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Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety Disorders

Extreme and excessive effects of anxiety result in anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Anxiety disorder treatment usually involves different forms of therapy and administration of anxiety medication. Proper treatment will help people suffering from anxiety disorders to lead normal lives.

What are Anxiety Disorders?

All of us exhibit anxiety. It is our body's natural response to fear, worry, and anticipation. At some point in life you would have experienced feeling jittery, butterflies in the stomach, or heart pounding in your ears. But, it is only when worries and fears begin to disrupt everyday activities it becomes a matter of concern. Thus, anxiety disorders arise when anxiety becomes excessive. Anxiety disorders cover a wide range of related conditions. Statistics quote that nearly 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety. 

Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Anxiety disorder symptoms are highly variable in patients. Patients may experience both physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety. The most prominent symptom is irrational and overwhelming fear and worry. Common physical symptoms of anxiety include tremors and twitches, sweating, frequent urination or diarrhea, stomach upset, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and shortness of breath. Emotional symptoms include restlessness, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, and feeling tense.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are generally categorized as:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
  • Specific Phobias

Anxiety Disorder Treatment

If you find symptoms of anxiety disorder, it is advisable to contact your family physician immediately. He/she can diagnose whether you are actually suffering from anxiety or other physical disorders. If the diagnosis reveals that you have any one type of above mentioned anxiety disorders, then it is mandatory to seek the professional guidance of a psychiatrist who can help you overcome anxiety. 

Traditional methods: Commonly applied anxiety disorder treatment methods include psycho-social treatments and medication.

  • Psycho-social Treatments: Psycho-social treatments include psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, anxiety management, and relaxation therapies. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the best methods used to cure anxiety disorders. It helps to identify and change the negative-thinking patterns that cause unnecessary fear.  Cognitive-behavioral therapy also helps the patients to change the way they react to anxiety-provoking situations. Exposure therapy aims to eliminate anxiety by repeatedly exposing a patient to his or her fears in a safe and controlled environment. It will help them to face fears without having to worry about getting harmed.
  • Medications: Benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants are the four commonly-prescribed anxiety medications. Benzodiazepines are used for short-term treatments. SSRIs enhance neurotransmission and help to improve mood and concentration, and are widely prescribed anxiety medication for treating anxiety disorders. Though highly effective, tricyclic antidepressants have unpleasant side effects. As always, such anxiety drugs should only be take under strict medical supervision.

Other methods:

Apart from traditional anxiety treatments, there are other new ways to reduce anxiety.

  • Aromatherapy can be used to relieve a patient from anxiety disorder using essential oils, which provide complete relaxation.
  • Essential oils are used in massages and baths to calm mind and body, which in turn help to overcome unnecessary fear and phobia.
  • Floral fragrances, such as lavender, rose, vanilla, and neroli; herbal remedies like passion flower extract, and Valerian extract; amino acid like L-theanine and gamma-aminobutyric acid will also reduce anxiety symptoms. 
  • Acupuncture is one of the oldest therapies, combined with herbology, diet, energy-     cultivation exercises, and life-style counseling, can be effectively used in anxiety disorders.
  • Changes in the diet will also help to uplift the mood. A healthy wholesome diet consisting of fruits and vegetable and reduced caffeine content will definitely offer relief from anxiety.