There are a few different treatment options for anxiety, including self-help resources, talking therapies and medication.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most common. This is a talking therapy. It can help you understand how your thoughts can affect your feelings, including your anxiety. You’ll learn strategies to help you cope when you feel anxious. You may be offered CBT in a group or one to one. You may also be offered online CBT or self-help books.
Your GP can refer you to a psychological therapies service on the NHS. In England, you can contact them yourself if you prefer at NHS psychological therapies (IAPT) services.
Applied relaxation therapy
Applied relaxation usually involves meeting with a trained therapist for one-hour sessions over a period of three to four months. They will teach you how to relax your muscles in a particular way when you’re in situations that make you anxious.
If psychological therapy doesn’t work or your symptoms are severe, you may be offered medication. Some can be taken long term, such as certain antidepressants.
However, some medications – like sedatives – can be addictive and should only be used for a short time. If you have any concerns, speak to your GP or pharmacist.
Waiting lists for NHS talking therapies can be long and you may only be offered a short course of treatment. If you can, you might prefer to organise private therapy. Costs vary, so it’s worth looking around. Ask your GP for recommendations.
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has a searchable directory or contact COSCA for services in Scotland. Make sure the therapist is accredited by a professional body such as the BACP.
You could also contact charities that offer support, such as Anxiety UK and No Panic. The Mind Infoline can give you information about other organisations that may be able to help. You could also get in touch with your local Mind. In Scotland, contact SAMH.