Anxiety disorders – treatment

In most cases, an anxiety disorder can be treated well with psychotherapy.

Particularly good experiences have been made with the cognitive behavioral therapy approach. Therapists support their patients in recognizing and correcting typical thought and behaviour patterns. Together they try to question these and replace them with other, positive thoughts. It is important that those affected understand what triggers their symptoms. In addition, therapists recommend calming exercises, such as deep breathing in and out in anxiety-inducing situations, and guide patients in the use of mindfulness-based and relaxation techniques.

The person with the illness can then gradually expose themselves to the critical situations with the help of a therapist and learn to cope with them again (exposure method). In the case of severe anxiety, the therapist will first guide the patient to live through the situation in their imagination. Only when she has done this well does she move on to the real situation. In chronic cases, the therapeutic approach of acceptance-commitment therapy can also help. This involves using metaphors and mindfulness-based exercises to promote acceptance of the anxiety in those affected and to show them a new, value-oriented perspective on life.

The Clinic for Consultative Psychiatry and Psychosomatics offers several cognitive and behavioral psychotherapies for anxiety disorders as part of group therapy.

Treatment of an anxiety disorder with medication

In the case of severe anxiety disorders, medication can also be used in addition to psychotherapy in consultation with your doctor. Antidepressants are used in particular for panic disorders, but also for agoraphobia or social phobia. However, you will need a little patience: the effect of these medications usually only sets in after two, sometimes four weeks. So-called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are most commonly used. Like all medications, psychotropic drugs can sometimes have side effects. In severe cases, however, they provide important help.

For patients

As a patient, you cannot register directly for a consultation. Please get a referral from your primary care physician, specialist.

For referrering physicians

This offer is aimed at people between the ages of 18 and 65. Simply assign your patient to us online.

University Hospital Zurich
Department of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine
Culmannstrasse 8
8091 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 255 52 80
Assign online

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