By Robert Lien, MHA
Any can experience the effects of anxiety which include a lack of concentration, irritability, restlessness, racing thoughts or fatigue. Most people experience anxiety and find a way to move forward without it becoming a serious condition. However, for some people anxiety continues to build, leaving the person feeling afraid and not sure what to do. Treating anxiety with medication alone is typically not the best solution. Many people have suffered unintentional consequences of using a pill to treat their anxiety because of the powerfully addictive medications that are prescribed.
Consulting with a medical doctor about increased anxiety is a good step to make sure that a physical condition is not the source of the anxiety symptoms. If your doctor wants to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication, it is good to educate yourself about what type of medication it is and how long it should be used. For most anxiety conditions, medical doctors and psychiatrists will prescribe benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Xanax, Librium etc. These medications help create a sense of relaxation and calmness in the person’s body and mind. Because these medications work quickly, they can create an addictive false sense of security leading a person to feel they have been cured.
As the use of benzodiazepine medication continues on a daily basis it can require more and more of the drug to get the desired effect. This is where the addictive aspect can begin to get out of control because the person enjoys the effect of the medication and is now required to maintain use to avoid withdrawal. The withdrawal from benzodiazepines creates increased anxiety, difficulty concentrating, sweating, nausea, muscle pain and even seizures. Because the withdrawal from using anti-anxiety medication can be worse than the symptoms that led the person to begin taking the pills, the person cannot function in daily life without taking the medication.
Treating anxiety with medication in conjunction with therapy can help reduce the potential for this addictive cycle to begin. Using anti-anxiety medication to initially reduce symptoms of anxiety allows a person to be able to focus on individual and group therapy. In most cases clients are able to reduce their intake of the anti-anxiety medication because they are learning new ways of dealing with their anxiety. Participating in an anxiety group therapy program in conjunction with one-on-one therapy can help treat anxiety much quicker and more efficient than individual therapy alone.
Treatment for anxiety at CAST Centers can help people who have never experienced anxiety before, are experiencing heightened anxiety or have struggled with anxiety for years. Oftentimes, early intervention with anxiety therapy can help before the condition becomes severe requiring the use of medication. Anxiety treatment can be most effective in an outpatient setting because the client is able to immediately put into practice the tools they are learning in our CAST Alignment Model which incorporates elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing and Mindfulness. Our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) offer clients a safe, structured environment where they can connect with others who are facing the same challenges.
Call CAST Centers today at (866)-283-9885 to discuss how your Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna PPO, Aetna PPO, United Healthcare PPO might be able to help pay for anxiety treatment.