What are some alternative therapies to treat anxiety?
Medications are just one part of a comprehensive treatment plan for anxiety; cognitive therapy, mindfulness, exercise, sleep, and social support are also key. In this video, psychiatrist Sue Varma, MD, shares alternative options for treating anxiety.
[MUSIC PLAYING] SUE VARMA: When I see a patient in my office, I tell them that medications are just one part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Benzos might be a part of it, some serotonergic or daily anti-anxiety medications might be a part of it, but I also
stress to them that we're gonna work together to do therapy. I'm a practitioner of cognitive behavioral therapy. I incorporate certain ways of thinking and challenging
the way that we think about anxiety and we feel about our self in the world. A lot of times when people have anxiety, they think the world is a scary place.
They think that people are out to get them, that nobody's on their side, so we want to challenge what we call cognitive distortions. So that's a very important part of treating anxiety.
So with mindfulness, being in the moment, taking time to do one activity at a time, being present, meditation is a way of getting in touch with that sort
of mindful activity. Exercise is extremely important, five days a week, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. Social support, meeting with friends,
feeling like you have a community, recognizing that you're not alone. These are all very important parts-- therapy, mindfulness,
exercise, meditation, and sleep. Sleep hygiene is extremely important. I know a lot of people feel very irritable and feel that they can't manage day-to-day stress
because they're not sleeping enough, and we definitely live in a sleep deprived nation. So I highly recommend at least seven-- anywhere between seven
to nine hours is what most adults need but unfortunately don't get. [AUDIO LOGO]