Anxiety is not an uncontrollable, random or unknown illness or that you inherit, contract or develop. A certain style of behavior is what causes anxiety. More specifically, when you behave in an apprehensive way such as being concerned, worried, fretful or nervous, you are said to be anxious. Almost everyone experiences anxiety to an extent when they are worried about a specific situation. However, when the state of uneasiness, fear and apprehension becomes constant, especially about future uncertainties, it is considered a disorder because it will begin to interfere with your normal functioning and lifestyle.
Anxiety can be caused by various factors such as substance abuse, personality traits, family history or even some medical conditions. The first step that you should take is to go see a doctor for ruling out the possibility that a medical condition is causing your symptoms and it is not psychiatric. Endocrine problems and hyperthyroidism, low blood sugar, too high or too low calcium and some heart problems can cause anxiety. Likewise, some medications may also be responsible. A healthcare provider determines if there is a medical culprit and in the absence of one, you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Once the disorder has been diagnosed, it is time to move to the treatment phase. The first step is medication, which is great for alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and is typically prescribed with other therapies. Some anti-anxiety medicines can be habit-forming so they are only prescribed on a short-term basis. Antidepressants are mostly commonly used for dealing with anxiety disorders, especially the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Lexapro, Prozac and Zoloft.
Beta-blockers and antihistamines can also aid in mild cases of anxiety and specific kinds of anxiety like performance anxiety. Etizolam is also a great anti-anxiety medicine you can use for calming your mind and for countering insomnia that flares up due to anxiety. Finally, some anticonvulsant medicines can also be good for treating anxiety. Benzodiazepines like Klonopin, Valium and Ativan are to be taken in case of panic attacks.
Along with medications, you should also undergo psychotherapy and it is often regarded as a fundamental aspect of anxiety treatment. Supportive-expressive therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy address anxiety as a way to vent out feelings associated with important relationships. Cognitive behavioral therapy, on the other hand, comprises of learning different behavioral relaxation techniques for coping with anxiety and also restructuring patterns of thinking that often cause anxiety.
Another helpful tool is biofeedback during which you watch your own brain-wave patterns and learn how to control them gradually. This allows you to achieve a relaxed state through your will. Some lifestyle modifications are also needed for long-term anxiety relief. This includes doing exercise on a daily basis to vent out your stress and frustration and learning how to do breathing exercises to control your breathing. Another helpful technique is progressive relaxation, which begins by first tensing and then relaxing a part of the body and do this until the entire body is relaxed and calm.