According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults in any given year. NIMH offers information on getting help for an anxiety disorder. Here is a sampling of its advice: Tuesday, January 9, 2007; If you think you have an anxiety disorder, the first person you should see is your family doctor. A physician can determine whether the symptoms that alarm you are due to an anxiety disorder, another medical condition or both.
If an anxiety disorder is diagnosed, the next step is usually seeing a mental health professional. The practitioners who are most helpful with anxiety disorders are those who have training in cognitive behavioral therapy and/or behavioral therapy, and who are open to using medication if it is needed.
Once you find a mental health professional with whom you are comfortable, the two of you should make a plan to treat your anxiety disorder together.
Once you start on medication, it is important not to stop taking it abruptly. Certain drugs must be tapered off under the supervision of a doctor, or bad reactions can occur. Make sure you talk to the doctor who prescribed your medication before you stop taking it.
Most insurance plans will cover treatment for anxiety disorders. If you don’t have insurance, your local government may offer mental health care at a center that charges people according to how much they are able to pay. If you are on public assistance, you may be able to get care through your state Medicaid plan.
For more information, visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/anxiety.cfm#anx2.