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How to Cure an Anxiety Disorder

A cure for anxiety disorder doesn’t exist, but there are ways to relieve anxiety disorder symptoms – the closest thing to a cure for anxiety disorder.

Due to its prevalence, many people ask, "How to cure an anxiety disorder." Unfortunately, no cure for anxiety disorder is known, but many effective treatments are available and, particularly when used together, can form something similar to a cure for anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder is primarily treated with therapy, medication and lifestyle changes. Often by using a combination of these treatments, an individual may feel they have been cured of an anxiety disorder.

I Thought Medication Was a Cure for Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Medication treatments are not cures for anxiety disorders, but they can help reduce the symptoms. Often times, by reducing the anxiety disorder symptoms, therapy and other treatments have a chance to work. Different medications are used for different anxiety disorders, but overall, the types of medications used for anxiety disorder treatment include:1

  • Antidepressants – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) are often prescribed. Another kind of antidepressant, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) like duloxetine (Cymbalta) is also common.
  • Benzodiazepines – these tranquilizers are often prescribed for short-term treatment of acute anxiety symptoms. Long-term use is often a concern due to increased tolerance and dependence on the drug. Common benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan).
  • Anticonvulsants – this antiseizure medication, like pregabalin (Lyrica), may be given long-term for anxiety disorder treatment.
  • Antipsychotics – antipsychotics are often used in conjunction when other medications alone are not sufficient. Examples include risperidone (Risperdal) and aripiprazole (Abilify).
  • Antihypertensives – this medication can lower blood pressure and reduce the physical symptoms of an anxiety disorder. This may be particularly useful in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Antianxiety agents – one medication, buspirone (BuSpar) is considered, specifically, an antianxiety medication.

Will Therapy Cure My Anxiety Disorder?

Therapy treatments are not cures for anxiety disorders either, but they can be very useful in eliminating anxiety disorder symptoms and changing anxiety-related thought patterns. Several types of therapy are used including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be delivered in-person or even via a computer program (known as FearFighter). CBT is particularly useful in panic and phobia disorders.
  • Behavioral therapy has also been shown useful in clinical studies in treating anxiety disorder.
  • Psychodynamic (talk or insight) therapy is rarely used as a standalone therapy for anxiety disorders unless there are complicating factors such as a history of abuse.

What About Lifestyle Changes?

Lifestyle changes may not cure an anxiety disorder but they can go a long way to relieving some of the anxiety disorder symptoms. Lifestyle changes are best used in conjunction with other treatments to attain their full benefit.

Lifestyle changes that help rid someone of anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Dietary changes such as avoiding caffeine
  • Getting more exercise and proper rest
  • Learning to meditate, practice mindfulness or do relaxation exercises
  • Practicing yoga
  • Learning skills with which to better handle stress

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APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2012, January 13). How to Cure an Anxiety Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/anxiety-disorders/how-to-cure-an-anxiety-disorder

Last Updated: May 15, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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