The good news is that anxiety is a treatable problem and good anxiety treatments exist and are more accessible than ever.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy and Exposure Therapy have been empirically validated to help treat various forms of anxiety, including social anxiety, fears and phobias, Panic Disorder and Generalized anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy will generally focus on what is happening in the present and will look to solve current problems and symptoms. The goal of treatment is to learn to challenge the anxious thinking patterns and to try new behaviors so that you can face the feared objects or situations that perpetuate anxiety.
- Medical Evaluation
If you have not been to see your physician to discuss symptoms of anxiety, it is important to do so, as several medical conditions can mimic symptoms of an anxiety disorder. It is important to be completely frank and honest with your doctor about all of the symptoms you experience, even if you find them to be embarrassing to speak about. Rest assured, your doctor has heard it all before.
If your anxiety is severe you may wish to explore if there is a medication that can help you, particularly if you struggle with generalized anxiety or social anxiety. Your doctor can discuss your situation with you and address any concerns you may have about starting medication or possible side effects.
- Combination Approach
If you are looking to medication as your only solution, please consider your long-term goals. If you are looking for comprehensive anxiety treatment you may want to consider Cognitive Behavioral therapy in addition to any medical treatment. For several anxiety issues this combination approach has been especially helpful to prevent symptom reoccurrence or relapses.
If you are looking for help with anxiety in the Chicago area, please give Dr. Helen Odessky a call at (847)529-8600.