Treatment for Anxiety

Do You or Someone You Love Need Anxiety Treatment?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that many people experience on a daily basis.  However, if anxiety has consumed you or your loved one to the point that you cannot function adequately, you may be suffering with a more severe anxiety disorder.  Anxiety disorders can take form in various ways, such as though a phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or even just generalized anxiety disorder.  These intense forms of anxiety can affect you physically, emotionally, and socially, several handicapping your ability to thrive as a normal human being.  Due to the numerous ways in which you life can be altered by anxiety, it is crucial that you seek the help and support from an anxiety treatment center for guidance in how to better cope with these emotions and fears.  Consider taking the first and most important step towards healing from an anxiety disorder by recognizing the severity of what you have been enduring.  If you or your loved one has been struggling with an anxiety disorder, a co-occurring disorder such as an eating disorder, substance abuse or alcoholism may also be involved as a secondary health issue.  Having professional anxiety disorder treatment can effectively approach both the anxiety and any co-occurring disorders, aiding your recovery as a whole person and allowing you the opportunity to embrace life completely.

Treatment Plan for Anxiety

Anxiety or anxiety disorders are most effectively addressed by establishing a solid treatment plan.  By creating a support system of professionals and loved ones, you can build a solid foundation to your recovery, establishing a platform for your healing journey.  Your support system will consist of loved ones, a therapist, an anxiety rehabilitation program, and a support group. These four components will contribute tremendously to your ability to find healing in anxiety recovery process.

  • Loved ones – Loved ones will play a significant part in the healing process and cannot be undervalued. They will provide support and help when therapy and treatment becomes challenging.
  • Licensed counselor – A licensed counselor will be able to create a personalized anxiety treatment program. They are also important in making the arrangements to enter an anxiety treatment facility.
  • Anxiety therapy program – An anxiety therapy program will boost the ability to successfully deal with anxiety. It will also help in working with any additional co-occurring disorders or addictions.
  • Engage in support groups and ongoing therapy – Joining a support group will help contribute to the success of dealing with anxiety. Ongoing therapy and support groups will help in working with the urges to stop therapy or taking medications. Their participation is vital and cannot be underestimated.

Treatment Levels for Anxiety

Since symptoms for anxiety will typically vary among individuals, treatment needs are determined by what a person might be encountering or the intensity of their symptoms due to the anxiety.  Other aspects that are considered in determining level of care needed are whether or not any co-occurring disorders are involved, such as drug or alcohol abuse.  Treatment options will involve varying levels of supervision, therapy, and medications.  Less acute levels of care or usually recommended for men or women who have more manageable symptoms of anxiety.  The following are common levels of care for anxiety treatment, in order of acuity:

  • Inpatient Hospitalization – Around the clock (24hr) hospitalization is received. Hospitals focus on the most serious cases where the patient cannot function by themselves because of intense psychological and medical issues, with a goal of getting them healthy enough to exit the hospital in a few weeks’ time.
  • Programs Focused on Intensive Outpatient Care (IOP) – This form of intensive outpatient treatment concentrates on personalized services and support. The patient’s daily routines can sometimes be maintained since sessions are conducted in the mornings or afternoons.
  • Outpatient Level of Care – This level of outpatient care is much like an IOP but not as intense. There are fewer individual limits placed on the patient, but personal treatment and group sessions are still applied.
  • Support Groups – Support groups fill a valuable role in overcoming a mood disorder. They provide accountability and understanding as the members have all gone through similar situations.

Types of Pharmacological Therapy for Anxiety Treatment

Several types of medications have been used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, often to manage or relieve the symptoms associated with these mental health issues.  The main classes of medications used for the pharmaceutical treatment of anxiety include the following:

  • Antidepressants: Influence activity of brain chemicals involved in anxiety disorders.  May include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, or Celexa.
  • Buspirone:  A type of anti-anxiety medication that may be used on a long-term basis
  • Benzodiazepines: Types of sedatives that may be used for relief of anxiety symptoms.

As with all medications, these should be managed, prescribed, and overseen by your physician.  Be sure to discuss pharmaceutical management of your anxiety with your doctor and treatment team.

Types of Therapy for Anxiety Treatment

Psychotherapy can be one of the most effective forms of treating any anxiety or anxiety disorders you may be experiencing.  An anxiety treatment center will implement several forms of psychotherapy to help guide you towards healing while teaching you ways to healthily cope with fear or distress. There are also other alternative therapy approaches that can be utilized along with psychotherapy, including art, yoga, meditation, music, and dance therapy.  The following are the main types of psychotherapies that may be used for the treatment of anxiety:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a treatment therapy that addresses maladaptive thinking patterns in order to affect the patient’s behavior in a more positive manner. It also helps the patient replace negative coping skills with positive coping skills.
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) – The level of therapy provided by IPT centers upon the interpersonal connections and community functions utilizing brief supportive treatment and also tries to assist the person to better resolve existing situations and troubles. The four main parts acknowledged by IPT are role changes, relationship shortcomings, unresolved grief, and role disputes.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – This level of rehab integrates the common behavioral therapy components of IBT and CBT for the regulation of emotions. The introduction of stress management and mindful awareness are key for this therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – This type of cognitive behavioral treatment uses mindfulness and acceptance approaches mixed in multiple ways with strategies of commitment and behavior-change. This should enhance the emotional and mental flexibility.
  • Supportive Programs – This includes groups such as support groups, group therapy, family therapy, etc.  The support these programs offer to those suffering with anxiety is invaluable.

If you are ready to begin the healing process from anxiety, you can take the first step towards this goal by recognizing the difficulty you may be having on your own and asking for the help you need to succeed.  Living with an anxiety disorder has likely deterred your hopes, dreams, and aspirations, but you can still live to your fullest potentials by receiving the help you need.  An anxiety treatment center can be an invaluable resource to helping you learn how to cope with even your deepest fears, worries, or concerns.  Consider taking the first step towards healing and access the resources available on Addiction Hope to get connected with an anxiety recovery center today.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 15th, 2013
Published on, Drug Addictions Help Resource