Good advice > Mental health > Anxiety

Prevention and treatment

People are differently predisposed to developing anxiety. In general, there is always an interplay between heredity, genetics and environment that determines how great the risk is of developing anxiety.

Contact your own doctor
If you suspect you are suffering an anxiety disorder you should contact your own doctor. If you are diagnosed with anxiety disorder you should, according to the Danish Health and Medicines Authority, be offered an informed choice between proven effective treatment methods as soon as possible.

In practice, this will entail psychotherapeutic treatment with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or medicinal treatment or a combination of the two.

Prevention of anxiety is frequently only begun after the disorder has been diagnosed, and it typically starts with an examination of the sufferer's surroundings so that situations or lifestyle choices which might trigger an anxiety episode are limited.

Efforts are also commonly made to limit the intake of stimulants that activate the body, for example, coffee, Coca-Cola and energy drinks along with stimulants that can weaken power of judgement and cause withdrawal, for example, alcohol and anti-anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines.

Psychotherapeutic treatment
Psychotherapeutic treatment trains a person to handle and withstand anxiety episodes. The person is taught several breathing techniques that help in gaining control over breathing and relaxing the various muscle groups in the body.

In Denmark, funding is given by the public health insurance scheme to people aged 18 to 38 for treatment of mild to moderate anxiety disorders, including OCD. Severe disorders typically require psychiatric treatment.

This helps the person to master the physiological side of an anxiety attack and subdue the body's physical activation.

Cognitive behavioural therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is recommended by the Danish Health and Medicines Authority as an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. With CBT the psychologist supports the anxiety sufferer in changing negative reflexive thoughts and associated emotions.

The initial treatment typically takes six months and further therapy to prevent relapses an additional six to twelve months.

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Read more about good advice about anxiety.