A Few Options For Treating Your Anxiety Disorder While Weaning Yourself From Medications

Almost everyone will experience an episode of fear or anxiety at some point in life. However, an anxiety disorder is more than being nervous about giving a speech, being afraid of flying, or occasionally worrying about whether you left the curling iron plugged in or not. When you suffer with an anxiety disorder these feelings are excessive, insurmountable, and life-altering. There are medications available to help with the feelings, however for some people there are side effects that can be just as bad as the anxiety. If you need to treat anxiety but do not want the drugs, there are alternative methods. However, before you begin any type of treatment, you need to talk with your medical doctor and therapist. Discuss the options you want to try and be sure to keep them informed of what is going on during the treatments.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy involves subjecting you to the triggers that cause an anxiety attack. However, it is done in a very controlled atmosphere with a licensed therapist guiding you through the session. The idea is to help you confront your fears so you are not as sensitive to them. If you do not know what your triggers are, this type of therapy can be used to find them. You will be exposed to different things and situations to see how you react. Since the exposure is controlled, the trigger can be identified and then the desensitization can begin.

Change in Lifestyle

No matter what type of treatment you use, including medications, you should make some lifestyle changes. These are nothing major, that will add stress and anxiety, but are healthy changes. You should slowly reduce the amount of caffeine you drink until you are not drinking any. Stimulants of any kind increase the feelings of anxiety. Take time to exercise daily to increase the release of endorphins. These hormones are the "happy" hormones and will have you feeling better about life in general. Make sure you get enough sleep so you are well rested and ready to deal with everyday activities.

As you work with a therapist and make some simple lifestyle changes keep a journal of how you feel. You may need to take medications at the beginning to keep things under control. However, as the other treatments begin to help, your doctor will work with you to lower the dosage you need and perhaps eventually take you off them except for emergencies.