What Is the Best Treatment for Severe Anxiety?
When you or someone you care about suffers from an anxiety disorder, the best treatment options are comprehensive to support well-rounded improvement. Integrative treatment helps to stabilize a person’s life and empower them with effective coping strategies for the long term.
Like an exponential equation, anxiety grows an can easily get out of control if left unchecked. But for people suffering from severe anxiety, it is nothing like an impersonal equation. It can terrorize and debilitate them. The worries increase, and they may even become worried about the anxiety itself. Before long, life can completely reroute to an unmanageable and excruciating mess.
Does this sound familiar to your own experience or the experience of someone you care about? It really can feel scary and hopeless when you’re trying to manage on your own. But you aren’t really on your own. People who truly understand are ready to start you on a powerful healing path.
It might be hard to believe from where you are standing now, but even severe anxiety doesn’t wield so much power in the context of treatment. In fact, the best treatment options for anxiety are designed to put the power back into the individual’s hands.
Exploring the Best Treatment Options for Anxiety
The consensus is that medications and psychotherapy are both effective at treating severe anxiety, and these treatment approaches work even better when applied together. In the same way, additional therapies can round out and improve someone’s treatment plan in the short and long term. Here are some of the diverse treatment options available to address anxiety disorders from many angles:
- Various psychotherapy approaches are indicated to treat anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy is typically favored because it continues to be very effective at disempowering a person’s negative thoughts and empowering them with coping strategies for the long term.
- Medications are frequently prescribed to ease symptoms of anxiety—and depression when clients experience these co-occurring disorders. Especially when symptoms have become overwhelming and unmanageable, anti-anxiety medication can help to stabilize someone as they make progress in therapy.
- Group therapy can be daunting for anxiety sufferers at first, but often they find it to be one of the most important tenets of their treatment. In this context, they no longer feel isolated. They have a generous support system, and every success becomes an encouragement for peers to have hope for their own successes. And, in addition to inspiration, great ideas often arise in a group setting for how individuals can improve their own recovery path.
- Holistic therapies may include art and music therapy, recreational therapy, yoga and meditation, massage therapy, sound healing, and physical fitness. These activities promote overall wellness and self-esteem. They stimulate engagement in the treatment process. And they provide stress relief and relaxation strategies.
- Family and relational therapy can be incredibly helpful for someone whose relationships have suffered in the wake of their anxiety. They can practice certain social skills and self-expression in the group therapy context, but it is also important to begin healing close relationships with family and friends. As clinicians guide the process, families learn how to effectively, compassionately support the person in recovery.
- Life skills training may also expand the benefits of anxiety treatment. Especially if a person has suffered through logistical challenges with work, finances, and other responsibilities, this training can give them a significant boost for when it’s time to reintegrate with daily life. And, as these areas of life can be common sources of stress and anxiety, this empowered skill-building can help to mitigate future anxiety symptoms.
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Why Is Integrative Anxiety Treatment More Effective?
Whether they are suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, or post-traumatic stress disorder, a person can benefit most from a comprehensive treatment approach. Not only does a residential treatment center embrace the full range of anxiety treatment options, but it also provides a dynamic community environment. Here, holistic recovery is the focus, and clients are healing in a supportive community of peers rather than in isolation.
While this interactive setting can be challenging for someone with anxiety to begin with, once treatment is underway, it becomes an important context for practicing positive behavioral change. Some of the best anxiety treatment options are also group oriented because compassionate support and helpful ideas often come from peers who are also making progress in recovery.
Typically, treatment for anxiety will be a long-term process. In part, this depends on the severity of a person’s anxiety disorder. But, even for someone with mild to moderate anxiety, following the onset of treatment, they will need to weave therapies and new coping strategies in with their everyday life. It is a rich and complicated process that is well worth the effort because a person can be empowered again to take control of their life and their goals.
Because the healing methods become such an integral part of life, even more diverse holistic therapies can be beneficial. When someone begins their treatment path in a residential center, they can begin to practice new ways of coping and being in their daily life. They can participate in relaxation therapies and learn how to take stress relief into their own hands. They can safely challenge their fears and worries through experiential and social therapies.
And, all the while, they will have extensive support from clinicians, peers, friends, and family. When it comes time to reintegrate with their normal lives, they will be empowered with confidence and effective strategies for coping with future triggers and potential sources of anxiety. The best treatment for anxiety is that which strengthens a person from the inside out.
BrightQuest offers long-term, residential treatment for people struggling with complex mental health illnesses and co-occurring disorders. Contact us to learn more about our renowned program and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward recovery.