Option 1: Self-help Programs
When suffering from anxiety, self-help programs are a good place to start. By getting the right information, you may be able to cure the anxiety yourself. Self-help programs educate you about anxiety and techniques to cope with anxiety.
One big advantage is that self-help methods are a lot cheaper than medication and psychotherapy. A good self-help program might cost between $65 and $150, while a session of psychotherapy might cost between $125 and $200. When doing psychotherapy you may have to go to 10-20 sessions. So, the total cost of psychotherapy can be as much as $4000.
Another advantage with self-help programs is that some of them include forums where you can connect with others who suffer from anxiety. It can be of great help to share your experience with other anxiety sufferers, and relate to other peoples experiences. This is an aspect that medical treatments and psychotherapy lack (with the exception of group-therapy). Many anxiety sufferers find this factor to be the most therapeutic element.
Some self-help programs also include assistant from professional counselors and psychologists. To get an experts advice and guidance can be very helpful when you struggle with anxiety.
Option 2: Medication
Medication can be helpful when you suffer from anxiety. There are several different types of medications. If you consider using medication to cure your anxiety, then there are three categories of drugs you should know about:
- Tricyclic antidepressants: such as Imipramine
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: such as Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft; and Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors: such as Effexor
- Benzodiazepines: such as Alprazolam, Valium and Clonazepam
When using drugs, it's important to consult with your doctor and follow his or her recommendation.
Drugs are very helpful when struggling with anxiety. However, medication is most useful when the anxiety is of a severe degree. There are several disadvantages with using medication to treat anxiety, including side-effects like:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty urinating
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction
Just to name a few.
Also, medication is an external way of coping with the anxiety, and you might create a psychological dependency on the drug because you feel like you can't cope without it. Self-help programs and psychotherapy creates a coping strategy where you are dealing with the anxiety, and are not dependent on a drug.
Option 3: Psychotherapy
There are several different forms of psychotherapy for anxiety. One of the most used, and probably the most researched therapy when it comes to anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy.
In this type of therapy, you and the therapist work together on ending the anxiety.
The therapist will educate you about the type of anxiety that you suffer from, and give you techniques to cope with the anxiety. The therapist will often give you homework assignments where you test out different techniques and strategies.
Although therapy can be expensive, it's definitely worth giving it a shot.