Anxiety is not an across the board diagnosis, there are a number of conditions that could fall into the category of anxiety.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is one form of anxiety that is very often misunderstood. To many, an obsession to continuously correct something, or place an object in just the perfect position is beyond comprehension. It may just seem as though someone could essentially “let it go”, but it is not that simple. It is not very likely that anyone wants to torment themselves with a severe case of OCD. This form of anxiety can make everyday life miserable for some, and has a huge impact on those around them.
So what steps are best to take when anxiety is diagnosed? Therapy is generally a step in the right direction. With proper therapy, an individual can learn to recognize anxiety and prevent it from getting out of control.
Deep breathing is often a simple technique that can be practiced when an anxiety attack begins. This is due not only to psychological reasons, but to physical ones as well. Taking 10 deep breaths and slowly exhaling them will literally force the relaxation of the body. It clears and calms the brain, often reminding you that the state of anxiety does not control you, as you are in control, not the anxiety.
Some people find that talking aloud to yourself and giving gentle reminders that everything is ok helps, this is somewhat of a variation of self healing.
Attending therapy sessions with a clinician trained in anxiety still remains one of the most effective methods of controlling anxiety disorders. One on one, or even group sessions appear to lessen the chances of continuing anxiety attacks.
Panic disorders still remain one of the most common forms of anxiety, and millions currently suffer from it. A diagnosis of a panic disorder is generally made based on a series of questions and answers. This type of anxiety can often create not only emotional challenges, but physical problems as well. Severe panic attacks can affect breathing and heart rate, often elevating blood pressure to very high readings.
Many sufferers of panic disorders have the ability to know what leads to the panic attack, such as a closed space or heights. For some however, they may have no pre-existing idea of what initiates the panic within them, it simply comes on. Therapy can help with controlling or even eliminating panic attacks, however, it takes a strong effort from the patient to succeed in such.
Regardless of the type of anxiety, it can create havoc on lives. Anxiety may be difficult to understand or relate to if you have never experienced it, but it is very real, and can be life altering and serious if left untreated. Medications can be used in combination with therapy, and often is, however therapy is the first step in understanding and controlling this devastating disorder.
How can a counselor help you with overcoming anxiety?
Anxiety can be considered to be the most common health condition that you can see in United States. It hits people in many different ways.
Almost all the people feel nervous from time to time. But around 40 million Americans feel it in a more adverse way. They become victims of anxiety disorders as a result of it. In other words, the fears that they face are not temporary. Their problems can persist and they can get worse along with time.
Anxiety disorders are in a position to create a strong impact on the life of an individual. For example, it would impact the ability of a person to go to school, work or face the society. In addition, it can ruin the relationships that a person is maintaining along with friends and family members as well. However, you don’t need to worry too much about these symptoms because anxiety can be treated.
What other health conditions are linked with anxiety?
According to healthcare professionals, anxiety is linked with few other health conditions as well. Hence, it is important for you to take a look at those health conditions and make sure that you get the best possible treatments that you want at the end of the day.
Panic disorder – Anxiety can often lead a person towards recurrent panic attacks. Such a person will have to experience shortness of breath, trembling, sweating and feelings of choking. These symptoms come all of a sudden and they don’t give a previous warning. They become extremely fearful about the consequences that they will have to face in life in the future as well.
Society phobia –Social phobia, which is also known as social anxiety disorder can be considered as another common health condition that you will get along with anxiety. A person who is affected with social phobia would be fearful of social situations that he will have to face in life. He might feel embarrassed to face the society. They feel nervous about spending their time in the social settings as well. In addition, they get self-conscious feelings while they are in front of others.
PTSD – PTSD, which is also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can also take place along with anxiety. It has got the ability to trigger severe emotional and physical trauma. For example, individuals who have PTSD will experience feelings of natural disasters, crime or accidents. The symptoms that are linked with PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks of horrifying incidents and frightening thoughts, which will not go away along with time.
Obsessive compulsive disorder –Obsessive compulsive disorder, which is often referred to as OCD, is where people get uncontrollable thoughts and feelings. For example, people who are affected with OCD would often get the need to wash their hands, as they fear of germs. In addition, they are checking their work on a regular basis because of the fear that they have for mistakes.
Seeking the assistance of a counselor
Now you have a clear understanding about anxiety and how it can lead you towards a large number of frustrating health conditions. However, you don’t need to worry about these symptoms at all because a professional counselor will be able to assist you with getting rid of them.
All you have to do is to take part in the counseling sessions and follow the instructions that are provided by your counselor.
The counselors have gone through specialized training programs, which can help them to identify the health conditions that a patient is going through. Then a customized counseling session will be created. A person who goes through such a customized counselling session will be able to walk away with positive results after a short period of time.
The counselors also provide an excellent assistance for the patients to learn what they are going through. Hence, the patients can easily understand how worse they have been and how they are improving along with time. On the other hand, this understanding given for the patients can promote a quick recovery process as well.
Counseling can be considered as a collaborative process. In here, the patients and psychologists work together in order to identify the specific issues that a person is going through. Then appropriate skills are developed within the patient with proven techniques, so that the patient can learn how to cope up with the health condition. This is one of the most effective methods available to treat anxiety as well.
Counselors sometimes use few other approaches instead of counseling sessions in order to provide an efficient treatment session for the patients.
Group counseling can be considered as a perfect example to prove the above mentioned fact. In here, the counselor would provide a group counseling therapy to a group of individuals, who are dealing with the negative consequences that are linked with anxiety disorders. This is another effective method available to support the anxiety patients and help them overcome the health conditions within a short period of time. In addition, family counseling sessions are also provided, so that the family members can get to know about the health conditions that their loved ones is going through.
Anxiety and all the above mentioned health conditions are treatable. You just need to seek the assistance of a reputable and an experienced counselor and go through regular counseling sessions.
Breaking the Anxiety Cycle
Anxiety takes many forms. Perhaps you’ve struggled with the incessant worry that comes with generalized anxiety disorder. Maybe you fear going out in public because of panic attacks that are part of Panic Disorder.
Others are slaves to compulsive habits when they have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and still others have phobias about specific things or even anxiety about social events and settings. Additionally, post traumatic stress disorder makes life extremely daunting for numerous individuals.
If any of these describe you, know that you’re not alone. Eighteen percent of adults in the US are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and adolescents experience even more cases, with 25% of 13-18 year olds being diagnosed. Approximately 4% of adults and 6% of teens have anxiety disorders considered severe. These latter cases are typically debilitating and have a significant impact on people’s lives. (American Psychological Association.)
Some people take a medication approved for the treatment of anxiety. But medication alone may not be enough. Many require additional therapy. What are the options?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is often the first line treatment for anxiety because it’s well established and has several benefits. One benefit is that it’s goal-oriented. It’s helpful to know what you’re striving after. Also, some don’t want therapy that lasts indefinitely. CBT is time-constrained, so you don’t have to go for years to see results.
CBT works by helping you examine your thinking and behavior patterns and working to change the type of thinking or behavior that isn’t working well for you. Such as, if you can’t go to the store without having a panic attack, CBT would likely examine all the thoughts associated with the negative experience and help you insert more helpful thoughts.
If you’re in CBT, you’ll be actively involved in the process, which will help you feel empowered. If can often include homework assignments so you can practice the skills being learned during the therapy session times.
This is a form of CBT that seeks to help individuals suffering from anxiety and fear by desensitizing them to the feared object, situation, etc. If this is you, you’ll be exposed to a small amount of what seems frightening, and will gradually work up to facing more. The goal is that you’ll eventually be unafraid of the situation or object because you will have built up your ability to face it.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT focuses on acceptance and mindfulness to lead to behavior change. It can help you cope with unwanted thoughts and feelings, such as anxiety and worry. ACT teaches you skills that will help you change the way you view things, understand your own personal values, and help you with making the commitment to alter behaviors that are causing you pain.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
In some cases, eye movements can lessen the intensity of disturbing thoughts. EMDR has an impact on the way the brain processes information, which can assist the person to be less distressed by the disturbing material.
It’s similar to what a person experiences during REM sleep. It may seem unconventional if you are new to therapy, but research has shown it to be particularly effective for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some professionals have also reported that it helped individuals with phobias and panic disorder. (Anxiety and Depression Association of America.)
These are a few of the choices for anxiety therapy, and some professionals use a combination of these and other approaches. It’s definitely worth the effort it takes to break the cycle of anxiety and no longer let it rule your life. A confidential consultation with Dr. Clare Albright, licensed psychologist, may be the first step you can take toward an anxiety-free life. Your well-being is her top priority.
Call Dr. Clare Albright, Psy.D. CA Psychologist License PSY11660 at (949) 454-0996 at http://DrCAlbright.com