Anxiety: What You Can Do

There are as many ways to relieve anxiety as there are things that make us anxious. The key is to find the way that works for you--and use it

BEHAVIORAL THERAPY When the brain sets anxiety alarms ringing, our first inclination is to find the off switch. Behavioral scientists take the opposite approach. They want you to get so accustomed to the noise that you don't hear it anymore. The standard behavioral treatment for such anxiety conditions as phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorder is to expose patients to a tiny bit of the very thing that causes them anxiety, ratcheting up the exposure over a number of sessions until the brain habituates to the fear. A patient suffering from a blood phobia, for example, might first be shown...

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