There are no laboratory tests that can diagnose Anxiety disorders or GAD. Instead the doctor may conduct a full physical exam to ensure there are no physical illnesses or conditions that may be contributing to the symptoms. Depending upon the duration and severity of the symptoms or how often they are experienced trained medical professionals may make a medical diagnosis of GAD. There are a wide range of available treatment options for Anxiety to include medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and exposure therapy. Cognitive-behavior therapy is a personalized therapy intervention in which people suffering from anxiety are taught to recognize their distorted thinking and patterns and behaviors that trigger their anxiety and anxiety attacks. The focus of cognitive-behavior therapy is on the individual to develop coping skills to combat negative thinking patterns.
Medications can be used to treat anxiety but should generally be used in combination with a therapy program for maximum benefits. Common drugs usedforanxiety includebenzodiazepinesand antidepressants. Benzodiazepinessuch as Xanax, Librium, and Valium are calming drugs that are a class of tranquilizers to help those suffering from anxietyrelax. Antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac, or Zoloft can take weeks before their effects are felt in reducing anxiety, but they are more appropriate for long-term medication therapy for anxiety treatment. Side effects associated with medications used to treat anxiety can be severe causing more problems, including depression or additional anxiety issues, particularly benzodiazepines which have a high possibility of addiction.
Exposure therapy is best used when the source of anxiety is readily identified and specific. Exposure to a feared object or situation can help a sufferer of anxiety garner control over the situation by confronting their fears in a control atmosphere. After continuous exposure coping mechanisms may be developed and the fear diminished in a healthy manner. Additional treatments recommended for low levels of anxiety or less frequent anxiety attacks include relaxation exercises with deep breathing. Regular exercise at least 30 minute a day may reduce anxiety attacks and help overall body feelings and relieve the symptoms of headache and tight muscles. Exercise can actually reduce or eliminate some of the physical symptoms of anxiety such as nausea, sweating, trembling, and rapid heartbeats. Taking time to do relaxing and enjoyable hobbies and recreation can also reduce anxiety and free your mind of everyday stress and anxiety. Relaxing techniques may be in the form of gardening, running, or brisk walks, that can get your body moving and help with emotional mood swings and depression.