House Call: Anxiety Disorders – Treatment Options
Many people experience anxiety in various capacities, whether it’s financial stress, trauma, or panic attacks. The best known ways of dealing with anxiety are with medications, yet there are other methods that can be tried before medication, or for less severe anxiety.
One of these methods is practicing relaxation techniques. Focusing on your breathing, meditation, guided imagery, and muscle relaxation are all types of relaxation techniques that can be performed at any time. These exercises have physiological benefits that work to decrease the physical symptoms of anxiety, which distracts attention from the mental symptoms.
Another method of treating anxiety disorders is counseling. A trained therapist can help individuals examine and work to change the thought patterns that lead to and reinforce anxiety. Therapy can help a person address tendencies to become severely anxious or overwhelmed by situations that should not produce these extreme feelings, and decide what changes they are willing to make in order to help their condition.
If you are experiencing symptoms of severe anxiety that are impairing your daily life, and not being helped by relaxation therapies or counseling, it may be time to discuss anti-anxiety medications with your doctor. Many anti-anxiety medications can be easily abused or addictive, therefore it is extremely important to discuss any personal or family history of addictive behaviors with your doctor before considering medication therapy.
It is best to consult with a psychiatrist about anti-anxiety medications, as they are specially trained in behavioral health and medicines. Our area is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of behavioral healthcare providers dedicated to treating individuals in the community suffering from anxiety disorders and other behavioral health conditions.
Regina Alexander is a licensed counselor at Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital, specializing in mood disorders. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Greensboro College in 2002, and earned a Master’s in Social Work from the joint program at University of North Carolina Greensboro and North Carolina A&T University in 2007.