It is estimated that close to 40 million Americans suffer from one of the six main types of anxiety disorders. Few people know that treating this condition is often times the result of therapy and medication. Some might even go as far as state that therapy works better compared to synthetic drugs.
Choose a treatment method
Any type of treatment, whether it is based on therapy or medication, has its advantages and disadvantages. Synthetic drugs are relatively dangerous to one’s health and immune systems, as they have a long-term adverse effect on the human liver. On the other hand, choosing medication doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t opt for natural alternatives that can soothe and calm your nerves.
The main issue of a treatment based on prescription drugs is that it usually eliminates the symptoms instead of the cause.
In this sense, therapy proves to be a much more beneficial method of dealing with anxiety levels. On the one hand, some individuals prefer treatments where they are not required to take any medicine. On the other hand, symptoms of anxiety are bound to come back once the drug-based treatment ends. By contrast, the effects of therapy are positive on a mental level and typically last for a longer time.
Types of therapy
There are two main types of therapy when dealing with anxiety: cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. The second relies on exposing patients to the things or situations that trigger their anxiety reactions. This has to occur in a secure area or environment, where the patient has no chance of getting hurt. It is said that the anxiety disorder diminishes in a natural fashion, sooner or later.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is less aggressive. Thanks to it, patients will eventually be capable of replacing and eliminating their anxiety reactions on account of having more positive, constructive thoughts.
One of the disadvantages of therapy, be it exposure or cognitive-behavioral therapy is that it takes a lot of time for the patient to actually see some results. Furthermore, exposure therapy can take a toll on the way one interacts with the world, as it is based on confronting fears and emotions. While talk therapy is an undebatable component of both of these methods, it is not enough. Other techniques that the individual undergoing therapy has learned during the sessions can include meditation, breathing exercises and writing.
Even though there is no absolute cure for anxiety nowadays, research is being performed in this sense on two levels. On the one hand, scientists are trying to understand which of these two treatments is more effective. On the other hand, researchers are focusing their efforts on proving just how drug-based treatments and therapy can be improved in order for people to fully eliminate their anxiety issues.
The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong. Some people choose medication over therapy while others do the exact opposite. Try to estimate what your requirements are and base your decision on what you consider is the best choice for your needs.