Over the past two decades, our understanding of anxiety disorders has increased dramatically. Progress has been made in the therapies and treatments available. There is comfort in knowing that your anxiety is treatable. Below is an expanded discussion of how therapists are addressing the causes and effects of anxiety.
Is Anxiety Treatable?
One of the most common misconceptions about anxiety is that it isn’t treatable in the long-term. There are four primary types of anxiety disorders with their own unique sets of symptoms, issues, and treatment methods:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – chronic exaggerated worry and fear about daily life.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – intense fear regarding social interactions, often characterized by an irrational apprehension about being made fun of or humiliated.
- Panic Disorder – chronic anxiety and panic attacks that are sudden and cause overpowering feelings of fear.
- Phobias – intense fears of certain places, events, people, etc.
Considering these diagnoses all create different responses and symptoms, each one requires its own tailor-made treatment plan. It’s important to seek assistance from a mental health professional who can walk them through the steps of how to treat anxiety. Generally speaking, here are the most common treatments used.
Typically, anxiety treatments rely upon a combination of three methods:
- Pharmacological therapy.
- Self-help therapies.
Speaking with a therapist is arguably the most effective form of treatment for any anxiety disorder. Both pharmacological and practical self-help therapies are supplemental to your therapy sessions. Yet, by themselves, they’re often an inadequate means for anxiety treatment since they may fail to address the underlying issues that are causing your anxiety.
Currently, the most commonly used form of psychotherapy for Anxiety treatment is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This methodology is focused on spotlighting negative behavioral or cognitive patterns, seeking to understand them, and then changing those harmful thoughts or actions. During CBT, a therapist’s goal is to equip their clients with coping skills and encouraging them to seize control of their thoughts and actions.
Other forms of psychotherapy include:
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
- Exposure Therapy.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
- Interpersonal Therapy.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
Doctors will regularly provide medication to a patient to help ease the anxiety symptoms they are experiencing. Common anxiety medication that is often prescribed includes:
- Benzodiazepines – suppress nerve activity to decrease feelings of anxiety.
- SSRIs – anti-depressants increase serotonin levels in the brain.
- Beta-blockers – lowers blood pressure and other physical symptoms of an anxiety or panic attack.
If you’re experiencing an anxiety or panic attacks, there are several practical steps your therapist will advise you to take in order to decrease your anxiety. Stress and relaxation techniques can help manage your day-to-day anxieties When these techniques become habits, they can even be used as a preventative measure.
- Exercise Daily – this is one of the best ways you can release pent up energy and combat stress. People who make a habit of regular exercise experience lower levels of anxiety and depression. It helps to lower stress hormones, releases endorphins, improves sleep quality, and helps build up confidence.
- Decrease your caffeine intake – caffeine is a stimulant that has been shown to increase your heart rate and symptoms of anxiety. Consider cutting back on your daily caffeine intake.
- Laugh – there’s a reason why they say, “laughter is the best medicine.” Laughter and joy are good for your health and relieve stress. Laughter relaxes tension in muscles and alleviates your natural stress response.
- Do Yoga – yoga has become the most commonly used method for stress relief regardless of age. While there are dozens of styles, all focus on centering your mind and body and emphasize breathing techniques.
- Learn to say no – many people who suffer from anxiety disorders have trouble saying “no” to requests. As a result, they get caught up in stressful situations they aren’t mentally capable of handling. While you shouldn’t say no to everything and isolate yourself, you should be able to pick and choose. Don’t overcommit since it might cause you more stress.
- Try to stop procrastinating – many young people develop bad study and work habits as they grow up, which carry over into their adult lives. Procrastination is one of the more common bad habits that people develop early on. When you’re scrambling to catch up, cram, or hit a deadline, your anxiety levels can shoot way up. Effective time management can help prevent unnecessary anxiety and ensure that you do an even better job.
If you suffer from anxiety, you can take comfort in knowing that it’s treatable with the right counseling treatment plan for anxiety. You just need to seek out help. That’s where Advekit comes in. Our service will help you find the right match for a therapist who understands your specific needs. Your therapist will create a unique treatment plan, so you can take back control of your life.
If you don’t know how to find a therapist, we’re happy to help.
Get Matched →