Fighting Anxiety: The treatments (Part III)
At 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.
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
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.
Moderate evidence suggests that meditation is useful for symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults.
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.
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.
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.”
“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 ♥