Anxiety Treatment In Scottsdale: An integrative Approach Combining Therapy and Medication Options

Anxiety treatment requires a special knowledge of the anxiety spectrum disorders and a thorough understanding of the anxiety circuitry in the brain.  Anxiety treatment in Scottsdale is difficult due to many therapists and psychiatrists claiming they treat anxiety when in fact they do not truly understand the complexities involved.  Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric disorders seen today, yet treatment of these debilitating disorders is often approached in an ineffective manner.

What makes things additionally tricky is that Anxiety is also often one of the primary manifestation of an underlying depression which could signal another layer of treatment needed to achieve full resolution.

Generalized anxiety disorder represents a condition where one is often consumed with worry or anxiety for the majority of the day. This can be debilitating and interfere with quality of life. Often times generalized anxiety is accompanied by Panic attacks, panic disorder, OCD and PTSD.

Anxiety Treatment: A customized approach of attacking the underlying issue.

1. Identifying the progression of symptoms and trying to reveal the core issue which can often be a series of life events, a specific pattern of thinking that feeds anxiety, or behaviors that may be feeding the anxiety cycle.

2. Identifying family history in order to incorporate the genetic component of the illness. If one has a family history of anxiety disorders, this will not only clarify the diagnoses but it will also speak to how well one may respond to medication options. We can also use this information to address concerns about passing on anxiety to their children, the course of the anxiety illness and the appropriate anxiety treatment.

3. Medication options are often helpful to achieve the maximum response and resolution of anxiety symptoms. The approach I have to anxiety treatment differs than the majority of psychiatrists in that I see medication as only a temporary solution and a Band-Aid approach to anxiety in many cases. On the other hand, medications are often underutilized, resulting in an inability to correct underlying thought/behavior patterns due to those patterns being too engrained. I strive to use the lowest doses of the medication possible and use evidence based decision making to work with a patient in choosing the right medication.

4. Psychotherapy treatment for anxiety includes utilizing 3 approaches which is also unique to my practice. I combine the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy- CBT addresses irrational or negative self-talk that feeds much of anxiety
  • Exposure therapy- This technique helps patients identify and incrementally face identified fears and eliminate avoidance of fear in general
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy- This modality looks to identify deeper underlying core causes for anxiety by examining one’s behavioral patterns, defense mechanisms and ultimately exploring what drives one’s thoughts and behaviors. This often relates back to past child-hood or life experiences which often shape the way we subsequently approach life.

After integrating all 4 of the above pieces, I come up with a comprehensive anxiety treatment plan that suits the need of each individual patient and work together as a team to rid them of the anxiety long-term.