It is absolutely necessary that the patient does not use medication for us to be able to work with anxiety, says leader Gro Nore and chief physician Heidi Berg Houmb at the Department of Anxiety Disorders at Modum Bad.

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This is what Modum Bad writes in its magazine "Badeliv". Modum Bad is a Norwegian specialized treatment facility for anxiety disorders, trauma-related disorders, and more.

 

Anxiety treatment takes place without medication

Many of the patients who come to Modum Bad often have a motley past with a long career in other treatment in the health care system, but where this treatment has not had a good enough effect in giving the patient control over the anxiety.

It is further written in Badeliv:

Many of those who come to us have struggled with anxiety for years. On average, our patients have had their anxiety disorder for 19 years. It is important to take them seriously and show that they have nothing to fear, says Heidi Berg Houmb and Gro Nore at the Department of Anxiety Disorders.

At the ward, all patients undergo thorough treatment, but without anti-anxiety medication. Patients are naturally treated for somatic disorders such as high blood pressure, heart medication and other mental disorders that require medication.

 

Psychotherapy has the best effect on anxiety

Badeliv further writes that Modum Bad also offers drug treatment to patients who benefit from it, but that very many who are referred there have tried drugs before without effect.

The Ministry of Health and Care Services has stated that patients who wish to do so are offered drug-free treatment, says clinic director Tron Svagård. 

Research has shown that psychotherapy is more effective and provides a more lasting improvement than with drug treatment alone. The advantage of psychotherapy is that the patient can learn coping strategies that can prevent relapse after treatment.

 

Exposure is important in the treatment of anxiety

The article gives a good presentation of how it feels to have anxiety. Badeliv writes:

When patients experience anxiety, most have an experience of being in danger. This experience of danger, to a large extent, turns out to be linked to the belief in what will happen in anxiety-creating situations. These are very strong symptoms that can make them feel really sick. The solution for many is not to put themselves in such a situation, but it makes life difficult.

Our task is to help the patient to question whether this is true. Then they have to go out and test what actually happens when they expose themselves to fearful situations. By repeatedly experiencing that the disaster does not happen, the belief in the idea of ​​disaster is reduced and thus the anxiety is reduced, says chief physician Heidi Berg Houmb.

Through the treatment at Modum Bad, many people with anxiety disorders experience "winning back their lives", and part of the recipe for success is precisely a drug-free treatment.

 

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Written by

ove heradstveit

Ove Heradstveit

Psychologist, specialist in clinical community psychology. PhD.
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