Many people experience a bit of anxiety from time to time, like when they worry about money or an upcoming presentation. However, people with an anxiety disorder suffer from more severe feelings that are difficult to control.
Psychotherapy is a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders. Some therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), emphasizing exposure therapy, to help people overcome their fears.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective psychological treatments for anxiety. It teaches you to recognize unhelpful thought patterns, learn relaxation skills, and calmly confront sources of anxiety. It can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with medication. Other anxiety therapies include exposure therapy, which teaches you to expose yourself to anxiety-inducing activities or situations gradually, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which focuses on learning emotional regulation through talk therapy in an individual or group setting. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) may also be helpful for people with anxiety based on relationships, as it aims to identify and address any unresolved grief or other interpersonal issues.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a first-line treatment for anxiety. CBT teaches you to recognize negative thoughts that fuel anxiety and replace them with more productive ones. It also helps you learn relaxation techniques, which can be used in therapy sessions and at home. Another effective anxiety therapy is exposure therapy. It involves gradually confronting feared objects or situations, using relaxation techniques as needed. Depending on the severity of your anxiety, you may start with less threatening objects or situations and work your way up to more threatening ones. Lastly, interpersonal therapy (IPT) is an anxiety treatment focusing on your relationships and how they influence your anxiety. It is beneficial for anxiety that stems from relationship issues.
Medication is a necessary part of their anxiety treatment plan for some people. Typically, these medications are used in conjunction with other forms of therapy, and they may be short-term or long-term. Commonly prescribed antidepressants include SSRIs (such as citalopram, escitalopram, or Lexapro), SNRIs such as duloxetine and venlafaxine, and tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine. Behavior therapy examines how clients react to situations that trigger anxiety symptoms and helps them learn new, healthier behaviors. A common form of this is exposure therapy, where clients are encouraged to face their fears in a safe environment until their anxiety subsides.
Group therapy is often the most effective treatment option for people with social anxiety. This type of counseling provides a supportive environment with therapists specializing in treating anxiety disorders. This type of counseling also allows clients to interact with others who share their experiences, which can be emotionally healing and empowering. A qualified therapist will teach you about the root causes of your anxiety and how to manage it in your everyday life. In addition, they will help you find healthy coping mechanisms that work for you. They may also recommend exercise, improving mood, and reducing symptoms.