Anxiety Therapy

What is Anxiety Therapy and How Can It Help?

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What is Anxiety?

The function of anxiety is to help people to escape from danger. Feelings of anxiety usually trigger a fight or flight response. They may also cause you to freeze. Anxiety is a natural response to situations that could put you in harm’s way. However, if you experience persistent anxiety on a regular basis, these overwhelming feelings could start to disrupt your life. If you feel that persistent worry is having a negative impact on your life, Anxiety Therapy can help you to heal.

 

Studies show that people who are suffering with anxiety struggle to cope with their emotions when they’re faced with a triggering situation. This often results in attempts to avoid the situation. Instead of alleviating the anxiety, avoidance behavior can cause the anxiety to increase.

Anxiety can reduce the quality of your life. From your personal relationships to your career, the symptoms of anxiety can have a negative impact on every aspect of your day. Anxiety can disrupt your sleeping and eating patterns, which may cause your physical health to deteriorate. The symptoms can also be detrimental to your emotional wellbeing.

Stats About Anxiety

There is a high rate of children and adults who are suffering from anxiety. In the U.S. 18% of the adult population are struggling to cope with the symptoms that are associated with this disorder with 4 percent of these cases being classified as severe. Twenty-five percent of teenagers between 13 and 18 are struggling to cope with anxiety with 6 percent of these cases being classified as severe.

While therapy helps to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, only 36.9% of people who are suffering from anxiety get the help that they need. Anxiety and depression are linked and it’s not unlikely for someone who struggles with anxiety to experience depression.

Research conducted by the World Health Organization revealed that 1 in 3 people are affected by anxiety internationally. Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health concern globally.

Anxiety Therapy Options

Persistent feeling of anxiety can result in fatigue, restlessness and poor concentration. Irritability is another symptom of persistent anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety include thoughts that result in fear, worry, and self-doubt. If you avoid crowds and public spaces, you may be suffering from anxiety. Difficulty sleeping and struggling to perform the daily tasks that are part of your routine are other common symptoms of this mental health challenge. In more severe cases anxiety can result in suicidal thoughts.

While anxiety is a normal response to stressful situations, persistent worry can be an indication of an anxiety disorder. If you’re suffering from these symptoms, it’s advisable to seek out Anxiety Therapy. Anxiety therapy may play a role in decreasing your symptoms by helping you to identify the source of your anxiety.  Your options include traditional, group or text therapy. Online therapy can also play a role in relieving these symptoms.

Traditional

Working with a therapist in a traditional setting is an opportunity to learn different techniques that can help you to respond differently to situations that trigger anxiety. These sessions involve a collaboration between you and your therapist to identify the thoughts and behavior patterns that are contributing to anxiety. You’ll be required to practice the techniques that you learn in therapy during your daily life in order to gain maximum benefit from these sessions. If you experience social anxiety, you may want to start with individual therapy until you feel comfortable joining a group for additional support.

Group

Group therapy can be beneficial as it allows you to connect with other people who have had similar experiences. This can help to relive the sense of isolation that may accompany anxiety. Group sessions are facilitated by a mental health professional. These sessions are also an opportunity to practice the techniques that you have learned to decrease anxiety with other people. The group will typically consist of people who have anxiety disorders. This is your chance to gain a better understanding of how anxiety operates in your life and to gain support from people who have been through similar experiences.

Texting/Chat Therapy

Social anxiety or phobias may make it difficult for you to meet with a new therapist in person or to talk to a therapist online. In this instance, you could benefit from using texting or chat therapy. This type of therapy offers you access to counseling sessions in real time via messages on your phone. You’ll be able to communicate with a therapist about your worries using instant messages. You can even save your conversations so that you can read them again later. This makes it easy to track your progress and revisit your therapist’s responses if a similar situation arises in the future.

Anxiety Therapy

Online Therapy

If you’re suffering from phobias that prevent you from leaving your house, you can consider online therapy. Technology has made it possible for you to get the help that you need from the comfort of your own home. People who are suffering from social anxiety may find online therapy sessions easier than meeting a mental health professional in person. Communicating across distances is not a new concept as it dates back to when Sigmund Freud sent therapeutic letters to his clients. With the rapid advancement of technology, connecting with a therapist over long distances is easier than ever before. Studies show that online therapy has been useful to many people who are facing mental health challenges.

Anxiety Therapy Treatments

When it comes to Anxiety Therapy, there are a broad range of options to choose from. Variations include the different techniques and theories that are used as well as the number of people in the sessions. The type of therapy that you choose depends on your symptoms as well as your personal preference.

CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you to identify the thoughts and behavior patterns that contribute to your experiences of anxiety. During CBT therapy sessions you’ll gain a better understanding of any problematic thought patterns and you’ll learn useful techniques that enable you to change these patterns. CBT is empowering as it teaches you skills that you can use throughout your life.

You’ll typically attend 12 to 16 sessions of CBT, depending on the severity of your anxiety. This type of therapy involves completing written tasks for homework so it’s not for everyone. You’ll need to practice the techniques that you learn during the session to obtain maximum benefits from CBT.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure Therapy is another option if you’re experiencing anxiety. This type of therapy has been developed from CBT. The process involves gradual exposure to the situation or item that you are afraid of. The aim is to desensitize you so that you experience less anxiety over time. This type of treatment is useful for general and social anxiety. It can also be used in the treatment of phobias and panic attacks.

While there is research to support the effectiveness of exposure therapy, it’s important to seek out a mental health professional who has completed specialized training in this approach. During this type of therapy, you’ll have to face challenging feelings that you have tried hard to avoid which means that it’s not for everyone. Some mental health professionals believe that exposing people to the situations that they’re scared of could make their symptoms worse.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a useful approach for the treatment of anxiety. During these sessions, you’ll learn mindfulness strategies which promote non-judgment and help you to stay present in each moment. Behavior change is another aspect of ACT. This therapy teaches you techniques that you can use to overcome anxiety during your daily routine.

EMDR

When it comes to Anxiety Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is worth considering. In some circumstances, eye movements may disrupt difficult thoughts, which helps to decrease anxiety. EMDR impacts how information is processed in your brain and it can help people to heal from traumatic events. This type of therapy is particularly useful for the treatment of panic attacks as well as phobias.  During EMDR sessions specialized techniques are used to activate people’s innate healing process. Treatment consists of eight phases and it doesn’t require talking or the completion of any homework.

Medications

If you’re suffering from anxiety, psychotropic medications may bring you relief from your symptoms. While medication can play an important role in treatment, it’s advisable to combine it with Anxiety Therapy to achieve optimum results. Therapy helps to identify and treat the root cause of your anxiety while medication helps to relieve the symptoms.

There is a range of medication available, which can be prescribed by medical professionals. Medication does not have the same effect for everyone so it’s important to work together with your mental health professional to find the medication that works best for you. Antidepressants, including Lexapro and Prozac, can be used to treat anxiety.

Anti-anxiety medications are also useful and your options include Ativan and Xanax. Side effects are common when you take medication for anxiety so you’ll need to monitor your moods and symptoms to check if you’re on the right medication.

How to Find a Therapist

Finding the right therapist is an important part of recovering from anxiety. While choosing a therapist is a personal decision, it’s advisable to select a mental health professional who upholds high standards of ethics. Empathy and confidentiality are two important components of building a therapeutic relationship.

What Should I be Looking for in an LMHP?

Talking about your anxiety can be difficult so it’s important to choose a therapist that you can trust. Once you have chosen a mental health professional, it will take time to build up a therapeutic relationship so it can be helpful to create a therapy schedule that you can follow. It’s advisable to look for a therapist who is trained in diagnosing anxiety disorders and who is experienced in offering specialized treatment. The mental health professional that you choose should be able to adjust the techniques that they use and the treatment plan to meet your unique requirements.

Questions to Ask a Potential Therapist

What qualifications do you have?

What techniques do you use in the treatment of anxiety?

Do you offer group, individual or online sessions?

Do you have experience working with people who are suffering from anxiety?

Find a therapist on ThriveTalk today and start your journey towards healing. With a range of therapists to choose from, you are sure to find a mental health professional who can offer you the treatment that you’re looking for.

If anxiety has left you feeling overwhelmed, therapy can help you to reclaim your life. When anxiety is left untreated, it can isolate you from the support that you need to recover. Your symptoms may also become more severe over time which can result in depression and suicidal thoughts. Seeking help from a mental health professional is the first step on your road to recovery.

References

https://adaa.org/finding-help/treatment/therapy

https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/anxiety/getting-help-for-anxiety

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/anxiety.aspx

https://psychcentral.com/disorders/anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-treatment/

https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/exposure-therapy

https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

http://www.textcounselling.com/text-therapy.php

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-online-therapy-2795752

About the Author Depression Alliance Staff

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