Do Psychiatrists or Psychologists Treat Anxiety in San Jose or Los Gatos, CA?

How do I Choose the Best Anxiety Treatment?

When you’re suffering from anxiety, it can be hard to know if you should see a psychiatrist or a psychologist to help manage your symptoms. Luckily, both can treat anxiety, so your choice depends on the kind of services and treatments you are looking for. When choosing a provider, it is essential to understand the nature of your anxiety and the training and specializations offered by the providers you are considering.

How do Psychiatrists Treat Anxiety?

Many psychiatrists focus on assessing and diagnosing mental health conditions. They use this information to prescribe medication to treat anxiety. For most patients, the first approach is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs include well-known medications such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro. These medications work by reducing the symptoms of anxiety and are also anti-depressants. Other drugs, such as selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and Benzodiazepines, may also be prescribed depending on your issues.

Psychiatrists may also offer valuable education on the different types of anxiety and what can trigger them. They can work with you to form better habits and self-care routines to improve anxiety symptoms. Sometimes, simple changes like a better sleep schedule, regular exercise, improved nutrition, and meditation can improve your quality of life.

Not all psychiatrists are trained in providing therapy, but others have trained extensively. When meeting with a potential psychiatrist, it is essential to ask direct questions about their services and educational history, as this can help you decide if they can meet your needs.

How do Psychologists Treat Anxiety?

Psychologists are mental health providers who receive extensive clinical psychology or psychological counseling training. A degree in either of these specialties takes 5-6 years of in-depth training. This training focuses on providing different types of therapy to individuals, couples, or teens. When looking for a psychologist to treat your anxiety, you may want to find out what therapeutic approaches they specialize in to assess whether they can meet your needs.

Psychologists offer various treatments for anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a standard treatment that includes techniques to help patients identify and change unhelpful thinking patterns. This can be useful if your anxiety manifests in mostly mental symptoms such as obsessions and excessive worrying. They will also work to help you change maladaptive behaviors that can contribute to anxiety. Exposure therapy plays a part in this, allowing you to experience controlled exposure to something that causes you anxiety to reduce your reaction to it. This can be useful when your anxiety manifests in physical symptoms such as phobias, compulsions, or panic attacks. Other treatments offered may include psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness, and hypnosis.

Should I See a Psychiatrist or Psychologist for My Anxiety?

Both a psychiatrist and a psychologist are capable of providing the services you need to treat anxiety. Choosing between the two depends on what treatment options you are looking for. It may be as simple as finding one who offers telepsychiatry that fits your busy schedule or one you find easy to open up and connect with. It’s important to remember no provider has a magic fix for anxiety, but rather tools to help you change your relationship with anxiety.

Medication can be extremely helpful in managing the symptoms of anxiety, especially if they have gotten out of control. However, some patients may find that therapy alone provides relief from their anxiety symptoms. The best approach is often a combination of treatment and medication, which may mean seeing two separate providers or finding someone capable of providing both services.

How is Anxiety Diagnosed?

Whether you see a psychiatrist or psychologist for your anxiety, expect your first appointment to consist of a thorough evaluation. They will ask questions about your symptoms, including when they started, how long you’ve been experiencing them, and if you’ve received previous treatment. They may have you complete a questionnaire to assess how the symptoms affect your life and whether you have any comorbidities, such as ADHD or an eating disorder, that may contribute to your anxiety. Only when all this is complete can your provider establish a diagnosis and create a treatment plan personalized to your needs.

Best Anxiety Therapists in San Jose, CA or Los Gatos, CA

At Lumos Psychiatry, we know living with anxiety can severely affect your relationships and quality of life. We offer personalized and comprehensive care for many mental health conditions at locations in San Jose and Los Gatos. Book an appointment online if you’re seeking anxiety treatment in California.

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