Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
With anxiety, a kind of thinking that people sometimes get caught in is catastrophizing (CIRPD resources coming soon). Some studies have shown that reframing or thinking differently can reduce catastrophizing. One strategy for changing this tendency to catastrophize is called cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
Cognitive behavioural therapy is based on two ideas:
depressed people tend to have an ongoing negative bias in their thinking.
depressed people tend to interpret events in a way that maintains the depression.
Individual counselling with psychologists or counsellors trained in cognitive-behavioural therapy may prove helpful.
It also may be helpful to learn more about the kinds of thought-altering that you can work on yourself through self-management resources.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy: an information guide Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – Real Stories Anxiety BC
Self-Help – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Anxiety BC
How Can CBT Help? Get Self Help UK
Cognitive Behavioural Self-Management Course Get Self Help UK
Antidepressants, beta-blockers and anti-anxiety medications are the most common medications used for anxiety disorders.
Antidepressants were developed to treat depression, but they have been found to help some people with anxiety disorders. Studies have found that twenty percent of people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) have been shown to receive benefit from antidepressant than better than placebo (dummy treatment). A study using antidepressants in children and adolescents with GAD has also showed very promising results.
Beta-blockers control some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as trembling and sweating. Propranolol is a beta-blocker. Taking the medicine for a short period of time can help the person keep physical symptoms under control.
Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications)
The anti-anxiety medications called benzodiazepines can start working more quickly than antidepressants. The ones used to treat anxiety disorders include:
Clonazepam, which is used for social phobia and GAD
Lorazepam, which is used for panic disorder
Alprazolam, which is used for panic disorder and GAD
Benzodiazepines should only be prescribed for short periods of time. Recent research has found people who are taking certain types of benzodiazepines for three to six months potentially raised the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 32%, and taking it for more than six months boosted the risk by 84%. People who were on a long-acting benzodiazepine like diazepam (Valium) and flurazepam (Dalmane) were at greater risk than those on a short-acting one like triazolam (Halcion), lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and temazepam (Restoril). The researchers noted that the use of benzodiazepines could be just a signal that people are trying to cope with anxiety and sleep disruption—two common symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease. If that’s true, their use of a benzodiazepine may not be a factor in causing dementia but merely an indication it is already in progress.
Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication used to treat
Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Unlike benzodiazepines, however, it takes at least two weeks for buspirone to begin working.
Marc White PhD, Scientific & Executive Director, CIRPD