Developments in Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

Developments in Treatment of Anxiety Disorders


Feeling anxious can be a normal response to a stressing or even exciting situation. Everyone can have anxious feelings and they can also be very healthy, they can be a warning sign to a dangerous situation, warning you to be careful. Fear of spiders, heights, taking a test or flying can often be experienced. However, for some people, anxiety disorders can take on abnormal forms, in which a person afraid of spiders will not go outside anymore, or a person afraid of failing will not even start the test. Anxiety is defined as a fear or nervousness about an impending or anticipated ill, a fear of what might happen.

Anxiety can be treated

The first thing that is good to know is that anxiety disorders are treatable! Most people who experience strong anxiety or have an anxiety disorder can be helped with professional care. Choosing the right treatment for you can be done with the help of a clinical psychologist, who can help to establish a treatment that will be most helpful to your individual personality and situation. A first step to treating anxiety will be to narrow down the symptoms and trying to find what is causing the anxiety. Common symptoms of anxiety are hot and cold flushes, obsessive thinking, tightening of the chest, racing heart, excessive worry, problems with sleeping (e.g. falling asleep or trouble staying asleep) and muscle tension. Anxiety can also lead people to have panic attacks in relation to certain objects (e.g. spiders, planes) or certain situations (e.g. public spaces, meeting new people). Luckily, whether anxiety is bound to a certain object or situation or is more generalised in everyday life, anxiety can be treated with therapy, medication or both.

Treatment of different anxiety disorders

There are several possible treatments for anxiety, including therapy, medication, alternative therapies or a combination of these treatments.

1. Therapy:The most common form of therapy that is used to treat anxiety is CBT. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will help the patient to identify and manage the situations or issues that make them anxious. The psychologist will help the patient identify and correct cognitive distortions to help them reduce or stop the anxiety related behaviours. Besides CBT, there are several other therapies that can help in reducing anxiety, such as relaxation therapy, group or family psychotherapy and breathing therapy. For more information see…

2. Medication: Sometimes medication is used in the treatment of anxiety, almost always only prescribed in combination with therapy. Antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications (tranquilizers, such as Valium, Xanax) can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, even when the patient is not showing signs of depression.

3. Alternative therapies: In helping to reduce anxiety, patients can choose from any form of alternative therapies. Therapies such as massage therapy, acupuncture therapy or relaxtaion therapy can help the patient to reduce their anxiety symptoms. Exercising regularly and eating healthy are also found to help reduce anxiety and even talking to friends and family can found to work therapeutically. It is strongly recommended to use alternative therapies in combination with psychotherapy (such as CBT).

New developments in Anxiety treatment

Over the past few years, a lot of research has been done on the treatment of anxiety, anxiety disorders and anxiety-related symptoms. New research shows that receiving therapy (in the form of CBT) in combination with medication yields the best results in treating anxiety disorders. There has also been new research on the use of beta-blockers (normally used to treat high blood pressure) to help cure patients of arachnophobia, a strong fear of spiders. The results show that using beta-blockers, in combination with CBT and exposure therapy, can help cure patients of their anxiety towards spiders. In 2016, new research will be started on the possible effects of the MDMA-drug (usually a psychedelic ‘party’ drug) on treating anxiety, trauma and PTSD. So far, the results have been positive, especially in treating social anxiety in autistic patients.

Treatment always in combination with counselling

Anxiety and anxiety disorders can disrupt a patient’s life in many ways. Ranging from specific forms of anxiety, fear of spiders or heights, to general forms of anxiety, such as a generalised anxiety disorder, anxiety can have a big influence. We offer anxiety treatment that can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and help the patient to learn to overcome their anxiety. We strongly recommend to seek the treatment that is best for you and to always use medication or alternative treatments only in combination with the help of a psychologist or counsellor. We can help identify the right treatment for you, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to have more information.

For more information on the best treatments for anxiety in Sydney contact the clinical psychologists in Potentialz Unlimited with full confidence. All inquiries are treated with full confidence.


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