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How Do Psychiatrists Treat Anxiety Disorder?
If you have a constant feeling of unease, fear or worry, you might suffer from an anxiety disorder. You need to go to a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for an anxiety disorder typically consists of a combination of medications and talk therapy.
Medications to treat anxiety disorder
After diagnosing a patient with anxiety disorder, psychiatrists select a medication to treat the problem. Medications relieve symptoms and help patients respond more favorably to therapy.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Psychiatrists often prescribe an SSRI to patients suffering from an anxiety disorder. This medication blocks specific nerve cells from reabsorbing serotonin. The extra serotonin alleviates anxiety and improves mood.
This medication includes fluoxetine, citalopram, paroxetine and escitalopram.
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
An SNRI blocks brain cells from reabsorbing serotonin and norepinephrine. This changes the way the nerve cells communicate.
Various SNRIs include venlafaxine and duloxetine.
A tricyclic antidepressant works much like an SNRI. In fact, many psychiatrists use these medications instead of SNRIs now. Patients cannot develop a tolerance to tricyclic antidepressants, making them an attractive treatment method for an anxiety disorder.
Tricyclic antidepressants include amitriptyline, imipramine and nortriptyline.
Psychiatrists might also prescribe a benzothiazine for those who need short-term relief. This is a good option for patients who suffer from anxiety attacks. These medications are fast acting but can be habit-forming, so they are not meant to be taken on a daily basis.
These medications include alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam and lorazepam.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Psychiatrists often like to add psychotherapy to the treatment protocol. While some psychiatrists offer talk therapy in their own offices, most will recommend that patients receive help from an outside psychotherapist.
Patients can sign a waiver between the two medical professionals to ensure that they receive the right treatment in both offices. This will allow the psychiatrist and psychotherapist to work together to provide exceptional care for the patient.
While people with anxiety disorder can benefit from a variety of talk therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy provides optimal results. During the session, the therapist teaches the patient skills to use to relieve symptoms.
These skills include ways to manage activities and places that the patient avoids due to anxiety. Then, the therapist might have the patient put their new skills to the test by entering anxiety-causing situations. For instance, someone who is afraid of large crowds might be exposed to them as a part of therapy.
This is a gradual process. People are slowly exposed to their fears and learn to overcome them.
Seeking help for an anxiety disorder
Living with an anxiety disorder is not easy. You constantly worry that you will be overtaken by anxiety, and that prevents you from doing things you used to love to do. Fortunately, help is available. See a psychiatrist in order to begin treatment for your disorder. A combination of medication and talk therapy can help you overcome your anxiety and enjoy your life.
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