How are anxiety disorders treated?

Anxiety disorders are real disorders that require treatment. Recovery is not simply a matter of will and self-discipline. Fortunately, much progress has been made in the last two decades in the treatment of people with mental illnesses. Although the exact treatment approach depends on the type of disorder, one or a combination of the following therapies might be used for most anxiety disorders:


Medicines used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders include antidepressants and anxiety-reducing medications.


Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) addresses the emotional response to mental illness. It is a process in which trained mental health professionals help people by talking through strategies for understanding and dealing with their disorder. The most common type of psychotherapy used with anxiety disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy. In this type of therapy, the person learns to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/15/2017.


  • American Psychological Association: Anxiety. Accessed 3/23/2018.
  • American Psychiatric Association: DSM. Accessed 3/23/2018.
  • National Institute of Mental Health. Anxiety Disorders. Accessed 3/23/2018.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Facts & statistics. Accessed 3/23/2018.

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