Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment Options and Types
Generalized anxiety disorder treatment is individualized and personalized to respond to the specific symptoms and needs of each patient affected by this ailment. However, the available remedies are classified into two main categories – general anxiety disorder treatment schemes are based on medications and talk therapies or psychological anxiety treatment.
Although each of these alternatives is proven to be effective in reducing the typical symptoms of anxiety disorders, the vast majority of people dealing with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) benefit from a combination of psychotherapy (talk or behavior therapy) and medications, the effects appearing slower or faster depending on the sufferer’s personal involvement and environment.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment Types
Psychotherapy is considered the first-line treatment option for this health condition because it’s non-invasive, it is proven to reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of life in people with GAD. There are three main types of psychotherapy strategies
- Cognitive therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
How are these general anxiety treatment methods used?
The first treatment alternative is based on the idea that your thoughts are the triggers and fuel of your anxiety, so the aim of this therapy is to change your harmful and unhelpful thinking patterns into realistic ones. By adopting a positive attitude towards stressful events in your life, you can achieve a better control over your anxiety symptoms and manifestations. You will also learn how to avoid negative ideas in order to prevent future crisis.
The general anxiety disorder treatment plan initially consists of several therapy sessions of about 50-60 minutes each, done on a weekly basis for several weeks or months. Most of the time patients are asked to keep a diary and to write down all their negative thoughts and fears experienced between sessions, this strategy being very efficient in identifying the unhealthy thinking patterns that define GAD.
Behavioral therapy is the second type of psychotherapy approach used in generalized anxiety disorder treatment. Unlike the first solution, this one aims to change the patient’s behavior patterns that affect their quality of life and diminish self-esteem and confidence. Various techniques may be used to change one’s behavior when the feared object or situation occurs and several sessions are usually needed to achieve these goals.
The final method is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is a combination of the previously presented two treatments and so addresses both behavior and thinking patterns. The purpose of this treatment is not only to help sufferers identify the situations and objects that make them anxious, but also to teach them how to successfully cope with all their fears and worries by adopting a positive attitude. The benefits of this treatment are generally seen in 12-16 weeks.
A particular form of cognitive-behavioral therapy is exposure therapy, a general anxiety disorder treatment with impressive results not only in patients suffering from GAD but also in people affected by different types of phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The goal of this generalized anxiety disorder treatment is to expose the patient to the feared object or situation until he becomes less sensitive and manages to control his reactions.
Interpersonal therapy and acceptance and commitment strategies are also used as short-term solutions for generalized anxiety disorder. IPT (inter-personal therapy) works by helping patients to identify those patterns in their relationships that affect their feelings and thoughts and make them more vulnerable to anxiety.
This type of generalized anxiety disorder treatment is based on the idea that problems occurring in personal relationships are the most important triggers of depression, negative thinking and unhealthy behaviors, therefore overcoming these problems puts an end to fears, worries and anxiety.
Finally, acceptance and commitment strategies come with a different approach to this health problem: instead of focusing on the triggers of anxiety, these techniques help the patient understand, accept and make room for negative thoughts without allowing them to turn into painful sensations.
In other words, this generalized anxiety disorder treatment promotes acceptance and mindfulness, two attitudes that allow GAD patients to objectively observe the factors and situation that make them anxious and to adopt a healthier attitude towards negative thoughts and behaviors.