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How to Treat Anxiety Disorder

Tuesday, 28 Jun 2011 04:28 PM

There is currently no cure for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but if you are diagnosed, a doctor can treat your symptoms. Treatment for anxiety aims to restore a person’s ability to function normally during everyday activities. Reducing or eliminating the symptoms of GAD is the key to treating the condition.

Once you have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, your doctor will most likely recommend psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. It may take a little trial and error to find the best treatment plan for your anxiety.

Several different types of medications are employed during the treatment of anxiety including:

• Antidepressants: These medications can balance brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, which are thought to play a part in anxiety disorders.

Antidepressants commonly used to treat anxiety include:

- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Sertaline (Zoloft)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)

These medications can be habit-forming and may cause drowsiness, reduced muscle coordination, and problems with balance or memory.

Psychotherapy is another method of anxiety treatment. Also called talk therapy or psychological counseling, psychotherapy deals with identifying underlying stressors and concerns that may contribute to anxiety. Once these are discovered, behavioral changes are encouraged that will help a person better cope with feelings of worry.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of psychotherapy used to treat GAD. Mostly used for short-term treatment, CBT teaches specific skills that allow an individual to identify negative thoughts and behaviors and replace them with positive ones. CBT helps to reduce stress and encourages patients to realize that they can take more control over their lives by altering the way they respond to stressful or undesirable situations.

If you have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, see your health care provider to figure out the right treatment for you.

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