Highly 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 more success through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) compared to placebo intervention. In fact, treatment for the majority of anxiety disorders has reached the classification by the American Psychological Association (APA) of well-established or probably efficacious treatments. Based on this evidence, large organizations (e.g. National Institute for Health and Excellence, APA) have recommended that CBT be considered the appropriate, first-line treatment for anxiety disorders.
However, it is important to note that this particular type of treatment (CBT) is effective for treating anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, not all mental health practitioners are trained in or utilize these treatment methods. For this reason, it is important for people seeking treatment to look for an anxiety specialist–or to ask their clinician what their treatment model is–and understand what research supports its effectiveness for a particular diagnosis. They should look for empirically-supported treatments, using exposure with response prevention, and cognitive and behavioral therapy, or CBT.
Typically, anxiety disorders are unremitting and chronic. This means that without treatment, the anxiety disorder will not go away and often worsen over time. Increased distress and impairment of social and occupational functioning can occur when anxiety goes untreated.
Unfortunately, the majority of people with anxiety disorders don’t realize they have one. They may likely be aware of the symptoms, but often do not realize for years that their symptoms are the result of a treatable anxiety disorder. When people do make this connection, however, they typically seek out treatment with a professional fairly quickly.
Click here to read more about treatment services at the Anxiety Treatment Center of Austin.