What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder?
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a condition where you have excessive anxiety on most days.
The most effective treatment is thought to be cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Benefits of CBT Treatment
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is very useful in treating anxiety disorders. The cognitive part helps people change the thinking patterns that support their fears, and the behavioural part helps people change the way they react to anxiety-provoking situations.
For example, CBT can help people with panic disorder learn that their panic attacks are not really heart attacks and help people with social phobia learn how to overcome the belief that others are always watching and judging them.
When people are ready to confront their fears, they are shown how to use exposure techniques to desensitize themselves to situations that trigger their anxieties.
CBT is undertaken when people decide they are ready for it and with their permission and cooperation. To be effective, the therapy must be directed at the person’s specific anxieties and must be tailored to his or her needs.
There are no side effects other than the discomfort of temporarily increased anxiety.
It may be conducted individually or with a group of people who have similar problems. Group therapy is particularly effective for social phobia. Often “homework” is assigned for participants to complete between sessions.
There is some evidence that the benefits of CBT last longer than those of medication for people with panic disorder, and the same may be true for OCD, PTSD, and social phobia. If a disorder recurs at a later date, the same therapy can be used to treat it successfully a second time.
Medication can be combined with psychotherapy for specific anxiety disorders, and this is the best treatment approach for many people.