Very effective treatments exist for anxiety disorders. Clinical trials consistently find that cognitive and behavioral interventions for anxiety disorders lead to large treatment gains. Many controlled clinical trials show superiority of CBT to placebo intervention. In fact, treatments for the majority of anxiety disorders have reached the classification by the American Psychological Association of well-established or probably efficacious treatments. Based on this evidence, large organizations (e.g. National Institute for Health and Excellence, American Psychiatric Association) have recommended that CBT be considered the appropriate first-line treatment for anxiety disorders.
However, it is important to note that this means that a particular type of treatment (CBT) is effective for the anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, not all mental health practitioners are trained in or utilize these effective treatments. For this reason, if if you seek treatment look for an anxiety specialist, or ask your clinician what their treatment model is, and what research supports its effectiveness for your particular diagnosis. Look for empirically-supported treatments, using exposure with response prevention, and cognitive and behavioral therapy.
Typically, anxiety disorders are unremitting and chronic. This means that without treatment, the anxiety disorder will not go away, and often will get worse over time resulting in increased distress and impairment of social and occupational functioning.
Sadly, most people with anxiety disorders don’t realize that they have it. They are certainly aware of the symptoms, but often do not realize for years that their symptoms are the result of a treatable anxiety disorder. Luckily, when people do make this connection, they typically seek out treatment with a professional fairly rapidly.
Click here to read more about treatment services at the Anxiety Treatment Center of Austin.