Dealing with the symptoms of an anxiety disorder effectively often requires a multi-pronged, multi-phase approach to treatment. A personalized combination of treatment services may provide different types of support including medication, psychotherapy, and holistic services.
There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive disorders, especially characterized by compulsive behaviors (OCD)
- Panic disorders
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social phobia or social anxiety disorder and specific phobias
Patients who struggle with each of these different kinds of anxiety will benefit from a different combination of psychotherapeutic interventions. For example, those diagnosed with specific phobias or social anxiety may benefit from exposure therapy, a type of psychotherapy that helps patients to face their fears head-on in a safe and controlled environment. In general, however, there are a certain set of psychotherapies that can be hugely effective in helping anxiety patients to learn how to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered to be one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy for the treatment of anxiety. By addressing the incorrect or unhelpful perspectives and thought patterns of the patient as well as the behaviors that are triggered by the same, patients can learn to shift away from negative or problem-causing beliefs and adopt more beneficial views and behaviors.
Learning how to better interpret the intentions of others, communicate, and identify potential triggers to stress and anxiety can help patients to make choices that do not increase anxiety but instead help them to avoid worsening low stress situations or developing anxiety when none is warranted.
Often, anxiety is related to a traumatic experience. Living through an assault, sexual or physical abuse, a near-death experience, or other traumatic events can cause people to experience anxiety that manifests in different ways. Addressing that underlying issue in a therapeutic setting and learning how to process the event and its effects can be a big part of recovering from anxiety.
Whenever a mental health disorder is in evidence, it has a dramatic impact on others in the family. These damaged relationships can be a further source of anxiety for the patient, but when the family learns more about the disorder and works actively with their loved one in family therapy, everyone can learn how to move forward. Here, the patient and his family members can learn how to:
- Effectively address past issues that cause pain
- Communicate positively
- Get needs met in a functional and healthy way
- Develop an action plan to address specific situations (e.g., potential drug and alcohol relapse, actual relapse, panic attacks, etc.)
It’s not uncommon for patients who struggle with anxiety to also fight a substance abuse or addiction problem. Many attempt to utilize these substances to help them calm down when they experience panic, fear, and/or high levels of agitation. Others may find that anxiety issues begin after long-term substance abuse.
When Dual Diagnoses occur, it is important to find a Dual Diagnosis rehab program designed to address both issues simultaneously. Many of the same psychotherapies that will be effective in treating anxiety symptoms will also help to fight substance abuse and relapse.
Learn more about anxiety treatment and Dual Diagnosis rehabilitation program options when you contact us at the phone number above. Begin your new life in recovery today.
Further Reading About Psychotherapies for Anxiety Treatment
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David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton