Anxiety Treatment: Therapy that Combats Stress. Almost all cases of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, post-traumatic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and others can be treated through behavioral therapy and through medication.
The common mental therapy treatment options for people suffering from anxiety disorders are cognitive behavioral therapy, stress relieving or relaxation therapy, exercise, and group therapy. Even though the methods of anxiety treatment may be different, all the above-mentioned treatments rely on one underlying principle: i.e. to induce strength and resilience in the individual to be able to face any unpleasant life situation and to face the sources of stress, imaginary or real, with fortitude. If anxiety interferes with daily activities, a person may need treatment with medicines (such as antidepressants or antianxiety medications) and/or professional counseling.
Anxiety disorders are a type of mental illness characterized by severe anxiety that interferes with a person’s life. Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear, uneasiness, or concern that something bad is about to happen.
Anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder, which involves several months of ongoing physical symptoms that occur along with anxiety.
- Panic disorders, which involve repeated episodes of sudden fear and feelings of danger or impending doom, along with physical symptoms.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder, which involves frequent, repeated thoughts leading to repeated or persistent behavior (such as excessive hand-washing).
- Posttraumatic stress disorder, which involves reliving a traumatic event (such as a war experience or rape) and feelings of numbness and disinterest in daily activities.
These disorders can be treated with medicines and/or counseling. (VA Health Library)
One of the most popular anxiety treatment options for anxiety disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy, is based on the principle that our emotions influence our behavior. So, for an individual to function effectively, it is essential that he should think positively and harbor constructive thoughts. The therapist helps the individual to recognize the thoughts and the beliefs that are unpleasant to the individual and strengthens him by devising a strategy to face the situations and thoughts that are unpleasant and fear to provoke for him. The cognitive behavioral therapy includes lessons on slow breathing, relaxation techniques and education about anxiety, as well.
Relaxation therapy, another popular means of anxiety treatment, educates the individual about various relaxation techniques that help him to release the muscular and the psychological tension that he experiences every time he faces an undesirable situation. The relaxation techniques could include exercises on slow breathing, isometric relaxation, meditation, visualization, and self-hypnosis. The individual should practice these relaxation techniques on a regular basis and especially when he feels that he may experience an anxiety attack soon, due to the increase in the anxiety level triggered by some unpleasant source.
Mental health therapies are always a better option than prescription medicines because of the side effects that are often associated with the use of prescription drugs. Also, prescription drugs do not alter the behavior of the individual or help him face the unpleasant situations but only provide relief from the anxiety and stress on a short-term basis. On the other hand, behavioral therapies like the ones mentioned above have been proven to be effective, non-drug induced anxiety treatment to combat anxiety that is also recommended by the doctors themselves.
VA Health Library
ARMY MWR Library
Originally posted 2013-06-24 10:43:51.