Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
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Anxiety Treatment - Treating Anxiety

There is recognition of a certain predisposition toward anxiety, which can be thought of as a kind of physical threshold to develop anxiety that is set a little lower for some individuals. Understanding the physical basis for the disorder helps an individual reduce the natural tendency to compare him/herself with others and feel badly, and it also acts to correct the common notion that "anxiety is all in your head."

Does this mean that people with a physical predisposition toward anxiety will inevitably develop an anxiety disorder? Not at all. The potential for anxiety is greatly influenced by childhood experiences, how a person was raised, the relationships a person develops and maintains during his/her life, and an individual's current life experiences. These and multiple other personal/social/environmental factors determine whether anxiety breaks into the forefront, and whether it does so strongly enough to merit a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.

Treatment for people with anxiety very often involves addressing more than one problem, as many people with anxiety present with a variety of other diagnoses and conditions. Therefore, individual treatment often encompasses a number of techniques and treatment packages in addition to the ones described in this section.

Use of Medication for Treating Anxiety Disorders

A number of medications have been found to be useful in treating anxiety disorders, including antidepressants, benzodiazapines, and beta-blockers. Your physician or a psychiatrist can prescribe the medication that he/she thinks would work best for you.

All people who present with anxiety should be given the option of medication as part of their treatment. The value of medication is that it can help reduce a person's anxiety level; thus, it can make it easier to participate in psychotherapy and implement various therapy principles and approaches. Some drawbacks to a medication-only approach to treatment are that people's problems, their thoughts about their problems, and the ways that they commonly use to deal with these problems, still exist. Consequently, when the medication is stopped, anxiety symptoms most often return. For these reasons, it is best that if you do take medication for anxiety, you also get therapy.

Use of Psychotherapy for Treating Anxiety Disorders

Just as with medications, there is not one single type of therapy--there are numerous different types. Psychotherapy treatment interventions, just as medical interventions, must have scientific evidence of effectiveness in reducing symptoms. Researchers develop treatment techniques based on their theoretical understanding of the disorder being addressed, but they do not consider the techniques as valid until they have been shown in clinical studies to effectively reduce symptoms. Often researchers will compare the effectiveness of different therapy models and techniques to determine which technique or combination of techniques is most effective.

Research studies conducted at major universities and medical schools throughout the world consistently demonstrate that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Moreover, when tested a year or more after stopping therapy, the majority of people who had CBT maintain their improvement.

Although cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is not the only effective model for anxiety treatment, it is the most extensively researched and generally regarded as a main-line approach to treating anxiety disorders. In CBT, the goals are not only to reduce your symptoms but to keep those symptoms from returning. Among the variations of cognitive-behavioral therapy are models that heavily emphasize behavioral interventions, others cognitive, while yet others combine both types of interventions. The anxiety treatment described in this section consists of both cognitive and behavioral approaches.