Conditions That Accompany Anxiety and Seeking Help
It is common for an anxiety disorder to be accompanied by another anxiety disorder or another illness. Often, people who have panic disorder or social phobia, for example, also experience the intense sadness and hopelessness associated with depression. Other conditions that a person can have along with an anxiety disorder include an eating disorder or alcohol or drug abuse. Any of these problems will need to be treated as well, ideally at the same time as the anxiety disorder.
If you or someone you know has symptoms of anxiety, a visit to the family physician is usually the best place to start. A physician can help determine whether the symptoms are due to an anxiety disorder, some other medical condition, or both. Frequently, the next step in getting anxiety treatment is referral to a mental health professional.
Among the professionals who can help are psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors. However, it's best to look for a professional who has specialized training in cognitive behavioral therapy and/or behavioral therapy, as appropriate, and who is open to the use of medications, should they be needed.
As stated earlier, psychologists, social workers, and counselors sometimes work closely with a psychiatrist or other physician, who will prescribe medications when they are required. For some people, group therapy is a helpful part of treating anxiety.
It's important that you feel comfortable with the therapy that the mental health professional suggests. If this is not the case, seek help elsewhere. However, if you've been taking medication, it's important not to discontinue it abruptly, as stated before. Certain drugs have to be tapered off under the supervision of a physician.
When you find a healthcare professional you are satisfied with, remember that the two of you are working together as a team. Together, you will be able to develop an anxiety treatment plan that may involve medications, cognitive behavioral or other talk therapy, or both, as appropriate.
You may be concerned about paying for treatment for an anxiety disorder. If you belong to a health maintenance organization (HMO) or have some other kind of health insurance, the costs of your treatment may be fully or partially covered. There are also public mental health centers that charge people according to how much they are able to pay. If you are on public assistance, you may be able to get care through your state Medicaid plan.