Fighting Anxiety: The treatments (Part III)

Stop Anxiety - Treatment options 8-6-15At last! The post you were waiting for: Part III of the Anxiety series – The Treatment options. Wow! There is a lot of information on treating anxiety and I tried to condense it in this post for you to get a good start.
Please remember that this series (Part I, Part II, and Part III) on anxiety is not geared to diagnose or treat anyone with anxiety. It is to raise awareness and to have a starting point when talking to your doctor about the issue.

“But then there are times it becomes a more serious problem and one needs help”

Everybody deals with anxiety at some point and at different levels, right? To keep it together, we find healthy ways to pre-empt it. But then there are times it becomes a more serious problem and one needs help.  In this post, I have used resources and information from leading institutions on anxiety like: the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), Beyond Blue, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), to help you garner more knowledge about the different treatment options for anxiety to help you start a discussion with your healthcare provider.
The most common treatment options include Medication, Complementary and Alternative Practices, and Therapy.

 

Note

The intervention has potential risks, mainly in terms of side-effects.

 Medication

This infographic, courtesy of BeyondBlue.org

This infographic, courtesy of BeyondBlue.org

This can be a solid option when treating anxiety and there are many different types out there. For convenience purposes, I have provided you the link to it here. When you discuss this option with your doctor, it is beyond important to ask the following questions to help you both make a viable decision in your treatment:
• How does this medication work, what is the expected outcome?
• What are the common side effects of this medication?
• Does it interact with any foods or beverages?
• Does this medication interact with other prescriptions?
• What type of lifestyle change should I undergo to optimize the effect of the medication? (when in the day should you take it, do you take it with/without food, does it affect my thinking, does it cause dizziness, etc.)
• How long will it take before you feel the effect of the medication and how long will you have to take it for?
• How much will the medication cost and if there is a patient-assistance program available?
Other things to discuss with your doctor include your lifestyle (children, where you live, what you eat/drink, work activities, etc.) and naming the medication (s) you are currently using.
Be aware of how you are feeling as you try the medication for the first few days/weeks and keep your doctor’s number on hand as well as any other emergency numbers.

 

Complementary and Alternative Practices

Infographics by BeyondBlue.org

Infographics by BeyondBlue.org

 

This new movement is rapidly gaining momentum in being used to treat anxiety and depressive disorders. Here are some of the most commonly used methods:
Stress and Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques may produce modest, short-term reduction of anxiety in people with ongoing health problems and have also been shown to be useful for older adults with anxiety.
Meditation
Moderate evidence suggests that meditation is useful for symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults.
Yoga
Combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and a distinct philosophy. Studies suggest that practicing yoga (as well as other forms of regular exercise) might confer health benefits such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure, and it may also help alleviate anxiety and depression.
Acupuncture
Evidence for the use of acupuncture – the Chinese practice of inserting needles into the body at specific points to manipulates the body’s flow of energy – to treat anxiety disorders is becoming stronger.

 

Therapy

Infographics from BeyondBlue.org

Infographics from BeyondBlue.org

Finally, there is Therapy. You have surely heard about it, however not about the many different types. According to the ADAA, the more effective ones are:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
“A well-established, highly effective, and lasting treatment is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. It focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns.”
Exposure Therapy
It is a form of CBT, however in this case, the patient is gradually exposed to a feared situation or object, learning to become less sensitive over time.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
I call it the “living the experience” therapy. This is when a person learns certain skills to learn how to accept their “experiences, place them in a different context, develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behavior change.”
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
“Integrating cognitive-behavioral techniques with concepts from Eastern meditation, dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, combines acceptance and change. DBT involves individual and group therapy to learn mindfulness, as well as skills for interpersonal effectiveness, tolerating distress, regulating emotions.”
E-therapies
“Also known as online therapies or computer-aided psychological therapy.
Most e-therapies teach people to identify and change patterns of thinking and behavior that might be keeping them from overcoming their anxiety or depression. An individual works through the program by themselves, and although e-therapies can be used with or without help from a professional, most programs do involve some form of support from a therapist.
This online mode of delivery has several advantages. It:

– is easy to access
– can be done from home
– can be of particular benefit for people in rural and remote area
– can be provided in many cases without having to visit a doctor.”

“you do not have to go all around the web for hours to get your healing started: it was done here for you.”

Also check out a list of different books and articles you can get your hands on to harness anxiety here.
You can also find information about support groups online, in your area, or start one! There are even some apps you can use on your phone!
OK! That was a LOT of information for you to go through. The good thing is that you do not have to go all around the web for hours to get your healing started: it was done here for you.
So go start the conversation with your doctor. You are worth vanquishing and eradicating your anxiety! And while I have your attention, pass this along to some people you know can either do good with this information or need the info for themselves.
Sending you a huge virtual hug,
Always in Faith
M

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65 Responses to “Fighting Anxiety: The treatments (Part III)”

  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) Reply August 31, 2015 at 10:46 am

    I have had a few panic attacks before, but nothing more than that. I love that there are so many treatment options available out there these days.

    • Thank you Robin. There are options for many different people and that makes the issue less of a giant to face, right? I do hope you do not have to experience any of those pesky panic attacks…

  2. There is a lot of treatment options out there, and you have to find what works for you. This is a great list of help places and ideas!

  3. This is an incredibly comprehensive list. It is so important that all stigma associated with mental health be removed so that people can be properly diagnosed and find the appropriate treatments! Great Post!

  4. I’m having CBT at the moment to try and help my anxiety (as well as other things) its a very interesting therapy technique but very hard going. x

  5. This is really helpful. I’ve met a ton of people who suffer from anxiety so it’s great that there are so many ways they can help themselves.

    • Thank you Liz! Yes, there are so many options out there that people can effectively get relief. Thanks 🙂

    • Indeed Liz! Thank you and I hope some of the treatments mentioned in this post can be shared with the people you know who have anxiety 🙂

  6. great list and very useful. I suffered for anxiety but not anymore. I work out more often, sleep early and eat healthier.. it helped

  7. This is a very in-depth article. I think this will be of help to lots of people.

  8. There is a lot of great information here. This is very helpful for people who suffer from anxiety on different levels.

  9. It’s so good to know that there are many treatments available for anxiety. I didn’t that acupuncture also works to treat this.

  10. Anxiety is awful! Those attacks can be totally debilitating! I’m glad you have a list of so many different resources! I think everyone is individual on what will work.

  11. This is quite a comprehensive list. I think it’s terrible that anyone would have to take medicine just to keep from worrying themselves to death. What a horrible thing to have to bear.

    • Melissa, it is sometimes a very crippling issue… That is why this article was made: to help pass the word around to help as many people as possible who are dealing with such a difficult burden. Thanks for being empathetic 🙂

  12. I could attest to the healing powers of acupuncture. I went to several sessions before to cure lower back pain. It actually works! Thank you for this very informative article. Many would benefit from this.

  13. I’ve never had anxiety attacks, but I know people who struggle with anxiety. I’ll keep this treatment list handy to share with others.

    • Thank you for passing the information along Alli! The key is to inform as many people about this as possible. Awareness is very powerful and can help lots!

  14. As a sufferer of anxiety myself, I know how hard it can be. Thanks for the great info!

  15. Timely post for me. Some of the remedies/treatments above is a must try for me. Thanks for this!

    • You are welcome Ron! I hope you do find the one that will work for you 🙂 Please feel free to come back and share your experience with us as it can help others too.

  16. This is great info. I definitely will be passing this along to those I know it can help!

  17. This post is really helpful. It’s good to know that help is out there and is at reach.

  18. This is a great post for someone who suffers from anxiety. Very informative.

  19. The natural remedies are great. I never had depression but I have a friend who is battling from it, it’s awful!

  20. Anxiety runs in my family but I think it has something to do with ADHD which also does too. These are all great treatments for those that suffer with anxiety. Changing how I think or react to things has helped me throughout the years but I have used a few of these treatments. Thanks for sharing this information it can help many.

    • You are welcome Rebecca! Please feel free to share with us your experience with some of the treatments. This can help others have more insight into them and maybe be helped in choosing a method of treatment proposed by their doctors. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I love that you are talking about this. It’s a topic that doesn’t get openly discussed enough. This was great information.

    • Thank you Britni! I decided to take a leap of faith and open up this huge can of worms… It was about time we got more awareness about this subject and I hope you can continue to help us spread the word 🙂
      Thank you for your support!

  22. Anxiety isn’t fun. I have personally struggled with it off and on since I was a young adult. Anxiety attacks are scary too. My heart usually starts pounding. I’m currently taking Cymbalta for my depression/anxiety issues.

    • Does Cymbalta work well for you? I have not heard much about it other than the commercials on TV. I hope you can answer soon to share a bit about it for others to benefit from your experience, Up Run For Life!

  23. Anxiety is no fun at all. And medications have so many warnings. It’s great that there’s other treatments available.

  24. I’m so glad that there are so many ways to help anxiety. It’s crippling. I’ve been on Effexor for 15 years and couldn’t live without it.

    • Yes, indeed, there are so many options out there these days that it is easier for people who suffer from anxiety to adopt a treatment that works for them. I am glad you found one that works for you, Angela!

  25. I understand that medication works differently for everyone, but anti-depressants actually made my anxiety, panic disorder, and social phobia much worse in the past. They also made me depressed despite their primary use. I have always found nerve pills to be the best solution, but I’m seeking more natural alternatives, especially acupuncture. I’ve heard how well it has worked for others! 🙂

    • I hope acupuncture works well for you, HilLesha! You are right, medication affects each person in a certain way. Here’s to a more natural treatment option for you!

  26. My friend takes medication to treat her anxiety, and she says that it makes a world of difference. However, I am skeptical for myself. I don’t want to deal with any unwanted side effects.

    • Yona, I am with you on this. I am not too crazy about putting chemicals in my body either… However, when you look through the post, there are several alternatives to medicine you can adopt to overcome anxiety. Good luck and I hope you find what works for you soon!

      • Oh I saw the alternative methods; they just haven’t worked for me (the ones I’ve tried). I have tried yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques – no help. I was given several different relaxation techniques to make my blood pressure go down when I get anxious at the doctor’s office, and I tried my hardest to make them work and they didn’t. I will probably have to see somebody and consider one of the therapies you’ve mentioned.

        • Yona, I am so sorry you have not yet found solace for your anxiety… I hope you can present some of those options to your doctor and you can discuss what will be best to try next. Surely one will work, especially since you are so dedicated at eradicating anxiety from your life. Good luck!

  27. I never knew there were so many treatments. Acupuncture is something I have always been interested in.

  28. I have always wanted to try Acupuncture. I will have to share this with my girlfriend. She has been suffering with anxiety for years now.

    • This seems to be a very effective alternative. Thank you for sharing the information, I think that the more people are aware of ways to tackle this issue, the more apt we get at beating it!

  29. My daughter takes medication for her high anxiety levels. She was in therapy, but is not anymore. Thank you for the detailed information.

  30. Its so nice to know there are so many options. I’m on Lexapro for anxiety but I would love to try CBT!

  31. I always wondered about this treatment for those who have anxiety. Thank you for the information – helpful for those who need it!

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