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Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Treatment for general anxiety disorder falls into two categories: psychotherapy (relaxation technequies, biofeedback, cognitive-behavorial therapy) and drug treatment. Psychotherpay is more effective than drug treatment; therefore, it is the firstline treatment for this condition. Most patients could benefit from a combination of both therapies.

Although medical care can help most people with generalized anxiety disorder, treatment success varies from person to person. Some people with generalized anxiety disorder experience an improvement after only a few months of treatment, while others may take a year or more. Treatment can be complicated by having another condition at the same time, such as substance abuse, depression, or other anxiety disorders.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and specially trained primary care providers are trained to treat generalized anxiety disorder. If your healthcare provider doesn't have special training, ask for the name of a healthcare provider or counselor who does.

Treatment involves the following:

Medications
Other treatments
Alternative and complementary therapies

Currently, surgical procedures are not a treatment option for generalized anxiety disorder.

References:

Anxiety Disorders Association of America website. Available at: http://www.adaa.org/.

National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/.



Last reviewed February 2007 by David Juan, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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