There are more than a few different types of anxiety so you probably won’t be surprised to know that there are many anxiety treatments. Unfortunately, there isn’t any one magic treatment for anxiety that will definitely help you.
What works for one person as an anxiety treatment can be totally ineffective for someone else and you may need to try a few ones out before you find one that works for you.
In this blog post, I’m going to talk about some of the main anxiety treatments that can help you to get back in control.
There are a few therapies that can be useful as anxiety treatments.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most common of the ‘talking therapy’ treatments for anxiety and it can help you to identify negative and unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaviour linked to your anxiety and the vicious circles that these interconnected thoughts, feelings and behaviours can lead to.
You may not even be aware of these at this stage, especially if your anxiety has been with you for a long time, but CBT can help to highlight them and change how you think and feel. It can also provide you with skills to help you cope with your anxiety for the future.
Exposure therapy can be part of CBT treatment for anxiety and involves putting yourself in positions that cause you anxiety, a little bit at a time. This is a really scary one as it means you have to face your fears head-on, albeit safely and slowly.
The American Psychological Association describes exposure therapy as an effective way to treat anxiety disorders such as social anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and phobias.
There are quite a few medications that can be used anxiety treatments but which one is right for you can depend on which type of anxiety you have.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) are often used as antidepressants but they can also help to treat anxiety. They both have an effect on serotonin levels. Prozac is a well known example of an SSRI but there are lots of other options too. They can both be used to treat Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and panic disorder but SNRIs can also be a treatment for PTSD.
Beta blockers are more commonly associated with heart problems but they can also be used to treat social anxiety. According to HelpGuide, they block the stress hormone norepinephrine. Propranolol is an example of a beta blocker that can be taken before social situations that you know will make you anxious. It’s not generally considered for long-term anxiety treatments.
Benzodiazepines are one of the quicker acting options for anxiety medication but there is one big downside – they can be pretty addictive! The fact that they can kick in so quick can be ideal for calming symptoms of a panic attack but they’re generally not considered for long-term anxiety treatments.
Hypnotherapy for anxiety
As a hypnotherapist specialising in treating anxiety, I’ve helped lots of clients to overcome their anxiety symptoms. The main reason for this is simple: it really works!
Hypnosis involves entering into a state of deep relaxation, which allows access to the unconscious mind. This is where patterns of behaviour are formed. Through tools such as hypnotic suggestions and imagery, hypnotherapy can change the way you deal with anxiety.
Studies have shown that hypnosis is a safe and effective way to reduce anxiety.
How long can anxiety treatments take to work?
Much as you’d love to start breaking free from your anxiety right away, most anxiety treatments won’t have overnight results. It may take a few weeks to start feeling less anxious.
These aren’t anxiety treatments as such but there are lots of self-care tips that you can bring into your life to help to manage anxiety symptoms.
Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and can help to relieve anxiety. The American Psychological Association advises that just a 10-minute walk is all you need.
Make sure that your diet isn’t lacking in magnesium and zinc, both of which have been linked to anxiety. According to Psychology Today, magnesium deficiency is linked to stress and even depression. Research has also suggested that anxiety symptoms can be more likely in people with low levels of zinc.
Practicing meditation and mindfulness can help you to relax and free up your busy mind.