TreatmentOnce identified, seeking professional help for an anxiety is a crucial next step to improving an individual’s quality of life. If left untreated, anxiety disorders can have severe consequences.For example, some people who suffer from recurring panic attacks avoid putting themselves in a situation that they fear may trigger an attack. Such avoidance behavior may create problems by conflicting with job requirements, family obligations or other basic activities of daily living.
Furthermore, many people who suffer from an untreated anxiety disorder are prone to other psychological disorders, such as depression, and they have a greater tendency to abuse alcohol and other drugs. Their relationships with family members, friends and coworkers may become very strained and their job performance may falter.
Anxiety Disorders can be treated by a wide range of mental health professionals, including: psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers and psychiatric nurses. Primary care physicians are also becoming increasingly aware of the problems of anxiety disorders and depression and are making these diagnoses with more frequency. A primary care physician may prescribe medication, or may refer a patient to a mental health provider. According to the APA, licensed psychologists are highly qualified to diagnose and treat anxiety disorders. Individuals suffering from these disorders should seek a provider who is competent in cognitive and behavioral therapies. Experienced mental health professionals have the added benefit of having helped other patients recover from anxiety disorders.