The person who is suffering severe anxiety is out of control regarding their life and needs to regain control as rapidly as possible. There is often a temptation to blame external factors when this happens and the problem often lies within ourselves.
If work is the major cause of stress, it is important to organise your work routine and maintain efficiency and enjoyment in the work situation. It is also valuable to allow sufficient time to complete the task and to learn to say 'no' when you are asked to do too many things at once and this takes in the need to delegate work to other people. Balancing your time is necessary between work, family social life and hobbies and leisure pursuits. Exercise is also important for 'burning off' the excess adrenaline and helping to relieve the anxiety symptoms.
More specific relaxation techniques include relaxation therapy, yoga, transcendental meditation, hypnosis and massage. If the person has a specific phobia, then a combination of relaxation and behaviour therapy is very effective.
Cognitive behaviour therapy is a way of modifying the response to the phobia and is often carried out in a slow 'step ladder' approach to gradually reverse the phobia. The person has to pursue increasingly more difficult tasks, whilst using relaxation therapy, to help to cope with their anxiety symptoms.
Psychotherapy is also very effective for those people who have unconscious conflicts which can be traced back to early childhood, which are producing marked anxiety symptoms at present. Psychotherapy is a process of talking about these fears and difficulties in detail.
For a certain group of people who lack assertion or self esteem, assertion training, self esteem enhancement, and social skills training are also effective techniques to help them to relieve these problems.
A large number of patients receive drug treatment for their phobias and also anxiety states. Minor tranquillisers or benzodiazepines are very useful for relieving anxiety, but should only be given for a short course of no more than 4 to 6 weeks. However there has been considerable discussion about the risk of addiction with this medication
Beta blocker drugs are also helpful for relieving psychosomatic symptoms of anxiety, as they block adrenaline which causes these symptoms and these drugs are not addictive.
Antidepressants are useful as well, even though there is no evidence of depression and there is no risk of addiction with this medication.