Low-Cost Treatments For Anxiety Disorders

  • Anxiety disorders are treatable, yet only one-third of those diagnosed receive treatment. Often the costs of therapy or prescription drugs deter people from getting the help they need. Read on to find out about getting assistance to pay for treatment. 



    Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is effective, but it may be expensive. Some therapists or clinics charge on a sliding scale based on income. Ask about a sliding scale or other payment options when you call or visit for a consultation. To find a therapist near you, search by zip code with ADAA Find a Therapist.

    Federally funded health centers can also be a good resource for those without health insurance or with a limited budget. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. Many of these centers include mental health services. Find a federally funded health center near you.

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    Some colleges and universities offer low-cost therapy for anxiety disorders and other mental health problems. Call the psychology, psychiatry, or behavioral health department and inquire about sessions with graduate students, who are supervised and can provide services at a lower cost as they gain counseling experience.


    Prescription drugs

    Medication can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, but prescription drugs can be costly.


    Most pharmaceutical companies offer patient-assistance programs for uninsured patients. These programs provide prescribed medication at little to no cost. Eligibility varies; see the Partnership for Prescription Assistance website for more information, or contact companies directly about their patient assistance programs.


    Generic drugs are a cheaper alternative to brand-name medications. Ask your doctor if a generic version of the medication is available. And ask if your doctor can give you free samples, often provided by pharmaceutical companies to doctors and clinics.


    Buying medication online can be cost-effective, but be cautious of the hundreds of scams and illegal “pharmacies” online. Use only a licensed online pharmacy with a licensed pharmacist on call to answer questions. It’s illegal for a website to sell any medication without requiring a prescription. And be sure to read the privacy information on the pharmacy’s website. For more information, read the FDA’s consumer safety guide on buying prescription drugs online.


    Other resources

    If you are a U.S. citizen with low income, you may be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid coverage includes mental health treatment costs; eligibility and services provided vary by state. If you are 65 years or older, you may be eligible for Medicare, which includes hospital and medical insurance and prescription drug coverage. Get more information about both of these government programs.


    Before medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or before certain therapy methods are widely accepted as effective, they are tested on volunteers in a clinical trial. You can participate in a clinical trial, also called a research study, but be aware that there are risks. Not all experimental treatments will be effective, and you may experience unpleasant or serious side effects. Eligibility, time commitment, and reimbursement vary. Search for a clinical trial on the ADAA website, or search the National Institutes of Health database.


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    Finally, some resources are strictly statewide or regional. Get a breakdown of resources by state, or ask your doctor for a referral. Anxiety disorders are treatable. Find the help you need to get on the road to recovery.


    PLEASE NOTE: The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) does not endorse or promote any specific medications or treatments.

Published On: October 10, 2008