Diseases

Anxiety: the treatments

Anxiety treatments are defined by the doctor or psychiatrist, in close collaboration with his patient. They depend on the severity of the disorder and the demand of the person.

The first "treatment" of anxiety is empathic listening and patient information. The doctor must explain the mechanism of anxiety and the different ways of treating it. For example, healthy lifestyle measures are recommended: possible reduction in coffee consumption, regular physical activity, reduction - or stop - consumption of cannabis or other toxic substances, good sleep hygiene, etc. One can also engage in soothing activities such as yoga, meditation, drawing, etc. In addition, cognitive and behavioral therapy is often necessary, although some psychologists prefer the psychoanalytic approach.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy first identifies the situations that trigger anxiety, then flatten out irrational thoughts. The goal is to reorganize the patient's inappropriate and exaggerated attitudes and reactions. It is a work that is done progressively in stages: from awareness ... to change of attitude and reaction, through the acceptance of emotions. The patient needs to be guided in this therapy by an experienced doctor or psychotherapist. Some sessions may be enough.

New therapies have emerged and bring hope for anxiety. This is the case of cognitive therapy based on mindfulness. It allows one to take a step back, to become aware of his ruminations and other movements of thought and to accept - without struggle - the emotional states and external conditions that can not be changed. Mindfulness meditation programs like MBCT or MBSR are effective on anxiety.

Drug treatments are not mandatory. But they can be prescribed in addition to cognitive and behavioral therapy. Among them, benzodiazepines or serotonergic antidepressants may be prescribed. If the doctor prescribes, it is recommended not to take these drugs beyond 8 to 12 weeks (because there are risks of dependence on these products). Sometimes, antihistamines can be prescribed to soothe anxiety. Others prefer homeopathy, essential oils, acupuncture or herbal medicine, such as St. John's wort, valerian, kava extract.

When acute anxiety occurs, calm down, take a few breaths, put your hand on your stomach, focus on your body, and let your breathing go. Let yourself be done, there is nothing to do ... Just breathe. And write, dance, sing ... This can help you to externalize the emotions, against which you must not fight. Misting (or bathing) with lavender, marjoram or sweet orange essential oils can also help you get easier with the appeasement.

In any case, do not wait for the aggravation of your anxiety to consult. Better to talk to a doctor or psychotherapist early. And finally, the more one is motivated to cure anxiety, the more likely one is to free oneself from it.

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