The best way to control anxiety is to deal with it when it happens. This is not easy to do for some people, especially those who experience severe anxiety. In fact, they can become so depressed that they will not be able to live normally. Fortunately, there are ways of dealing with anxiety without having to undergo therapy or medication.
A combination of medications and behavioral therapy is often the best approach for treating anxiety. There are a number of medications used to treat anxiety and panic attacks. Some of these are benzodiazepines (benzos), antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications. Medications such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, valproic acid, topiramate, loxapine, and oxcarbazepine are all examples of benzodiazepines.
Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam are prescribed by doctors to control anxiety and panic. It is usually taken orally at bedtime. This type of anxiety treatment is most effective when used regularly and in conjunction with behavioral therapy.
Behavioral therapy helps patients overcome their fears and anxiety by using various methods. Examples of this include exposure, desensitization, and cognitive restructuring techniques.
This method involves exposing a patient to an anxiety attack in a controlled and safe environment. The patient will learn how to cope with and avoid the phobia. There are several steps involved in this process:
Exposure – This is the first step in cognitive restructuring. This step involves beginning the process of exposing the patient to the phobia he or she fears.
Exposure to the phobia should only take less than 10 minutes per session. The patient should be comfortable with the anxiety attack before going into the session. In this way, the patient can prepare mentally to face the fear while the therapist is working with him or her.
Desensitization – The second step in cognitive restructuring is teaching the patient how to cope with the fear. This is also done in a controlled environment. During the entire exposure process, the patient must remain calm and not show any signs of fear.
Over time, the patient should be exposed to the phobia daily until he or she has learned how to cope with it. This process can be difficult for some patients. The patient should not feel threatened during the treatment.
When cognitive restructuring is not enough to solve the problem, cognitive behavior therapy may be necessary. Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on changing negative thinking patterns and habits that lead to anxiety attacks.
The patient may need to take prescription medication if the anxiety is severe. They may be under medication and counseling for an extended period of time. However, the patient can generally control his or her anxiety levels without any medication or therapy by making changes in their daily habits.