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Strategies to Make Anxiety Treatment More Effective

Many people with anxiety disorders benefit from joining a self-help group and sharing their problems and achievements with others. Talking with friends or a trusted member of the clergy can also be helpful, although it is not a substitute for mental healthcare. Participating in an Internet chat room may also be of value in sharing concerns and decreasing a sense of isolation, but any advice received should be viewed with caution.
 
The family is of great importance in the recovery of a person with an anxiety disorder. Ideally, the family should be supportive without helping to perpetuate the person's symptoms. If the family tends to trivialize the disorder or demand improvement without treatment for anxiety, the affected person will likely suffer.
 
Stress management techniques and meditation may help you to calm yourself and enhance the effects of therapy, although no scientific evidence exists to support the value of these "wellness" approaches to recovery from anxiety disorders.
 
There is preliminary evidence that aerobic exercise may be of value, and it is known that caffeine, illicit drugs, and even some over-the-counter cold medications can aggravate the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Check with your physician or pharmacist before taking any additional medicines.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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