Anxiety disorders can be treated though there are no cures to eliminate anxiety completely.
Medications and therapy can however be used to manage, reduce and help prevent symptoms from occurring.
Furthermore many who complete a prescribed treatment are able to function normally with only occasional symptoms.
Dealing With Anxiety…
Approximately 40 million adults in American have an anxiety disorder. Disorders usually last for at least six months and continue to worsen over time if they are not treated. Many attempt to deal with anxiety on their own, but it is difficult to manage without professional help.
People with anxiety are usually filled with fear, uncertainty and dread. They may also have panic attacks or compulsive behavior. Some individuals are able to function normally if the disorder is not too severe. Those with worsening or severe anxiety may experience problems with work, school and relationships.
Types Of Anxiety…
Treating anxiety depends on the type of anxiety disorder a person has. The most common disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Individual phobias
Treatment for all of these disorders is usually a combination of therapy and medication. The exact medication and type of therapy varies based on the disorder.
Anti-depressants, especially SSRIs and SNRI, are prescribed to treat the majority of anxiety disorders. Other common forms of medication include benzodiazepines, azapirones and beta blockers. Due to the side effects and possible dependency issues, doctors may only prescribe medications for a certain period or they may change the dosage to limit side effects.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and anxiety management therapy are usually used in conjunction with medication or alone. Individuals who do not want to or cannot use prescription medication may be prescribed just therapy to treat their disorder. These types of therapy usually last 12-20 weeks depending on the disorder.
Anxiety disorders that occur as a result of another illness such as drug abuse or depression may require a longer period of therapy. This may last up to a year depending on the severity of the condition. Most individuals are finished by 50 sessions.
Therapy is designed to teach patients to respond more positively to their stress. They are taught how to recognize symptoms and triggers. They use what they have learned to prevent anxiety from worsening and function more normally. Anxiety management therapy focuses more on relaxation techniques and education on the disorder.
Exposure treatment and systematic desensitization are forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy designed to reduce anxiety by desensitizing patients to the cause of the stress. Exposure treatment continues to expose patients with their greatest stressor repeatedly until they are no longer bothered by it. Systematic desensitization works in a similar matter by on a more gradual scale.
Some individuals find talk therapy beneficial after their initial treatment is over. This can include talking to a professional, meeting with family and going to group meetings. These treatments are not cures, but provide individuals with control over their illness. All types of therapy help individuals learn new ways of thinking and how to better manage anxiety.