Therapy for Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. Anxiety can affect how we act and can manifest in real, physical symptoms. Anxiety becomes a problem when it affects our everyday life. Common anxiety disorders include phobias, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and generalized anxiety disorder. There are a lot of different factors that can contribute to an anxiety disorder. For this reason, anxiety disorders are often difficult to diagnose and treat.
Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: Benefits
When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, therapy for anxiety disorders is usually the most effective option. Unlike medication, therapy for anxiety disorders treats more than just the symptoms of the anxiety. Rather, it tries to uncover the underlying causes of worries and fears that cause anxiety. It can also help you learn to relax, to look at situations in new ways, and develop better coping and problem-solving skills.
Anxiety disorders differ considerably so therapy for anxiety disorders is often tailored to your specific symptoms and concerns. For example, if you have post-traumatic stress disorder, your therapy will differ from someone who is getting help for phobias.
Many types of therapy for anxiety disorders are short term, and many people improve within eight to ten therapy sessions. The leading approaches are cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy.
Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy it the most commonly used therapy for anxiety disorders. It has been shown to be effective in treating panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
The cognitive part of this type of therapy for anxiety disorders examines how negative thoughts contribute to anxiety. The behavioral portion examines how you behave and react in situations that trigger anxiety.
The basic theory of this type of therapy for anxiety disorders is that our thoughts, not external events, determine the way that we feel and whether or not a situation causes anxiety.
Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy is a commonly used therapy for anxiety disorders. It is common for people to avoid situations that cause them anxiety-feelings of anxiety aren’t pleasant. If you have a fear of confined spaces, for example, you might avoid elevators at all costs, even if it means climbing nine flights of stairs. If you are afraid of speaking in public, you may skip a friend’s wedding so you don’t have to give a toast. Aside from inconveniencing yourself and other people, avoiding things that cause you anxiety means that you are never able to overcome them. In fact, avoiding situations that cause you anxiety may make your fears even worse.
Exposure therapy for anxiety disorders exposes you to the situations or objects you fear. The idea is that if you are repeatedly exposed to things that cause you anxiety, you will eventually get over your fear. Exposure therapy for anxiety disorders involves either you confronting the situations in real life or your therapist directing you to imagine the scary situation.