Dr. Evans: All anxiety disorders are very treatable with either cognitive behavioral therapy or medications or a combination of the two.
Dr. Evans: Well, generally speaking, if you were to see someone for cognitive behavioral therapy you’d deal with what sorts of triggers or what sorts of thoughts are running through your head that may be causing the anxious feelings. Once you have those identified, you can look to see what sorts of modifications you can do. So for example, a lot people have fear of flying. So they might go to see a therapist and what you might try to do is approximate different situations. So you’d have the person imagine themselves like going to the airport, imagine themselves getting on the plane and working through ways to relax or think of strategies that help them relax to help them deal with their anxious feelings. So for example, deep breathing, meditation, relaxation training are different behavioral methods used to help people initiate kind of a relaxation response in the presence of something that they are anxious about.
Dr. Evans: Exposure-based behavioral therapy is a type of behavioral therapy used to treat simple phobias. So for example, if you have a fear of snakes for example, first you imagine being in various levels of proximity to the snake, and then eventually you might even go into a real room where the snake is at the end of the hall. And basically the therapy consists of getting you closer and closer to the actual thing that you’re afraid of, all the while working out relaxation techniques to help you deal with that fear.
Dr. Evans: Generally, the medications that a lot of people receive for anxiety disorders include anti-depressant medications as well as anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines or some sedatives.