective for managing stress, increasing relaxation and promoting well-being. Some of the common relaxation techniques include visualization, autogenic relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, hypnosis, massage, meditation, tai chi, yoga, biofeedback and music and art therapy.
Additionally, people with anxiety disorders are encouraged to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle to help get their anxiety under control. Many people are advised to avoid the use of alcohol and sedatives and reduce or eliminate nicotine and caffeine, as these substances can make anxiety worse. People who begin exercising regularly, practicing relaxation techniques, eating healthy, reaching out to supportive family and friends, using positive coping methods and getting adequate sleep often experience more improvement from therapy and greater relief from their anxiety.
Find help today
For those who are dealing with anxiety or know someone who is, help is available. Contact Anxiety Disorder Treatment Arizona for more information on anxiety disorders and where to find treatment.