Page medically reviewed by Dr Natasha Bijlani (FRCPsych, MBBS), Consultant Psychiatrist based at Priory Hospital Roehampton London in February 2022.
What is Anxiety Treatment?
Everyone can feel worried and anxious from time-to-time, often as a response to stressful life events. However, if you struggle with an anxiety disorder, these emotions can be especially intense. They might prevent you from functioning effectively on a daily basis and can have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing.
Anxiety is a broad term that covers a range of underlying disorders. Different types of anxiety include:
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder, including panic attacks
- Social anxiety disorder
- Separation anxiety
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Adjustment disorder
The symptoms of anxiety can vary depending on the type of anxiety you’re struggling with, as well as being unique to you. However, the most common symptoms of anxiety to look out for include:
- Persistent sense of worry and dread
- Anger and irritability
- Breathing problems
- Increase in blood pressure
Getting a diagnosis for your anxiety can seem like a daunting prospect. However, this is the first step along your road to recovery. Typically, you’ll be diagnosed with anxiety if you:
- Spend most days worrying excessively about lots of different things
- Find it difficult to control your worrying
- Find that your symptoms are significantly interfering with your life and general wellbeing
If this sounds like you, it’s really important to make an appointment to see your GP. They’ll be able to assess your symptoms, diagnose your anxiety and try to find the cause of your anxiety. Alternatively, they’ll be able to refer you to a specialist mental health professional for further review. Or you may wish to get in contact with a mental health provider, such as Priory, directly. Our expert psychiatrists will be able to give you an in-depth evaluation and recommend next steps in terms of anxiety treatment.
Our Anxiety Treatment Centres
We have a network of hospitals and wellbeing centres based in the UK that provide anxiety treatments on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Take a look at some of our hospitals below then use our location finder to help find an anxiety treatment centre near you.
Whatever type of anxiety you have and whatever symptoms you’re experiencing, it’s important to know that you don’t have to struggle on your own. We provide expert anxiety support at Priory, helping you to live your life to the full once again.
Here, you can find out more about the treatment we provide for anxiety, and how you can start your journey towards recovery.
How is Anxiety Treated?
For many people, anxiety can be debilitating. However, effective support can relieve your distress and help you make a strong recovery. Treatment may differ depending the severity of your symptoms, but therapy and medication are proven to be effective at treating anxiety disorders.
At Priory, we are dedicated to providing specialist anxiety treatment and help.
All of our treatment plans are tailored to you and structured with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. We will work with you to understand what may be the cause of your anxiety, tackle your symptoms, and improve your quality of life.
Getting professional help for your anxiety is absolutely crucial. Depending on how severe your anxiety is and the level of support you need, we have a number of different anxiety treatment programmes at Priory. These include:
Outpatient treatment for anxiety
During outpatient treatment, you’ll attend one of our Priory hospitals or wellbeing centres to receive a set number of therapy sessions for your anxiety. These usually happen on a weekly basis and can be flexible based on your work or other commitments.
This consists of you attending one of our Priory sites for a certain number of full or half days each week, and taking part in anxiety therapy. Day care is useful if you don’t need intensive 24-hour support, but still need ongoing, structured care for your anxiety
Inpatient (residential) treatment
During inpatient treatment for anxiety, you’ll stay at one of our Priory hospitals on a residential basis. While you’re with us, you’ll receive intensive treatment for your anxiety and round-the-clock support. Inpatient treatment is effective in treating anxiety because it gives you the chance to spend some time away from your day-to-day life and any negative influences that may be making your anxiety worse
Online therapy for anxiety
In order to be flexible and meet the needs of our patients, we’re also able to provide anxiety therapy online through our dedicated online therapy platform. This means you’re able to access support for anxiety at a time that’s convenient for you and from the comfort of your own home
"I've found the experience really good. I hope to come out of the experience with the clarity and strength to move forward."
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Therapy for Anxiety
We use a number of different therapy types and formats to treat anxiety.
One of the most common methods we use to treat anxiety is a therapy known as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is based on the idea that anxiety develops and is worsened by negative thought patterns. These can be deep-rooted and cause you to respond to and evaluate situations in unhealthy ways. Therefore, the aim of CBT is to address the unhealthy thought processes that underpin your anxiety, and look at why they have developed in the first place. Ultimately, this will help you to view situations much more positively.
Treating anxiety with CBT has been found to result in long-lasting benefits and provides you with effective coping mechanisms for the future. This means you’ll be able to recognise negative thoughts when they arise and respond to them in a more positive way, instead of remaining anxious.
Another technique that we use for anxiety is a method known as exposure therapy. This is a therapeutic technique that aims to reintroduce you to objects, situations or events that make you anxious, in carefully controlled steps. This helps you to gradually confront your fears, and reduce the distress you feel.
As well as CBT and exposure techniques, we also offer a number of other types of talking therapies to treat anxiety. These therapies come in a number of therapy formats:
- One-to-one therapy - this form of therapy takes place on an individual basis between yourself and an anxiety specialist. During 1:1 therapy, your therapist will be able to explore your unique concerns, helping you to achieve the best outcomes for you as an individual. These sessions can happen face-to-face or as part of online therapy
- Group therapy - this type of therapy takes place in a group setting. Groups are usually made up of other patients who are going through similar issues to you or who have also been diagnosed with anxiety. The aim of group therapy is to provide you with the chance to share your experiences with other group members, offer mutual guidance and support, and explore your anxiety in a safe, compassionate and non-judgemental setting
- Family and couples therapy – this type of therapy takes place in a group with your family or loved ones. The aim of family therapy is to help you have an open and honest conversation about your anxiety, allowing everyone involved to understand what anxiety is, recognise the signs and symptoms of anxiety and explore the impact that anxiety is having on you and those who are closest to you
Medication can also be used to treat anxiety and you can take this alongside CBT and other types of therapy. After being prescribed by a highly-trained psychiatrist, the right medication helps to complement the therapeutic parts of treatment. Different types of anxiety medication include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - the most recommended anxiety medication are a class of drugs known as SSRIs, which also have an antidepressant action. These aren’t addictive and their effects can be seen after just a few weeks. It’s important to take a full course of SSRI treatment, which is usually 9 months or more
- Beta-blockers - beta-blockers, such as Propranolol, can help to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety. Therefore, these can be useful in specific situations, like helping you to perform or speak in public if this is something that usually makes you anxious
- Anxiolytics - for the short-term relief of anxiety, anxiolytics such as Diazepam can be useful. However, these are addictive and shouldn’t be used long-term
When Should I get Anxiety Treatment?
If you find that your worried and anxious thoughts are interfering in your life and preventing you from functioning on a daily basis, this is a sign that you need to reach out for professional support.
You really don’t have to suffer on your own; anxiety is entirely treatable and it’s possible for you to make a full recovery. Priory successfully helps thousands of people every year to address their anxiety and resume the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve. Our world class team of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists are dedicated to helping you every step of the way towards getting back on track.
Call our experienced, compassionate team today on 0330 056 6020, or get in touch via email, and take your first step to turning your life around.
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