Can All Anxiety Disorders Be Treated?

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With anxiety disorders growing more prevalent every year, it’s important to explore new and effective methods of treatment. Treating illnesses such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, phobias, and panic disorder takes patience and special attention to the needs of the individual. Sometimes people find that what works for the majority just doesn’t have any effect on them.

A study by a top psychiatrist examines the effects of anxiety disorders and how biology can influence recovery.

Effects of Anxiety Disorders

Dr. Bystritsky, the author of the study, describes anxiety disorders as “the largest and the most prevalent group of psychiatric disorders.” He questions the lack of research and attention anxiety disorders are getting from specialists.

To illustrate his point, Dr. Bytritsky proposes that the stress caused by anxiety disorders can be linked to falling productivity and increased dependence on drugs. He also mentions the connection between high anxiety and the development of major depression.

The psychiatrist also explains how anxiety disorders are affecting the country on a practical level. Billions of dollars are spent each year to treat the “physical manifestations” of chronic stress and worry. Headaches, nausea, and heart problems have all been linked to high levels of anxiety.

Issues in Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Drug treatments for anxiety include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines). Drug therapy is shown to be very effective for treating most people with an anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, there is a risk of developing a dependence on the medications. Some people also find that the side effects of the drugs are too unpleasant to deal with on a long-term basis. Mayo Clinic lists the more common side effects of antidepressants, including:

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nervousness, agitation or restlessness
  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
Antidepressants can also increase the risk of suicide in some people.
What Can Stop Treatment from Working?
One factor that can influence the efficacy of treatment is a coexisting condition. For example, if a person with high anxiety is self-medicating with copious amounts of alcohol, treatment will be less likely to work. Alcohol and other drugs can interfere with prescribed medications, sometimes with fatal results.
Dr. Bystritsky points out the need to fully evaluate people with anxiety disorders. Screening must be done to ensure there is no other illness interfering with treatment, such as Bipolar Disorder or a medical health problem.
The doctor strongly recommends combined drug therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for treating anxiety disorders. Everyone responds differently to medications, but there’s likely an effective option for those who are willing to search for it.
What You Can Do

The best way to cope with an anxiety disorder is to aggressively seek a solution. You may think that nothing will work for you because nothing has worked the past. To make progress, you have to be resilient and determined. Speak with licensed professionals about treatment options, and try different methods they recommend. You are the most important person in your own recovery.

Recommended Resources

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