Anxiety Treatment

The treatment of anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder and social phobia varies depending on the type and severity of anxiety in the patient. These disorders can be treated through medication as well as psychotherapy and behavior modification. Anxiety treatment may include medication and therapy directed towards seeking relief from the symptoms associated with this condition. Patients suffering from anxiety disorders may find it difficult to concentrate, they may have problems with over or under eating, and they may feel jittery, sweaty and dizzy and may have sleeping problems.

The anxiety treatment largely depends on the disorder and its nature along with the condition of the individual patient. The symptoms, their severity and duration is observed and based on that the treatment plan is determined. Most patients tend to respond fairly well with cognitive behavioral therapy combined with medication.

Behavioral therapy as a part of anxiety treatment is used in a manner wherein the objects or situations that trigger anxiety are identified. The patient is then encouraged to confront this fear and its source. In traditional therapy the patient is encouraged to openly talk about the problems with the therapist while cognitive therapy helps patients to identify problematic or distorted thought patterns and misconceptions that may be contributing to the anxiety.

The medication that may be prescribed as a part of anxiety treatment includes selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like citalopram, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine and venlafaxine. Tricyclic antidepressants like clomipramine and imipramine and anxiety reducing drugs like buspirone and alprazolam along with cardiac drugs like beta blockers may also be prescribed.

Any changes in the medication should be done only under the guidance of the mental health professionals. These medicines also cause some side effects like drowsiness, sedation and so should be taken as per the prescribed doses only. In some cases certain herbal medicine for anxiety disorders may also be incorporated in the anxiety treatment plan.

Meditation and relaxation exercises can play an important and effective role in the treatment. Breathing exercises can relax the body and the mind by reducing chemical imbalances within the body and thereby reduce the anxiety. Physical activity is extremely important in eliminating anxiety. This is because exercise results in release of endorphins in the brain and this helps in reducing depression.

Exercise will also allow patients to be occupied in the physical activity and keep anxiety producing thoughts at bay. Patients experiencing anxiety disorders should also be encouraged to write about their feelings. This will allow them to verbalize their emotions as patients often find it difficult to effectively communicate what they are feeling. Support from family and friends is also an essential element of anxiety treatment.

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