Anxiety disorders can significantly upset our lives and deplete our stores of mental and emotional energy. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to treat these disorders that have very high rates of success. Below we will discuss several common treatment methods for anxiety disorders:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The objective of this kind of treatment is to change the automatic thoughts, behaviors and emotions that lead to anxiety disorders. Through treatment one can learn to examine one’s thoughts and distinguish between real and exaggerated concerns. In addition, through gradual, controlled exposure to the frightening triggers, people learn how to restore a sense of control over their lives. This method of focused treatment usually reduces the symptoms quite successfully within a short period of time.
The mind and the body are closely connected. By relaxing our bodies we can learn how to relieve the stress and the worries that occupy us. Exercise such as swimming or running can help us to both release tension and raise the level of anxiety reducing hormones. Relaxation techniques are easy to learn and practice at home. In treatment they are generally incorporated in combination with Cognitive Behavioral or other methods of therapy.
Anti-anxiety medication is quite effective in temporarily reducing stress and must be prescribed by a physician. There are a number of medications available that can help to reduce anxiety. The drawbacks of medication include the side effects that often accompany them, as well as the possibility of addiction to the medication, which can occur when it is used for an extended period of time. Research has shown that anti-anxiety medication is most effective when it is used in conjunction with psychological treatment.
Some anxiety disorders have treatments that were specially developed for their unique set of symptoms. For example, those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are advised to turn to specialized trauma treatment.
Where can I find help?
In many large cities there are treatment centers that are often affiliated with hospitals, which specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Community mental health centers or family treatment centers may also be good alternatives. Private practitioners are another option. It is preferable to choose a professional who has plenty of experience treating anxiety disorders. Contact us about our clinicians at METIV.