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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is it possible to completely recover from anxiety?

    I am currently taking anti-anxiety medications for my anxiety disorder. Eventually will I completely recover and no longer need to take medication?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Leanne Hall

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Integrative Psychologist, Health Coach & Personal Trainer in private practice. I have expertise in assessing and treating a range of disorders and conditions; depression, anxiety, … View Profile

    This is a very common question. While anti-anxiety medications certainly have their place, the draw back is that they make it very hard to recover. The best treatment for anxiety, is a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioural therapy. Ideally, the person prescribing your medication should be working with a clinical psychologist in helping you recover from your anxiety. As you learn strategies to manage your anxiety, your medication should be tapered off, until you can stop taking it all together. This can be a slow process, depending on how long you have been taking medication and also how severe your anxiety is. The goal, is for you to be able to manage your anxiety through challenging your anxious thought patterns and related behaviours. The key to staying well, is to continue practicing the strategies you learn, and to know your limitations and early warning signs. 

  • 1


    Ralph Graham


    Ralph Graham, Counsellor, Psychotherapist, helping those who are affected by:grief, loss, anxiety, phobias, panic attack.And those who have been traumatised by:crime, assault, sexual abuse and … View Profile

    Medication can certainly help in some cases but may not address the cause.

    If complete recovery means that a person can be free of an anxious state that has troubled them since a certain event, then we could be in with a chance. If someone seems to have always been anxious, that could be a challenge. So the answer will depend on what is meant by anxiety in this context.

     It will depend to some degree on how committed a person is to accomplishing the goal of recovery. Sometimes a person in therapy will get such a boost after a few sessions that they decide not to continue when continued therapy may perhaps have sorted out all or most of the problems. You cannot make a person continue no matter how hopeful you might be that their condition will diminish further with more sessions. An analogy might be if a person had cataracts removed after years of blindness, they may be so thrilled with their “new” abiltity (to see well) that they are not motivated to attend to their skin cancers and mild arthritis.
    A good counsellor, psychologist or other therapist may use an approach that fits like a glove for a certain person and condition and get results that have eluded a person for many years. Cognitive therapy can help to change some anxiety causing thought patterns. Alternatively, when a therapist zeros in on an event or events that are at the bottom of the anxious state, and addresses them, sometimes the anxiety can lift quite rapidly..
    Everybody feels anxious from time to time, but if you achieved a non anxious state, that is, one where you don’t consider that anxiety is a problem anymore then a sufferer might well call that “complete recovery.”
    Easing off medication under the supervision of a qualified professional may be the first step toward a therapy based approach that will make a bigger difference for longer.

    Please see in another answer of mine about anxiety and mindful meditation.

    My very best wishes,
    Ralph Graham
    To to ask a question privately or have me recommend someone in you area, click Make an Enquiry

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