Recognizing anxiety disorder symptoms is just the first step towards overcoming the problem. The next step is to find a suitable anxiety treatment plan, and this may consist of medication, behavioral therapy, dietary changes, and nutritional supplementation. According to MedicineNet.com, “if no physical illness is found, [the sufferer] may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist who is specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Treatments for generalized anxiety disorder most often include a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy.”
Here are some of the most common anxiety treatment options available for people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and other anxiety problems:
1. Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders. Recognizing the triggers of a panic attack, or identifying the root cause of an anxiety attack can be part of cognitive behavioral therapy treatment programs. This type of treatment allows the sufferer to work with a licensed professional to identify the troublesome thoughts, behaviors and patterns to see where they may be behaving in an irrational or inappropriate way.
2. Anxiety medication. Several types of prescription drugs have proven to be effective for treating anxiety disorders, and the type and dosage varies by person and condition. The most common types of medication prescribed to those with anxiety disorder are a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. These drugs have a tranquilizing effect on the body, and include drugs such as Valium, Librium, Xanax and BuSpar.
3. Antidepressants. Many people suffering from anxiety disorders also experience symptoms of depression. In some cases, treating the depression can alleviate many of the effects of the anxiety disorder. Antidepressants such as Effexor and Paxil can help improve the mood, reduce tension and make the person feel more balanced.
4. Lifestyle changes. Reducing stress naturally through regular exercise, meditation or stretching can help to improve the effects of an anxiety disorder and reduce many symptoms. People who experience chronic stress and tension can limit these feelings naturally by undertaking a vigorous cardiovascular exercise regimen, doing yoga or pilates, or meditation regularly. Increasing oxygen and blood circulation can help the person feel more relaxed and centered.
5. Nutritional supplements. For people who have difficulty sleeping or calming down, nutritional supplements such as Valerian extract, chamomile and lavender can help to reduce tension and induce sleep naturally. These supplements may be most effective for people with mild symptoms and brief episodes of chronic anxiety.
6. Dietary changes. Eating certain types of food can increase or reduce the risk of anxiety attacks or tension. Eating too many sugary foods can increase the heart rate and make it difficult to concentrate, thereby aggravating some of the symptoms of anxiety. Calming foods such as milk, oats, lentils and yogurt can help keep energy levels stable and reduce the risk of an anxiety attack. Making minor dietary changes on a regular basis often accompanies anxiety treatment programs.