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Anxiety Disorders - Health Care Tips

Anxiety Disorders

Diagnosing Anxiety Disorders

If your anxiety doesn't improve within a month, discuss your symptoms with your healthcare professional. "Anxiety disorders tend to mimic symptoms of other conditions, such as heart attack or stomach problems, so it's important to rule out medical conditions first," Dr. Carll says.

While taking this step, it might also help to keep in mind that anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health conditions and millions of women are feeling just as you do.

Treating Anxiety Disorders

After other medical conditions have been ruled out as the potential cause of your symptoms, your healthcare professional should refer to you a psychologist or psychiatrist, depending on your symptoms. "Treatment typically includes cognitive and behavioral therapy, usually a combination of both," says Dr. Carll. Try to find a professional who specializes in a variety of treatments. "In extreme cases of anxiety, phobia, panic attack, PTSD, or OCD, medication may be recommended with therapy. Medication helps reduce the anxiety, enabling the person to use and benefit from anxiety-reducing strategies introduced in therapy. "

Medications used to treat anxiety disorders include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are usually the first choice in medication treatment options, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), beta-blockers, and benzodiazepines, used on a short-term basis.

Therapy options for treating anxiety include behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Behavior therapy involves a variety of techniques. Exposure and desensitization strategies are used to reduce unwanted behavior (fear and avoidance of social gatherings, for example) and increase desired reactions (such as feeling more comfortable in social settings and getting together with friends). CBT, a combination of behavioral and cognitive therapies, teaches people the skills to view and react to anxiety-provoking situations differently.

Source: Unknown

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