If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you likely have many types of treatments available to you. For example, you may take medications to help decrease your feelings of anxiety or prevent anxiety attacks when you feel them coming on. Alternatively, you may decide to go to counseling and participate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or group therapy to help figure out the root causes of your anxiety and create healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with your anxiety. Many people opt for a combination of medication and therapy to treat the symptoms while they assess the underlying causes of their anxiety. The best type of treatment for you will depend on several factors.
The Type of Anxiety Disorder You Suffer From
Anxiety manifests in many different forms. There are six major forms of anxiety disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Phobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Within each of these disorders there are a variety of symptoms that may manifest. You may experience some symptoms but not others within any disorder, and you may experience multiple anxiety disorders at the same time. For example, you may suffer from both panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
It is important to work closely with a mental health professional to properly diagnose the type and extent of your anxiety before you decide on a course of treatment, as some anxiety disorders respond better to CBT and others respond better to an initial dose of medication followed by CBT.
How Long You Have Suffered From Anxiety
Anxiety can be acute or chronic. Chronic anxiety is something that you have suffered from over a long period of time. It is often less severe than acute anxiety but can get worse with the added pressures of age. Acute anxiety is often triggered by a recent event in your life. Knowing when your anxiety started can help your medical health professional determine the causes of your anxiety and create a customized treatment plan that helps alleviate your symptoms and empowers you to control your anxiety.
Whether You Have Complementary Disorders
Anxiety disorders are often accompanied by other emotional disorders such as depression and chemical dependence. If you have an associated disorder, it is important that you receive treatment for both disorders. For example, many people with a chemical dependence may have to go to be treated for it before CBT can be effective in treating their anxiety disorder. However, others may need medicinal treatment for their anxiety before they feel ready to get treatment for their chemical dependence.
Your Current Level of Functioning
Many people with anxiety disorders live a somewhat normal life. They are able to hold down a job and maintain relationships. Others with more severe anxiety disorders may not be able to function as well in society. Your current level of functioning along with your current goals will help determine the treatment that is best for you. For example, if you are high-functioning, you may only need a few CBT sessions before you have your anxiety under control. However, if you struggle to complete everyday tasks, you may need several months of therapy before you can function in society. In these cases, you may want to boost your process with the assistance of short-term medication.
Your Support Network
Often, people who suffer from anxiety suffer alone. However, you may have a support network that consists of family, friends, or a spouse. If you have someone close to you who is helping you deal with your disorder, you may want to opt for couples counseling or family counseling in addition to individual counseling. This will help them support you and also allow your support network to learn more about your disorder while practicing self-care.
Your specific treatment for an anxiety disorder will depend on many factors. It is important to thoroughly discuss your treatment options with a mental health professional, such as those at The Center for Family Counseling, Inc., before deciding on a treatment plan.Share