An anxiety disorder can be very stressful and challenging, but some psychologists can help you deal with the symptoms. HealthTap brings you the best health-related knowledge, which can play a vital role in identifying and answering your health queries efficiently with the help of our medical professionals. These professionals are trained to diagnose the causes of your anxiety and treat them using various techniques. This includes medications, psychotherapy, and activities to help you manage the symptoms.
Fortunately, psychologists are trained to identify and treat anxiety disorders. They aim to help you better understand what causes your symptoms and give you the tools to manage them.
Anxiety disorders are often treated with a combination of medications and counseling. Medications help alleviate physical symptoms, while counselling provides tools to manage your thoughts and emotions.
Some of the most used treatments for anxiety disorders are cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and art therapy. Psychotherapy is the most effective form of treatment for anxiety.
Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches people to think and behave differently. It is also effective for relapse prevention. In cognitive behavioral therapy, patients will be encouraged to take a different approach to anxiety-provoking situations. This is similar to how a person with diabetes learns to take medication to control the symptoms.
Panic disorder and Phobias
Whether you suffer from panic disorder or phobias, psychological therapy can help. Psychologists can also help you learn ways to cope with panic attacks.
Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches people with panic disorder how to think differently about their fears. It also helps patients understand why they worry so much.
Exposure therapy is another method of treatment. In this therapy, the patient is exposed to a mildly threatening situation. After exposure to the threat, one is taught how to cope with the situation without fear. This can include checking in for a flight, looking at videos of planes in flight, or packing for a trip.
A phobia is an intense fear of a particular object or situation. People with phobias typically avoid the thing or situation that causes the dread.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder and PTSD
PTSD and obsessive-compulsive disorder can often be co-occurring. Both diseases involve symptoms of anxiety, repetitive behaviors, and recurring thoughts that are triggered by a traumatic event. However, these disorders are not always connected.
Some mental health experts believe that the two conditions are different from each other. Others feel that they are merely overlapping. Some experts say that it is crucial to treat each situation separately. But the jury is still out. In the meantime, patients should seek treatment.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder and PTSD co-occur in about 30 percent of people who have experienced a traumatic event. These patients are more likely to develop hypervigilance. They engage in repetitive behaviors to avoid situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Some of these behaviors are directly related to the underlying fear. Others are meant to protect loved ones from disasters.
Medications and Activities
Medications and activities for anxiety disorders can effectively control your symptoms and improve your quality of life. However, it would help if you discussed these treatments with your healthcare provider. It would be best if you also talked to your family about your anxiety.
You can choose from various medications and activities for anxiety disorders. These include antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Antidepressants help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Benzodiazepines are sedatives that help reduce symptoms of stress within thirty to ninety minutes.
Anxiety disorders can also be treated through psychological therapy. Psychological therapy teaches you to change your thinking and behavior to prevent anxiety-related responses. This can be done through cognitive behavioral therapy or exposure therapy.
There are also complementary therapies to help you improve your mental health. This can include meditation and exercise. You can also eat healthfully and avoid substances that worsen your symptoms.
Psychotherapy for anxiety disorders
Depending on the symptoms and severity of the disorder, psychotherapy for anxiety disorders can vary in terms of the number of sessions required, the length of treatment, and the types of techniques used. However, all medicines have one common goal: to help the patient identify the root of their anxiety and teach them coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms.
The most common type of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). In this therapy, a therapist teaches the patient techniques to counteract the negative behaviors that trigger anxiety. These techniques might include building a tolerance for triggers, learning to avoid anxiety-provoking situations, or learning to deal with anxiety-provoking emotions.
A related type of therapy is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR). EMDR uses repetitive eye movements to help the patient process feelings of anxiety. This therapy is beneficial for people who have posttraumatic stress disorder.