Anxiety Treatments

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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While less serious anxiety can sometimes be countered with simple relaxation techniques, any significant degree of anxiety requires more intensive measures. Anxiety is usually treated with a combination of therapy and medication. These medications can include antidepressants, as well as herbal, vitamin, and holistic remedies. Therapy is employed in conjunction with the medication in order to help the patient gain control over the thought processes that instigate the anxiety.

One popular method or treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. This approach assists individuals to develop the mental skills necessary to recognize and gain a degree of control over the symptoms of anxiety. These skills help in restoring the cognitive balance that can get disrupted by anxiety and depression. When this balance is restored, an individual is better equipped to deal with anxiety symptoms on his or her own, even after completing therapy.

Cognitive-Behavioral Anxiety Treatments

Individuals suffering from anxiety often benefit from reassessing the way in which they relate to the world around them. One of the more debilitating aspects of anxiety is that it can overshadow the individual's interactions with the real world by placing excessive focus on the "inner world" of fears and doubts. Some types of cognitive behavioral therapy aim to alter this dynamic by re-engineering the individual's associations with fear. This is done by exposing the individual to a situation or emotion that may produce anxiety, under controlled circumstances. As a result, the individual can be taught to observe the details and process of their anxiety reaction, which allows them to understand their own control over such reactions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is founded on the concept that thoughts can regulate some physical reactions. For example, negative, worrisome thoughts experienced during an anxiety episode or a panic attack, serve to exacerbate the attack by creating associations between the physical sensations of the attack, and the panic-stricken thoughts of an individual suffering the attack. In contrast, self-awareness during such an episode has a tendency to alleviate the attack by keeping the individual from losing perspective.


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