The U.K.’s Mail wrote yesterday that “recent statistics suggest growing numbers of Britons are gripped by anxiety and panic attacks. NHS hospital appointments for anxiety quadrupled between 2007 and 2011; in Sussex, children as young as five are reportedly being referred for anxiety management. New figures show prescriptions for anti-depressants have risen by 9.1 per cent in just 12 months, a significant proportion of which were given for anxiety … some campaigners warn that anxiety is rooted in everyday stress, and we are overmedicalising the problem by reaching for ‘happy pills’ to manage it.
“While experts agree that antidepressants and benzodiazepines (a form of tranquiliser) can be effective for short-term bouts of anxiety — for example, following a bereavement or trauma — a large body of research shows the condition is most successfully treated with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) — a type of talking therapy that encourages you to change your negative thoughts and behaviour.
‘People with anxiety disorder worry about worrying,’ says Dr Paul Blenkiron, a consultant in adult psychiatry at Bootham Park Hospital, York, who offers CBT.
‘We help them to realise that, in fact, the worst thing to do is think you must be happy all the time.”
“‘It’s better to say to yourself: “I’m worrying, it’s normal and it’s not going to kill me.”’
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