How To Treat Anxiety and Phobias

AMae May 10, 2008 Health
There are Four Known Ways:
  1. Relaxation or Learning to relax. It can be a great help to learn a special way of relaxing to help us control our anxiety and tension. We can learn these through groups or through professionals, but there are several books or videotapes we can use to teach ourselves. It's a good idea to practice this regularly, not just when we are in a crisis.
  2. Self-help groups. These are a good way of getting in touch with people with similar problems. They will be both able to understand what you are going through, and may be able to suggest helpful ways of coping. These groups may be focused on anxieties and phobias, or may be made up of people who have been through similar experiences - women's groups, bereaved parents groups, or survivors of abused groups.
  3. Psychotherapy. This is more intensive talking treatment which can help us to understand and to come to terms with reasons for our anxieties that we may have not recognized ourselves. The treatment can take place in groups or individually, and is usually weekly for several weeks or months. Psychotherapists may or may not be medically qualified.
  4. Medication. Drugs can play a part in the treatment of some people with anxiety or phobias. The most common tranquilizers are the valium-like drugs - the benzodiapines (most sleeping tablets also belong to this class of drugs). They are very effective in relieving anxiety, but we now know that they can be addictive after only four weeks regular use. When people try to stop taking them, they may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms which can go on for some time. These drugs should be only used for short periods, perhaps to help during a crisis. They should not be used for longer term treatment of anxiety. On the other hand, anti-depressants are NOT addictive and can help to relieve anxiety as well as the depression for which they are usually prescribed. Some seem to have a particular effect on individual types of anxiety. On of the drawbacks is that they usually take 2 to 4 weeks to work and some can cause drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, and constipation. However, there a re new antidepressants in the market that have minimal side effects.

"Now what's on the Worry agenda today?" And remember "Total health care includes the physical, mental, social, and spiritual being of a person."

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  • Last Updated : May 10, 2008