Treatment of Anxiety Disorder

A combination of medicine and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) works best for patients with anxiety disorder.

Medications that may be used include -

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the choice of drugs for treating anxiety disorders.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can also be used.
  • Antidepressants and some anti-seizure drugs can be used in severe cases.
  • Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam, clonazepam and lorazepam may be used for short-term if antidepressants do not help enough with symptoms. Long-term use can lead to dependence.
  • A medicine called buspirone may also be used.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy -

It helps the patient understand his behavior and how to gain control over it. During the therapy a trained mental health professional helps the patient with -

  • Understanding and gaining control of his distorted views of life stressors, such as other people's behavior or life events.
  • Recognizing and replacing panic-causing thoughts.
  • Decreasing the sense of helplessness.
  • Managing stress and relaxing when symptoms occur.
  • Avoid thinking that minor worries will develop into severe problems.

Progressive relaxation therapy -

  • Tensing and relaxing individual muscle groups
  • Deep breathing exercises

Dietary and lifestyle changes -

  • Avoid caffeine and illicit drugs.
  • Exercise, rest and good nutrition can help reduce the impact of anxiety.

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