How to Treat Anxiety

Monday, 28 Mar 2011 03:09 PM

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An anxiety disorder can be crippling to the person who suffers from it. In mild cases it can keep a person out of certain situations and cause occasional anxiety attacks. In its most severe forms anxiety can cause a person to not be able to leave their home or function and they might have many panic attacks during the day. It's possible to treat as long as there is someone who knows how to treat anxiety.

There are three main ways to treat anxiety. They are with behavioral therapy, medication, or with a combination of the three. All three treatments have their advantages and disadvantages.

Medication can stop an anxiety attack in just a few minutes. However, some of the medications run the risk of addiction. Anti-anxiety medicines like Valium and Ativan are used to stop or relieve the symptoms of anxiety attacks, but they aren't practical for long-term use. Anti-depressants like Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Celexa can help with not just depression but can also treat anxiety. Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand. The only people who can prescribe medicines are primary care physicians or psychiatrists.

The best kind of therapy to get for anxiety treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT focuses on thoughts and how thoughts influence behaviors and actions and the other way around. Using CBT to treat an anxiety disorder allows the patient to learn new ways of thinking that are healthier. A psychologist or other mental health professional trained in CBT can do this kind of treatment.

For people who choose to treat their anxiety with a combination it is important to make sure that the therapist and psychiatrist talk to each other so they both know what is going on. An easy way to do this is to make sure that they are both with the same mental health agency. Of course, it is possible for the psychiatrist to be the one conducting therapy.

No matter which line of treatment that an anxiety sufferer chooses it is important for them to track their illness and be honest with their mental health professional, otherwise they won't get the treatment they need for their anxiety.

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