Anxiety disorders: what kind of therapy is there?
First of all, it is important that the person concerned goes into specialist care. The longer a pathological anxiety disorder (possibly unrecognized and untreated), the harder it is to come to her. The doctor will first rule out physical causes and other underlying disorders (such as depression, schizophrenia).
Classic therapy of an anxiety disorder
The treatment of an anxiety disorder can be quite tedious; The success depends not only on the therapist and the measures, but also on the present form of illness and - of course - on the cooperation and motivation of the patient. Therefore, his education about the disease, the possible course and treatment options is an essential prerequisite for good cooperation between therapist and patient.
The focus is usually on non-drug procedures; Medications such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines (sedatives) or beta-blockers are used for - temporary - support, reduction of physical symptoms or acute crisis treatment. Established methods are above all:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: learning new patterns of behavior and thinking (especially phobias, panic disorders)
- Exposure therapy (flooding): anxiety reduction through confrontation with the anxiety-triggering situation in small steps (especially with specific phobia, some generalized anxiety disorders)
- Relaxation techniques: (eg autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, but also meditation, yoga, tai chi) can be used as an adjunct to exposition therapy, especially for generalized anxiety disorders
In addition, there are numerous alternative therapies that are only partially scientifically tested, in individual cases - in collaboration with the therapist - but may well be worth a try. These include, for example:
- EFT: Knock Acupressure, is well suited for accompanying self-treatment
- EMDR: desensitization and restructuring by eye movement; is used very successfully in post-traumatic stress syndrome
- Cardiac Coherence Training: a form of biofeedback that is especially used to manage stress
- respiratory therapy
- Self-instruction training (autosuggestion)
- Light therapy with a sunrise simulation (for example, with a special alarm clock) and thus influencing the biological clock
- Diet, for example, with omega-3 fatty acids and no sugar
- Sport or a lot of regular exercise
What must the sufferer pay attention to?
You are not alone - almost one in ten suffers from pathological fears! There is no point in suppressing anxiety or in arranging with it and avoiding triggering situations - this only strengthens the illness and makes it harder to treat in the future.
Instead, engage in professional care or talk to a trusted person about your situation first. Seek assistance in a support group.
Do not resort to sedatives or alcohol - this also aggravates the problems rather than solving them. Be brave, face your illness!