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Looking after your mental health

What treatment can I get for anxiety?

On this page we explain the different treatments available for anxiety and when you should seek help. You can also read our advice for ways to manage anxiety.

If anxiety is affecting your day to day life or causing you distress, see your GP or speak to a health care professional.

How to assess how you’ve been feeling lately

Before you go to see your health care professional, it may help to think about these questions.

Over the last two weeks, how often have you been bothered by the following problems?

  • feeling nervous, anxious or on edge
  • not being able to stop or control worrying
  • little interest or pleasure in doing things
  • feeling down, depressed, or hopeless

You should think about if these problems have been affecting you:

  • not at all
  • for several days
  • for more than half the days
  • nearly every day

Make a note of your answers and take them with you to discuss with your health care professional.

It can be hard to admit or to recognise if you’re feeling low or anxious. The NHS Choices mood self-assessment tool can help you better understand how you’ve been feeling recently. And once you’ve completed the questionnaire, it will point you in the right direction for support and advice tailored for you. 

What treatment can I get for anxiety?

  • If you haven’t already, you should be offered pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). PR is an important form of treatment for people living with a long-term lung condition, as it helps you become more active and understand your condition better. Research has shown PR improves not only your fitness, but your mental wellbeing as well. Ask to be referred to a course by your health care professional.
  • Self-help resources. These are psychological therapies you can do on your own to help with problems like stress and anxiety. Have a look at the NHS website for more information.
  • Talking treatments, counselling, or therapy. The most common one is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • Medication. Your GP may prescribe antidepressants or other medication. If you are offered medication, ideally talking treatments such as CBT together should also be recommended. Health care guidelines are that your health care professional should offer you other treatments first.

The NHS has more detailed information on treatment for generalised anxiety disorder in adults.

As my health has deteriorated over the years, depression and anxiety have sat alongside each new diagnosis or change to health. I’ve been lucky and have had very supportive GPs and consultants who have referred me to NHS counselling. Over the years, I’ve had one-to-one and group sessions. The past two years have been hard as I’ve deteriorated a lot: my life has changed considerably and I can’t work as I could. For the first time I’ve taken anti-depressants in addition to talking therapy. The combination of medication and therapy seem to be helping, especially in relation to anxiety.


Download our mental health information (PDF, 474KB)

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