Anxiety Disorder TreatmentBelieve it or not, a little anxiety is actually a good thing. We all have anxiety and it helps to motivate us in our daily life, from meeting deadlines to studying for an important test. If you are finding that you are overly anxious, though, and just can't function anymore, you may have an anxiety disorder. And that means it's time to take action.
Diagnosing Anxiety Disorder
There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders, therefore your health care provider will need to do some investigation before a proper diagnosis can be made. To do this, your health care provider will analyze your specific symptoms in an attempt to determine just which type of anxiety disorder you actually have. It is important to be as clear and as detailed as possible about your symptoms, so that your health care provider can make an accurate diagnosis.
During diagnosis, your medical history will be taken and, in some cases, a medical exam may be performed. It is possible to have other psychiatric disorders concurrently with an anxiety disorder. You should make your doctor aware of any past history of mental disorders or drug abuse.
Overcoming anxiety can be challenging but also extremely rewarding. Depending upon your anxiety disorder, there are numerous available treatments to reduce your symptoms. Anti-anxiety medications, panic attack treatments, and natural treatments for anxiety are all beneficial. Before trying any treatment, though, it is important for you to speak with your health care provider to ensure that it is the right choice for you.
Anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants are a popular way to treat various anxiety disorders. Some medications work better on certain types of anxiety disorders than others. Medications usually take a few weeks to begin to work, so it is important to continue to take your medication even if you don't see signs of improvement.
Panic Disorder: Panic disorder, characterized by severe panic attacks, is usually treated with antidepressants, including Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). These operate by changing levels of neurotransmitters in your brain, which are chemicals responsible for sending and receiving sensory messages and controlling mood. Popular SSRIs include Prozac, Zoloft, and Celexa. MAOIs include Nardil and Parnate. 70% to 90% of people with panic disorder can be effectively treated with antidepressants.
Social Phobia: Social phobia causes extreme feelings of anxiety and worry when you are in any social environment. This disorder can also be treated effectively with antidepressants, including the tricyclic antidepressant Imipramine, and the MAOI Nardil. Sometimes, beta-blocking medication, usually prescribed to treat heart disease, can also alleviate social anxiety.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD causes chronic anxiety and worries in the sufferer. You may find yourself worrying constantly over every little thing. This anxiety disorder is usually treated using benzodiazepines or the new, non-addictive drug buspirone.
Specific Phobias: Specific phobias cause anxiety about one thing in particular, such as snakes, heights, or flying. These phobias aren't usually treated with medication, unless they are particularly severe. Antidepressants and benzodiazepines are sometimes prescribed.
Psychotherapy, often called "talk" therapy, is highly recommended for those suffering from anxiety disorders. In particular, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) seems to help people restructure their thought patterns and overcome their anxiety. CBT teaches people with anxiety how to avoid negative thought patterns and to challenge negative thinking. It also provides them with a way to expose themselves to anxiety in a safe, controlled environment.
Natural Treatments for Anxiety
Natural remedies for anxiety can also be very effective methods of treatment. Before trying any natural remedy, consult your doctor or a certified professional. If your anxiety is mild, or if you are already taking another treatment, try these natural ways to combat panic disorders and anxiety attacks:
Herbal Supplements: Herbal supplements can boost your body's ability to fight anxiety and improve relaxation. St. John's Wort is the most popular treatment, with effects seen in 2 to 6 weeks. Valerian root works to improve sleep by minimizing stress and relaxing the nerves. Kava Kava is excellent for short-term relief of panic and anxiety. Passionflower helps to calm the whole body, making it easier to manage anxiety.
Diet: B complex vitamins are indicated in the creation of neurotransmitters, which help to improve mood and control communication between nerves in the brain. Inositol is a component found in B vitamins, which can be found naturally in cantaloupe, nuts, wheat, beans, and oranges, or in supplement form.
Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy baths or facials can really help the body reduce stress and deal with anxiety. Try a bath with one of these scents bergamot, cypress, lavender, lime, or jasmine.
Massage: Massage helps to ease anxiety by relaxing your muscles, improving joint function, and inducing sleep. Try getting a massage from a friend, or, better yet, from a professional, once a week.
Yoga: Any type of exercise will help to reduce your anxiety and prevent panic attacks, but yoga is especially effective. Yoga helps to build natural coping methods to deal with anxiety, including meditation and proper breathing. It also relaxes the body by stretching the muscles.