The treatment of anxiety is an important health priority. According to a recent report by the Public Health Agency of Canada1, anxiety disorders affect approximately 12% of the general population at a level that significantly interferes with their ability to function. In the metropolitan region of Montreal with a population of approximately 4.1 million, 492,000 are significantly affected by anxiety at this moment. This means you are not alone in your experience of the debilitating effects that anxiety can have.
Fortunately, there are a number of scientifically-validated treatments available to treat anxiety. The two most common treatments for anxiety are the use of medication and therapy. Although there are some people that use ‘natural’ or ‘over-the-counter’ products to treat anxiety, whether these have been consistently tested with rigorous scientific methods and independently reviewed is always open to debate.
If you want some help choosing a Montreal Psychologist that treats anxiety,
make sure to consult these 5 Essential Factors that people have used
Pharmacological Treatment of Anxiety
The first type of treatment available for anxiety is the use of prescribed medication such as antidepressants or benzodiazepines. Numerous scientific studies have shown that these classes of medication are effective versus placebo in treating anxiety. A medical professional, such as a general practitioner, family physician or psychiatrist is responsible for prescribing medication that can help to treat anxiety.
Some people have concerns about taking medication such as side effects, becoming dependant on the medication or experiencing changes in their personality. It is true that there can be some side effects when initially taking medication, but these are tolerated once the body is used to the medication. In terms of changes in personality, traits are generally stable over one’s lifetime and there are no studies showing they can change due to medication. If you are considering taking medication and are concerned, you should speak to a medical professional about your apprehensions as this is their area of expertise. Make sure to avoid reading 'forums' about medication as these just tend to increase anxiety about medication.
If you want to discuss whether medication could help you in your treatment of anxiety:
- Speak to your family doctor.
- If you do not have a family doctor call your local CLSC or make an appointment at a walk-in clinic to see a general practitioner.
- You can also call the hospital in your area to see if they have a clinic that treats anxiety.
- You can also discuss with your doctor whether consulting a psychiatrist, who is a specialist just like a cardiologist, would be beneficial to you.
Be sure to ask them all the questions you may have about medication that can treat anxiety. These may include:
- What medication will help you in your anxiety treatment?
- How long you will need to take medication to treat the anxiety symptoms.
- Any concerns you may have about the potential side effects, your concerns about dependence or changes in personality.
Treatment of Anxiety with Therapy
The best type of psychological treatment for anxiety2 is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT for short. CBT is not just ‘talk therapy’, but a scientifically-validated approach for the treatment of anxiety that involves changing thinking patterns as well as behaviors that are maintaining the symptoms of anxiety. CBT is the psychological treatment of choice for anxiety according to the opinions of the Canadian and American Psychological Associations.
Here are a few quicks facts about CBT. Depending on the study, 50-96% of people benefit significantly from CBT3. In addition, 95% of people who were treated with CBT for anxiety were symptom-free at a 10-year follow-up4.
If you are wondering whether CBT could benefit you, CBT is the psychological treatment for anxiety for you if you want anxiety therapy that is:
- Scientifically-validated to work;
- Structured and results-driven;
- Practical and gives you tools to help treat anxiety symptoms;
- Focused on the present and you do not want to spend months just talking about the past;
- More short-term in nature rather than long-term (i.e. weeks-to-months vs. months-to-years).
What Approach Should I Use to Treat Anxiety?
It is your decision to decide what approach you want to use to treat your anxiety. Some people choose either medication or therapy to treat anxiety, whereas some choose both approaches. If you decide to use both medication and therapy, make sure that you still have a small level of anxiety to work with in therapy, as CBT will not be as effective if the medication completely resolves the symptoms of anxiety. It is recommended that you speak to a specialist, such as a medical doctor or psychologist, to help you choose the best treatment for anxiety for you.
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about anxiety treatment available in Montreal.