Treatment For Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a normal part of the human experience, but when it interferes with daily life and makes you feel physically ill, it may be a sign that you have an anxiety disorder. Your doctor can diagnose your anxiety and prescribe medication or therapy to help relieve your symptoms.
Your health care provider will examine you, ask questions about your medical history, and run tests to rule out physical conditions that might be causing your anxiety. They might also refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health specialists will ask you questions, use tools and testing to find out if you have an anxiety disorder, and work with you to treat your symptoms.
Treatment for anxiety disorders includes psychotherapy, exercise and medications. The combination of these three elements is most effective for some people with anxiety disorders, but each person has a different type of anxiety disorder and will need a different treatment plan.
Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and applied relaxation, are used to teach you new strategies to manage your anxiety. They involve working with a therapist who will encourage you to recognise, challenge and change the thoughts and behaviours that cause your anxiety symptoms.
Self-care methods, such as taking regular exercise and avoiding alcohol and other drugs, can reduce your anxiety symptoms. They can also improve your quality of life and increase your energy.
Medication for anxiety is often prescribed in conjunction with psychotherapy and self-care, or it can be used as an alternative. Your doctor will work with you to decide which medications are best for your specific condition, and how long they should be used.
Antidepressants are the most common and safest way to treat anxiety disorders. They help to control the levels of certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters that make you feel stressed and anxious. They can also be used to treat phobias, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder.
Your doctor will probably want to monitor how well the medication works for you, so they can adjust it if necessary. They also want to know if you are using other medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs, and how they are helping or not.
Benzodiazepines are sedatives that can be very helpful for some people with severe anxiety. They can be prescribed as a short-term treatment and are usually only used for 2 to 4 weeks at a time. They can be used in combination with other antidepressants or a beta blocker to control your heart rate and blood pressure.
Hydroxyzine, which is similar to a benzodiazepine, is another medication that can be prescribed for some people with phobias and panic disorder. It helps decrease your anxiety, but it does not cause addiction or side effects that affect your sleep.
In general, the most effective medications for treating anxiety are short-term sedatives. These are usually benzodiazepines, such as diazepam and clonazepam.
The risk of side effects from these medications is low, but some people have reported allergic reactions to them. They can also affect your blood pressure, heart rate and kidney function.