Diagnosis and Treatment
Your doctor will begin by evaluating for a known medical condition, or one that you may be unaware you have, with a physical exam and laboratory tests. Taking a detailed personal, family, and medical history will help your doctor determine if a primary anxiety disorder exists. If you are taking medications, other substances, herbs, supplements, etc., your doctor will want to rule out other conditions, such as substance-induced anxiety disorder, by having you take a blood drug screen, and urine analysis. Your doctor has to ascertain whether your anxiety can be explained by the stress of having the medical condition. One important guideline is examining the timing of the onset of the medical condition and the symptoms of anxiety. If your physician cannot determine that the anxiety was a direct cause of the medical condition, or find another diagnosis, then a diagnosis of anxiety disorder not otherwise specified may be given.
Treatment for the anxiety symptoms must be coordinated with the physician treating the medical disorder, especially if anxiety medications are prescribed. Treatment will depend on the type of anxiety symptoms specified when the diagnosis is made. A combination of psychotherapy and medication is usually recommended, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Traditional psychotherapies that are effective in treating anxiety include cognitive, behavioral, dynamic therapies, or a combination, depending on reported symptoms. You may be prescribed antidepressants, such as Paxil, or anti-anxiety medications like Xanax, and sedatives such as Restoril.