A Comprehensive Overview of Anxiety Treatment Options

Learn about anxiety and the various anxiety treatment options available through this comprehensive article.

Table of Contents


With anxiety being one of the most prevalent mental health concerns, anxiety treatment plays a crucial role in society. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of anxiety, its effects on wellness, and various treatment options. By the end, you will have a better understanding of how you can manage your anxiety symptoms and find a quality anxiety treatment center.

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What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response to stress or danger. It is a feeling of uneasiness, worry, or fear that can be mild or severe. It is a common human emotion that everyone experiences from time to time.

Anxiety: a General Overview

Symptoms of Anxiety

Symptoms of anxiety can include:
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating

What Is an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health disorders. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 301 million people worldwide suffer from anxiety disorders. In the United States, anxiety disorders affect around 40 million adults, approximately 18.1% of the population.1
What differentiates anxiety from anxiety disorders is the severity. Once symptoms of anxiety become excessive, persistent, and interfere with daily life.2

Types of Anxiety

There are several types of anxiety disorders, each with varying symptoms and diagnostic criteria. Here are some of the most common types of anxiety:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive and persistent worry about everyday things, events, or activities. The worry is often about health, finances, work, relationships, or safety issues, and it is often difficult to control or stop.

A Deeper Look at Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder involves sudden and unexpected panic attacks, which are intense feelings of fear or discomfort that can last several minutes. It can also be classified alongside specific phobias. This involves intense fear or anxiety about specific objects or situations, such as heights, spiders, or flying.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by intense fear or anxiety in social situations, making it difficult to interact with others and form relationships.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) causes persistent, intrusive, and unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions). These compulsive behaviors reduce the anxiety or distress caused by obsessive thoughts.
People with OCD may feel like they have to repeat specific actions repeatedly, such as checking that doors are locked or repeatedly washing their hands. These compulsions can be time-consuming and interfere with daily activities, relationships, and work or school performance.

A Deeper Look at Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as combat, sexual assault, a natural disaster, or a severe accident. Common symptoms include flashbacks, hallucinations, and nightmares of the event, avoidance of anything that reminds the individual of the trauma, and irritability.

Impact of Anxiety on Overall Wellness

Anxiety can significantly impact overall wellness, affecting almost all aspects of life, including:

Financial Impacts

Anxiety can lead to various negative behaviors that impact financial matters. Here are some ways anxiety can affect finances:
  • Overspending: Anxiety can cause individuals to seek relief through shopping or spending. This leads to overspending and debt.
  • Avoidance: Financial matters, such as paying bills or doing taxes, can cause anxiety. This leads to missed payments and additional financial stress.
  • Poor Job Performance: Anxiety can impact job performance. Eventually, this results in decreased productivity and job loss. 
  • Poor Investment Decisions: Anxiety can cause individuals to make impulsive or fearful decisions. Some might make poor investment choices and lose money.
  • Debt: All of the points listed above can cause debt. Not knowing how to handle debt or being too afraid or nervous to ask for help can lead to long-term economic instability.

Seeking anxiety treatment can be an essential step in improving financial wellness.

Social Impacts

Social well-being is an essential component of overall wellness. It refers to the quality and satisfaction of an individual’s relationships with others. Anxiety can cause various negative behaviors that interfere with healthy relationships. Here are some ways anxiety can affect social wellness:
  • Isolation: People with anxiety often withdraw from family and friends. 
  • Irritability: People might notice that an individual with anxiety is often irritable. 
  • Negative Self-Talk: Anxiety can affect an individual’s confidence in themselves.  
  • Communication: The fear of being judged or expressing oneself can make it difficult to talk to others.
  • Relationships: Anxiety often affects the personal relationships of an individual. 

Physical Impacts

Anxiety can impact physical wellness in many ways. The many common physical symptoms of anxiety include:
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Body pain
  • Digestive issues
  • Nausea

Additional Physical Ramifications of Untreated Anxiety

If anxiety is left untreated, it can lead to long-term health problems such as:3
  • High blood pressure
  • Weakened immune system
  • Insomnia 
  • Decreased cardiac function

Emotional Impacts

Anxiety can cause a variety of negative emotions and interfere with healthy coping mechanisms. Here are some ways anxiety can affect emotional wellness:
  • Fear: Anxiety can cause fear or panic, leading to a sense of danger or impending doom.
  • Worry: Anxiety can lead to excessive worry or rumination, making it difficult to focus on anything else.
  • Irritability: Anxiety can cause irritability, leading to relationship and interpersonal communication difficulties.
  • Low Self-Esteem: Anxiety can negatively impact self-esteem, making it difficult to feel confident in oneself or one’s abilities.
  • Depression: Chronic anxiety can lead to depression, impacting emotional wellness and overall quality of life.

At-Home Anxiety Treatments

Several at-home anxiety treatments can help manage symptoms and promote relaxation. Here are two examples:

Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can be a simple and effective way to reduce anxiety symptoms. They are an easy anxiety treatment.
One technique is to inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, hold your breath for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for several minutes, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of the body. This can help slow down racing thoughts and promote a sense of calm.


Practicing yoga can help reduce anxiety symptoms by promoting relaxation and relieving stress. Yoga combines physical postures with deep breathing exercises and meditation. Some yoga poses, such as the child’s pose and corpse pose, are particularly beneficial for reducing anxiety.
While at-home anxiety treatments can be helpful, seeking professional help is vital if anxiety interferes with daily life or causes significant distress.

Therapy for Anxiety

Therapy is a type of professional anxiety treatment that involves meeting with a trained mental health professional to address anxiety and other mental health concerns. Several types of therapy can be used to treat anxiety. Some include the following;

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective, evidence-based anxiety treatment. CBT is based on the idea that negative thoughts and behaviors can contribute to anxiety. Thus, it aims to change these thoughts and behaviors into positive ones.
CBT helps individuals develop coping strategies and problem-solving skills to manage anxiety symptoms. While it is an effective anxiety treatment, CBT may not work for everyone. This is why multiple therapeutic methods are available.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another effective anxiety treatment. DBT incorporates mindfulness, acceptance-based techniques, and cognitive and behavioral strategies to help individuals learn to tolerate distress and regulate their emotions. It can help individuals learn to manage anxiety symptoms and reduce emotional reactivity.

Individuals can access DBT services by seeking a referral from their health care provider or contacting a mental health clinic or therapist directly. Like CBT, DBT can be provided through telehealth or online platforms.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an evidence-based anxiety treatment that combines mindfulness practices and cognitive behavioral strategies. Mindfulness is a technique that encourages individuals to focus on the present moment and be aware of their thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations without judgment. MBSR can help individuals become more aware of anxious thoughts and behaviors so they can learn to manage them effectively.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness-based approach to anxiety treatment. ACT focuses on acceptance of one’s thoughts and feelings, rather than trying to suppress or change them. It aims to help individuals become mindful in their present experience and cultivate self-compassion.
ACT also helps individuals identify values that are important to them, which can be used as sources of motivation for coping with anxiety symptoms. Individuals can access ACT services through telehealth or online platforms.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is an evidence-based treatment for anxiety that focuses on improving interpersonal relationships and communication skills. IPT helps individuals develop better coping strategies, learn how to express their emotions in a healthy way, build strong support networks, and create positive changes in their life. Through this process, individuals are able to manage their anxious thoughts and behaviors more effectively. IPT can also help reduce symptoms of depression which is often comorbid with anxiety disorders.
Individuals can find IPT services by contacting a mental health clinic or therapist directly. It is important to note that while medications may be prescribed alongside IPT, it is generally not recommended as a stand-alone treatment for anxiety.

Medication Options for Anxiety Treatment

Medication is another option for treating anxiety. In many cases, it can be used in conjunction with therapy for the best results. Medication is also an effective option for those with severe anxiety symptoms.4
Several medications are available for anxiety treatment, including;
  • Antidepressants: Antidepressants are commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders. They provide calming and relaxing effects. Some examples include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
  • Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that act as sedatives and are often used to treat acute anxiety symptoms. 
  • Beta-Blockers: Beta-blockers are typically used to treat physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat and trembling.

Medication Side Effects

Side effects of anxiety medications can vary depending on the type of medication, but some common side effects may include:
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Changes in appetite or weight
Some medications may also cause sexual dysfunction or increased anxiety symptoms.

Relevant Anxiety Medication Considerations

People should also consider the following when taking medication:
  • Potential drug interactions with other medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
  • Lifestyle changes may be needed, such as avoiding alcohol or certain activities that may exacerbate anxiety symptoms. 
Additionally, medication for anxiety is not a standalone treatment and is often used with therapy and other non-medication treatments. Regular check-ins with a health care provider are important to monitor medication effectiveness and manage potential side effects.

Anxiety Clinics

Anxiety clinics are another specialized mental health clinic.5 They focus on the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders. These clinics are staffed with mental health professionals with expertise in treating anxiety conditions. Some anxiety clinics may also offer the following programs:

All these programs are suitable for individuals with severe anxiety symptoms.

Services Available in Most Anxiety Clinics

Anxiety clinics also offer a range of services, including:
  • Diagnostic assessments
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Medication management
They also include other non-medication treatments, such as:
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness-based interventions

Alternative and Complementary Treatments for Anxiety

Alternative and complementary anxiety treatments refer to non-traditional or holistic approaches. They are often used alongside or instead of traditional treatments. Examples of alternative or complementary anxiety treatments include:6
  • Herbal supplements
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Aromatherapy

Benefits of Alternative Opportunities

Receiving anxiety treatment can significantly improve a person’s quality of life. Some common benefits may include the following:
  • Reducing anxiety symptoms
  • Improving overall well-being
  • Promoting relaxation
  • Stress reduction
Access to these options may vary depending on the type of treatment and availability. Some treatments, such as aromatherapy, may be available over the counter. Others, such as acupuncture or massage therapy, may require a licensed practitioner.

Support Groups

Support groups are a type of community-based anxiety treatment. They can be helpful resources for people with anxiety disorders. These groups meet regularly to share their experiences, provide mutual support, and learn coping strategies from each other.

Support groups can also help individuals build a sense of community. This helps to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Some groups may focus on specific anxiety disorders, while others may be more general. Support groups can be led by a mental health professional or facilitated by trained volunteers with lived experience.

Tips on Finding an Anxiety Treatment Provider That Is Right for You

Finding an anxiety treatment provider that is right for you can be challenging. Here are some tips that can make the process easier:

  • Ask for Recommendations: You can ask your health care provider, friends, or family for recommendations. This way, you can find an anxiety treatment center that is highly reviewed. 
  • Do Your Research: Once you have a list of potential anxiety treatment providers, research them online to learn more about their programs. Check their qualifications, areas of expertise, and treatment approaches.
  • Check Credentials: Ensure any potential provider is licensed and certified in their field.
  • Consider Treatment Approaches: Consider which approaches you feel most comfortable with and see which facilities fall along those lines.
  • Check Insurance Coverage: If you have insurance, check which providers are covered under your plan.
  • Schedule a Consultation: Many mental health professionals offer free consultations. This can be an excellent opportunity to learn more about their approach and if you feel comfortable working with them.
  • Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, it’s important to trust your instincts. Choose a provider you feel comfortable with and trust to help you navigate your anxiety.
anxiety treatment

How Can Alternative Options Help?

Alternative Options offers a comprehensive and structured approach to anxiety treatments. We have a multidisciplinary team of professionals who can provide care and support for a variety of symptoms and types of anxiety disorders.
We tailor our treatment plans to each client to ensure they are receiving the best care that suits their needs. Our compassionate and empathetic approach allows our clients to feel heard, supported, and empowered throughout treatment.

Alternative Options Treatment Process

Our simple and effective process starts with an initial consultation. We will work with you or your loved one to identify your needs and develop a personalized treatment plan. From there, we will guide you through the process of incorporating various therapeutic methods into your daily routine and provide ongoing support to ensure your success.
Our process is simple, easy, and highly effective.

Reach Out Today and Begin Healing

Contact us at Alternative Options today if you or your loved one needs help with anxiety. The journey to a higher quality of life starts now.