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Treatment For Anxiety Disorder

May 26

Anxiety disorders may benefit from the use of medication in some cases. Many patients find that therapy, either on its own or in conjunction with medication, is the most beneficial course of action. Counseling, unlike medication, teaches you how to manage your anxiety in the now and in the future.

Anxiety can be treated using a variety of therapy modalities, ranging from traditional psychoanalytic methods to the most cutting-edge cognitive behavioral techniques.

What You Need To Know About Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety affects nearly 19% of Americans over the age of 18 and 31% of 13 to 18-year-olds, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

The following are some of the most frequent types of anxiety disorders that may be treated using therapeutic methods:

  • Anxiety illness.
  • OCD is a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • PhobiasThere are signs and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
  • Worry about how others would react in social settings (SAD).
  • Anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can emerge after exposure to a stressful event.

Disorders often have similar underlying causes, independent of their specific symptoms. In order to keep their responses under control, people with anxiety may try to avoid situations that provoke their anxiety. Unfortunately, suppressing worries and anxieties in this manner just serves to exacerbate them. Modern treatment focuses on overcoming anxiety-inducing habits of negative thinking and avoidance.


Treatment For Anxiety Disorders

Therapists employ a variety of approaches, but they all have the same goal: to help you better understand what makes you feel the way you do. In certain cases, anxiety therapy will instruct you on how to reframe your negative thoughts and change your behaviors via the application of practical skills you learn in the course.

Treatment for anxiety disorders is based on the individual's specific symptoms and diagnosis. Everyone from a family to a couple can take part in this activity. Your specific symptoms and diagnosis will guide how often and how long you see your therapist.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals employ anxiety treatment in many different ways. Treatment options are influenced by the severity of your symptoms and your diagnosis.


It's Called CBT For Short

Anxiety problems are frequently treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) (CBT). In study, SAD, GAD, phobias, and panic disorders have all been found to benefit from its usage.

According to CBT, what you think and how you feel and act are influenced by what you think, rather than what you really experience. Cognitive behavioral therapy's (CBT) goal is to help you identify and change your negative thoughts, habits, and coping mechanisms.

This is when your therapist will act as a mentor, guiding you through the process of learning new ways to cope effectively. You could, for example, assume that everything is either good or bad in "black-and-and-white" terms. These concepts would be replaced with more genuine experiences of varied hues of gray.

It requires practice and patience to master these strategies. Fear, panic, and concern may be managed by using the coping methods you acquired in CBT to identify your anxiety and triggers.



Psychiatric Treatment

Many anxiety disorders can be treated using exposure therapy, which is commonly used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). By confronting one's concerns head-on, exposure therapy teaches one to conquer them.

During exposure therapy, your therapist will progressively expose you to objects or circumstances that cause anxiety in you. A procedure known as "systematic desensitization" is usually used to achieve this goal, which comprises three steps:

  • Relaxation methods will be taught to you by your therapist in order to help you deal with your anxiety. Relaxation training may take several forms, the most common of which are progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, and guided imagery.
  • List: Make a list of the things that make you anxious, and then rank the severity of those triggers.
  • Finally, you'll work your way through the topics or circumstances you've underlined, incorporating relaxing methods as appropriate, in this last step.

A range of methods are available to your psychologist for exposing you to anxiety-inducing stimuli. The most often encountered examples include:

  • Imagine the object or situation that is causing you anxiety. You will be instructed to do this in this type of exposure.
  • Anxiety-inducing objects or situations are exposed in a real-life context using the technique known as "in vivo exposure." As a result of this exposure, a person who suffers from social anxiety may be requested to give a speech in front of an audience.
  • Exposure through virtual reality is a viable alternative to in-person testing in some situations. The use of technology in conjunction with elements of in vivo and imaginal exposure is at the heart of virtual reality therapy. This method has shown to be quite effective for soldiers and people with post-traumatic stress disorder.


Psychotherapy Based On Dialectical Reasoning (DBT)

DBT, a kind of cognitive behavioral therapy, has shown tremendous success in treating mental health issues. Even though DBT was first designed for the treatment of BPD, it is currently utilized to address a wide range of disorders, including anxiety.

You will learn to see things from a "dialectical" perspective, to accept yourself and to change. Learn to accept your anxiety while simultaneously working on changing it throughout DBT treatment. Appreciating who you are but also striving to become a better version of yourself is a good example of self-acceptance.

DBT treatment teaches four key skills, which are:

  • Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment and noting fleeting thoughts (such as anxiety) without allowing them to control one's actions.
  • Anxiety management is essential when presented with challenging situations.
  • How well you interact with others Recognizing when to say "no" and when to make your needs known.
  • Controlling worry before it gets out of hand is an important part of emotional regulation.


Acknowledgment And Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of anxiety disorders (ACT). ACT is the process of identifying your own values and then acting in accordance with them.


Therapy Via The Medium Of Art

Therapy via art is nonverbal, experiential, and non-judgmental. Visual art (painting, drawing, sculpting) may be used to express and process one's feelings, or it can be used to practice mindfulness and relaxation. Despite the fact that it may be used on its own, CBT is most often employed in combination with it.

Because it is a more recent approach to therapy, more research is needed to establish its efficacy in reducing anxiety symptoms.


According to Freud's theory, anxiety symptoms signify hidden tensions in the mind. Psychoanalytic treatment aims to assist people overcome their difficulties. With the help of a therapist, you may gain a deeper knowledge of who you are and how to deal with your anxiety through psychoanalysis. This is one of the most extensive forms of treatment, and it might take years to find patterns in your thinking.

However, despite the fact that these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, psychoanalysis is a subset of psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Psychiatric Counseling (IT)

A kind of psychotherapy known as interpersonal therapy (IPT) is concerned with social roles and relationships. Interpersonal challenges such as unresolved sorrow, arguments with family or friends, changes in employment or social roles, and interpersonal problems will be identified by you and your therapist in IPT. Emotional expression and improving interpersonal relationships will be covered in the following sections.

Anxiety disorders such as SAD can benefit from IPT, despite the fact that it was originally meant to treat severe depression.

Attending Therapy: What To Expect

When it comes to treatment, a common fallacy is that you'll feel better immediately. As a general rule, this isn't true. There is a catch, however: You may actually become worse before you get better. Symptoms getting worse is sometimes an indication that things are getting better. Thinking about it, this makes sense.

It's common for people to seek treatment from a therapist when they've been unable to deal with their anxiety on their own. A more in-depth look at your anxiety and the elements that lead to it may be found in therapy. As a result, anxiety levels may spike for a short period of time.

Nothing about therapy should ever be taken for granted as a cure-all solution. Each person goes through the process differently. When it comes to your treatment, the skills you learn, and the amount of time you spend with a therapist, your anxiety and the severity of your symptoms are all factors.

It's vital to remember that, despite the fact that the journey may not be easy, the destination will be well worth it.


To Maximize Therapy's Positive Impact, Here Are Some Tips

It may be tough to make a change. Being in an anxiety treatment program isn't the only thing that's different. In any event, if you persevere, you'll see some improvement.

Tips for getting the most out of your therapy and achieving your desired outcomes include the following:

  • Don't pretend everything is OK.
  • Inquire about something.
  • Your therapist should have access to all of your thoughts and feelings.
  • Work outside of scheduled sessions.
  • Keep your sights set on the prize.
  • Make wise selections about your lifestyle.
  • Make sure you have a network of friends and family to lean on.
  • Reducing the stressors in your life that are causing you to feel anxious.

For example, as you can see, putting in effort and staying present throughout therapy will have the largest influence on your success.