Did you know that not all stress is bad? It’s actually a normal part of life. It’s the body’s response to certain situations or events that seem overwhelming. It is when stress gets too intense, happens every so often, or remains unresolved that it becomes a cause of concern. That’s because stress, if left untreated, can lead to worse disorders like anxiety. Anxiety, on the other hand, can become too severe to the point where it becomes a chronic disorder. That’s when things really go out of hand.
Understanding Chronic Anxiety Disorder
One of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders is chronic anxiety disorder, which is also known by the term generalized anxiety disorder or GAD. This psychological condition is as prevalent as panic disorder as well as social phobias. In most cases, people affected by chronic anxiety disorder consult a general practitioner instead of a psychiatrist. This further delays treatment as only a specialist can correctly diagnose the underlying causes of such condition. The usual approach of a doctor to begin treatment for chronic anxiety disorder is pharmacotherapy.
Prescription drugs like benzodiazepines are administered to patients under close observation for side effects. These drugs alleviate the condition by relaxing the tense muscles caused by too much worrying. However, giving medicines is not sufficient to treat chronic anxiety disorder especially when the patient does not respond well according to a study published in the American Family Physician Journal. Likewise, patients with history of liver or kidney disease, as well as the elderly, may not tolerate medication easily. Instead, other options must be explored such as behavioral therapy, which can reduce the symptoms of chronic anxiety disorder.
Behavioral Treatment for Chronic Anxiety Disorder
There are different types of behavioral treatment or nonpharmacologic modalities used in treating chronic anxiety disorder. It is actually a regular practice for psychiatrists to combine drugs with psychological treatments to treat the condition based on the severity of the symptoms. People suffering from chronic anxiety are worried most of the time which is often accompanied by irritability, insomnia, and fatigue. As a result, these individuals often experience muscle tension and resort to procrastination due to constant worrying. Some behavioral therapies include relaxation techniques, biofeedback, and cognitive therapy.
According to Dr Michael Gliatto, there have been studies that show more positive effects for cognitive behavioral therapy as compared to other psychological approaches. Nevertheless, he also mentioned that cognitive behavior treatment is limited to certain conditions and not applicable to patients with personality disorders. Behavioral treatment for chronic anxiety disorder is only good for such cases when complemented by medicines. It must also be kept in mind that patients who abuse prescription drugs must be treated separately since their case of chronic anxiety disorder is more complicated. Indeed, consulting a specialist for proper treatment is the best remedy for chronic anxiety disorder.
Nipping the Problem in the Bud
Perhaps the best thing you can do is nip the problem in the bud. How? As mentioned earlier, unmanaged stress can lead to anxiety. Hence, the best thing to do is manage stress from the get go. That’s possible if you take adaptogenic supplements, herbal supplements that contain ingredients meant to help your body’s production of cortisol, the body’s stress-inducing hormone. You can find out more here about adaptogenic supplements, as well as how these can help you manage stress before it leads to anxiety.