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  • Writer's pictureguyiacono

Treatment for Anxiety

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

The NCS-R (National Comorbidity Study Replication) reports that around 19% of American adults struggle with anxiety daily


Women (23.4%) are more likely than males (14.3%) to have had any anxiety condition in the last year, and it is predicted that 31.1% of Americans will have an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. If anxiety is not treated, it may persist for a long time. It can wear you out, make it difficult for you to move around, and inhibit your ability to carry out your regular tasks.


What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal response to stressful situations, such as solving a challenging issue at work, taking a test, or making a huge decision. It's a coping mechanism. Your worry can help you out by giving you a temporary burst of energy or allowing you to zero in on some tasks.


Fear, dread, and a general sense of unease are the emotions that are associated with anxiety. It can cause you to break out in a cold sweat, feel restless and nervous, and have a racing pulse. However, many who suffer from anxiety disorders have persistent and debilitating levels of worry.


What are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health diseases characterized by excessive and unrealistically intense emotions of fear, helplessness, and panic that affect a person's capacity to function normally.


Anxiety disorders may manifest in various ways, and some common examples include panic attacks, phobias, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and generalized anxiety. The signs and symptoms of an anxiety condition include:


● A state of nervousness, restlessness, or tension

● A feeling of imminent danger, fear, or disaster

● An elevated pulse rate

● Exhaling quickly (hyperventilation)

● Trembling

● Feeling weak or tired

● Difficulty focusing on anything other than one's immediate worries

● Suffering from sleeplessness

● trouble digesting food (GI distress)

● Struggling to rein in your worry

● Feeling like you need to keep away from things that make you anxious


When should you get help for your anxiety?

See a therapist if some of the following apply to you:


● You feel as though your constant worrying is interfering with your daily activities, personal relationships, and professional success.

● You find it distressing and difficult to keep your fears, worries, or anxiety under check.

● Besides anxiety, you also struggle with depression, drug and alcohol abuse, or other mental disorders.

● You suspect a medical condition unrelated to your mental health may be to blame for your worry.

● If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or engaging in self-harming activities, visit an emergency room as soon as possible.


If you don't get therapy, there's a danger that your issues may only become worse over time. Consult a doctor or a therapist for assistance before your anxiety becomes worse. Early intervention makes it easier to manage the condition.


Benefits of Therapy for Anxiety

When treating anxiety disorders using therapy, a therapist and patients work together to pinpoint the root causes of the disease and teach them new, healthy coping mechanisms. You get the following benefits, among others, from a respected therapy program.


Self-awareness

Therapy aims to get to the bottom of whatever is bothering you. Your anxiety may have deep roots, but by tracing them back to their origins, you may begin to address those causes and gain perspective on the world.


Healthy life changes

Psychotherapy helps people learn how to replace destructive ways of thinking with more positive and helpful ones. Moreover, you develop new routines that strengthen your commitment to a healthy way of life.


Coping skills

Managing the stress and worry of everyday life may help you deal with symptoms as they arise or prevent them from appearing at all. Therapy assists in identifying and applying better-coping skills.


Common Therapies for Anxiety

Unlike anti-anxiety medication, the effects of talk therapy extend beyond alleviating anxiety symptoms.


Talk therapy may help people with anxiety discover what's triggering their distress and teach them effective coping strategies, such as taking time to reflect. Anxiety disorders are treated using a variety of well-established therapeutic approaches, including:


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

By far, the most common method of treating anxiety problems is CBT. This behavioral therapy aims to uncover unhelpful thinking patterns, question those patterns, and try replacing them with more positive and productive ones.


Exposure Therapy (ET)

In exposure therapy, patients are put in circumstances where they would have to face their fears head-on. To help clients overcome their fears, exposure therapy involves exposing them to their feared situations on a gradual and recurrent basis.


Psychodynamic Therapy (PT)

Psychodynamic therapists ask their patients open-ended questions about their lives to get them to talk about their issues.


According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), drawing clients' attention to these connections between the past and the present can help them learn how to handle problematic behaviors and emotions.


Interpersonal Therapy (IP)

You can expect your therapist to gather details on the nature of your mental health issues and social interactions in the early stages of treatment to identify problematic patterns such as social exclusion, avoidance, or anger. IPT is successful because it informs patients about their mental illnesses and nudges them toward productive social interaction.


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

Although DBT is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), it varies in that it focuses more on developing the ability to endure unpleasant feelings and behaviors rather than attempting to alter them. Working with therapists, patients can create a treatment plan that includes confronting and accepting negative thoughts and behaviors.


Alternative (Holistic) Treatments for Anxiety Disorders

Talk therapy can be helpful for those with anxiety disorders, but there are also other methods available for lowering stress and enhancing well-being. The following are examples of complementary treatments that can help alleviate anxiety:


● Shifts toward a healthier way of life, including healthy eating and exercise

● Consciousness-raising and stress-reduction strategies like yoga, tai chi, and progressive muscle relaxation.

● Joining a support group

● Anti-anxiety drugs


Summary

Medication and talk therapy have both been shown to help people with anxiety. Nonetheless, some people with minor anxiety disorders choose to live with the problem rather than seek treatment.

Avoiding triggers, however, may have the opposite impact and raise anxiety levels. You will feel less compelled to avoid a trigger after undergoing treatment. There is hope for those with even the most severe forms of anxiety since many of these mental health conditions are treatable. The anxiety will always be there, but with a little effort and treatment, you can learn to handle it and go about your daily life with ease.


If you are seeking help managing anxiety please feel free to contact us at 561 291 8616 or by emailing info@wpbcounseling.com


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