Choosing a Treatment for Severe Anxiety
While it’s normal to worry and be anxious about life events or unpleasant situations from time to time, those negative feelings typically dissipate once the event is over. In people with anxiety disorders, however, those negative feelings and unhealthy thought patterns stick around even after triggering circumstances have passed. In some cases, anxious people can even become very sensitive and overreact to mild stressors.
Mindfulness and grounding techniques are popular forms of treatment and can be used in response to stressors to help calm an individual down and reduce acute anxiety in the moment. While beneficial, these techniques aren’t always enough to effectively address the neural mechanisms that are leading to anxiety in the first place. Other traditional anxiety treatments like psychotherapy and medication with antidepressants or benzodiazepines may pose a similar problem, and for a lot of people, are not successful or sustainable long-term treatments.
Other common, conventional anxiety treatments include:
- Learning stress reduction techniques
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol
- Conquering fears (exposure therapy)
- Healthy lifestyle changes
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin
- SSRI antidepressants including Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, and Effexor
- Tricyclic antidepressants such as Tofranil and Anafranil
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as Nardil, Parnate, and Marlin
- Ketamine Infusion Therapy
The use of ketamine infusion for anxiety treatment has gained significant popularity and is considered the most prominent of the non-traditional anxiety treatments. Other alternative treatments for anxiety include progressive muscle relaxation, sensory deprivation, and neurofeedback.