Without being pathological, anxiety can become burdensome, especially when one is confronted with professional or academic difficulties… To avoid being overwhelmed, it is important to frame it gently.
Avoid certain false friends such as cigarettes or alcohol: they provide temporary relaxation at the cost of an inevitable anxious rebound as soon as the substance no longer takes effect. This is the path to addiction… Also watch out for stimulants such as caffeine or certain energetic medicated cocktails.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle: eat a balanced diet and, above all, rest. Anxiety disorders and their manifestations are always aggravated by a lack of sleep.
Try positive thinking when a feeling of anxiety arises: stop and rationally identify the cause of this anxiety and then, if necessary, the means to calm it quietly.
Medicines for anxiety
Antidepressants and anxiolytics (psychotropic drugs that affect brain function) are the first drugs prescribed for the management of anxiety, and often in combination.
Two families of anxiolytics
Anxiolytics can belong to two families: benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines.
- The first are the most used for their almost immediate effect. They reduce communication between certain nerve cells, which decreases anxiety, improves sleep and relaxes muscles. Problem: Benzodiazepines put you at risk of long-term dependence.
- In the category of non-benzodiazepines, we find buspirone, longer to act but with fewer side effects and little dependence; captodiamine and etifoxine which act more on psychosomatic manifestations. Other molecules are available to the doctor, the only one authorized to prescribe them according to the type of anxiety disorder (panic disorder, OCD, generalized anxiety, etc.).
The only solution for an almost immediate relief of anxiety disorders, psychotropic drugs must be prescribed with discernment so that their disadvantages do not exceed the expected benefits.
Psychotherapies for anxiety
In the event of pathological anxiety, psychotherapy should be systematic, combined with medication if the symptoms are too difficult to bear.
The general practitioner launches in fact in a supportive psychotherapy from the first consultation by listening to the patient and seeking to assess anxiety-inducing situations. This first approach possibly makes it possible to highlight the interest of a specialized and structured psychotherapy.
The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT)
TTCs have proven long-lasting efficacy in the treatment of various anxiety disorders. The management must however be sufficiently intense and prolonged: one session per week for three to six months.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you understand the circumstances of anxiety, identify the thinking behind it, and then change it. In the treatment of anxiety, CBTs often rely on relaxation and breathing techniques.
Finally, in the absence of benchmark studies, experience shows that analytically inspired therapies that seek to identify the possible starting point of the anxiety disorder also provide relief for patients.
Complementary approaches to the relief of anxiety disorders
For mild forms of anxiety, the use of complementary approaches can be effective, if only because it already shows a personal desire to get better.
Homeopathy and acupuncture are part of a global approach to fight against anxiety and nevertheless specific by aiming to alleviate certain symptoms (sleep disorders, muscle relaxation, etc.).
Herbal medicine, by infusion or decoction of plants, is possibly an alternative to drugs in occasional and mild disorders. Beware of any interactions between plants and the usual drugs: St. John’s Wort, with its proven benefits for mild depressive states, can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.
Whatever approach interests you, be sure to contact authentic specialists …
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