Treating Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is a chronic condition characterized by excessive, persistent, unrealistic and unfounded worry over everyday matters. People meeting criteria for GAD most often worry about the same stuff that the average individual worries about, like their health, finances and the state of their family, but those diagnosed with GAD usually worry much more than this, and for seemingly no rational reason. Typical symptoms of GAD include restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating and boredom.
This can be extremely debilitating to those who suffer from it and can lead to all kinds of problems in their lives. In this article I’ll tell you what you need to do if you’re an older adult with anxiety issues.
Therapy and medication can certainly help treat GAD, but they are not the answer to eliminating the condition completely. You can be free of anxiety for good if you find a solution for the underlying causes of your anxiety in the first place. The good news is that anxiety disorders are often caused by psychological or behavioural factors. For example, you may develop generalized anxiety disorder after being exposed to a stressful event (i.e. moving house) at some point in your life.
Other causes include genetics, high levels of stress hormones and changes to your brain. For these reasons it’s important to address all of the causes of anxiety disorder rather than just treating the symptoms. In addition to psychotherapy, pharmaceutical therapy and prescribing medicines, you may also need to attend support groups. There are many support groups for older adults dealing with anxiety disorders, so make sure you join one of these before looking to other treatments.
In the last few years, computerized self-help programs have increased in popularity. These programs involve using a computerized platform to train yourself to assess and improve your mental health. The program teaches you to use a variety of tools such as visualizations, affirmations, yoga and meditation to assist you on a daily basis. It may sound complicated, but many people find the process to be very effective.
Although computerized selftherapy is an effective form of anxiety treatment, it does come with some drawbacks. Most self-help treatment programs require that the patient regularly attend their sessions. If you don’t have time to commit to weekly self-help sessions, you may not be able to effectively treat your anxiety. Furthermore, these programs are expensive and most people who suffer from anxiety are unable to afford them. Computerized self-therapy is recommended mainly for those who can’t afford other forms of therapy.
Exposure to anxiety or panic triggers: A new technique being used by many mental health professionals is the implementation of an exposure protocol. Exposing patients to increasing amounts of anxiety triggers over time is believed to help patients more effectively deal with the symptoms associated with anxiety. For example, if you constantly get panic attacks right after you go to the gym, you may want to start taking short walks around the gym during your exposure to trigger situations. Over time, you will start to notice a decrease in the number of times you experience an attack while at the gym.
The use of multiple types of therapy: In 2021, researchers published an article detailing the results of a study comparing psychological treatments that used more than one type of therapy in addition to a single type. The research found that the combined effect of four different therapies was more effective than using only one. This study is important because there are multiple ways to treat anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Some people believe that the best treatment involves using multiple therapies to combat the various symptoms.
Exposure to anxiety and panic triggers. The use of a combination of exposure techniques can be used in combination with traditional psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. In 2021, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reviewed previous studies of exposure and found that exposure therapies were more effective than meditation or hypnotherapy.
They suggested that since exposure is the cornerstone of cognitive behavioral therapy, it is highly effective at combating the symptoms of both disorders. They also found that this treatment is useful in conjunction with other similar treatments such as biofeedback and neurofeedback. In addition, experts believe that combining exposure therapy with biofeedback and neurofeedback may increase the effectiveness of the therapy beyond the mere exposure factor.