Common Treatments for Anxiety

Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND
Anxiety is a difficult thing to live with. It can affect your relationships and overall quality of life. The good news is, anxiety tends to respond to treatment. Here are some of the more common treatments for anxiety.
-Behavioral Therapy
Behavioral therapy is about just that – behavior. It is not designed to delve into the patient’s past, or explore underlying causes of the patient’s anxiety. It does, however, help the patient identify patterns of thinking and behaving, and how those thoughts and behaviors are connected. The goal is to help the patient manage the problem.
-Cognitive Therapy
This kind of therapy teaches the patient to have rational responses to stressful situations rather than negative, self-abasing responses. Cognitive therapy helps the patient face – and therefore overcome – the irrational thoughts and beliefs that bring on an anxious response.
-Supplements balancing GABA receptors
GABA is a neurotransmitters that gives us a calming effect and there are many supplements that can help increase the stimulation to these receptors such as valerian, passion flower, GABA chewable tablets, lemon balm, etc.   While there are several anxiety supplements on the market, most experts agree that they should be used in conjunction with some other sort of therapy. Supplementation is generally considered a short-term help, and, depending on the type of anxiety exhibited, is not a long-term solution.
-Supplementation balancing serotonin receptors
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy.  Conventional medicine very commonly use SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) when there is a case of depression and anxiety.  A more natural approach would be to use St John’s Wart or 5HTP which can be extremely useful in cases of mild depression linked with anxiety.  Note that you should not combine these supplements if you are already taking an SSRI from your medical doctor.
-Regular Exercise
This is basic, but effective. Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, the “feel good” brain chemicals that help you relax and feel happy and content. Exercise also uses your muscles and promotes good circulation. Daily exercise is best, but even regular exercise several times a week has proven helpful.
-Meditation or Relaxation Techniques
Like regular exercise, these treatments need to be practiced regularly. They can help release muscle tension. Meditation and relaxation also promote centered, calm patterns of thought.

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