Help Is Available for Anxiety: Types of Anxiety Help
Help is available for anxiety. Sometimes, it doesn't seem like it. Anxiety is so common it's almost accepted as a fact of daily life that must be tolerated. On the other hand, though, many people have a hard time admitting that they experience anxiety for fear of being judged negatively for seeking help. Further, anxiety's symptoms are strong, and it can often seem like nothing can help. These are all illusions (albeit strong ones). Behind them lies the truth: anxiety is treatable and manageable, and you can find help for your journey away from anxiety and into a peaceful life. These suggestions can point you to anxiety help that works for you.
Types of Help Available for Anxiety
As we explored in the post "The Truth About Anxiety for Mental Health Awareness Month," tens of millions of people worldwide live with anxiety, and anxiety's effects can be harsh and interfere with health, happiness, and general life satisfaction. You don't have to resign yourself to a life of anxiety. In no particular order, here's a brief overview of available anxiety help.
- Mental health therapy -- Working with a therapist, either in person or online, can help you sort out and deal with factors that are causing your anxiety. Therapists can also arm you with tools and strategies for reducing it. Find a therapist by using an online directory, asking your doctor for a referral, checking with trusted friends, family members, or faith leaders to see if they have recommendations, or vising local mental health organizations or community centers (both often have brochures or other contact information regarding local mental health services).
- Support groups -- Support groups are small, organized gatherings of people who experience similar challenges. While they don't offer formal, professional mental health treatment, it can be healing to connect with people who directly understand your anxiety, plus people frequently share tools and strategies for managing anxiety. Many communities have anxiety support groups. Find one by searching sites like MeetUp or visiting local mental health organizations such as the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI).
- Self-help books -- Browse your local bookstore or search online for self-help books, workbooks, and journals that offer anxiety information and management techniques. These are inexpensive and convenient ways to take positive action to reduce anxiety and are great for people who are self-directed, don't have access to services, or who are in therapy and want to add to their work with a therapist.
- Apps -- New mental health apps seem to be springing into existence every week. These range from informative to inspiring and often include self-checks, prompts for journaling, and practical tips and tools for you to use in your daily life to deal with anxiety in a given moment. Many apps aren't appropriate for anxiety disorders, so if your anxiety is severe, you will likely want to use more than an app to help.
- Lifestyle changes -- These are crucial to reducing anxiety and preventing it from skyrocketing. While sometimes lifestyle changes alone won't significantly reduce severe anxiety, they're often recommended by both doctors and therapists as an important part of anxiety treatment. Lifestyle changes include managing stress, eating nutritiously and drinking plenty of water or tea, eliminating unhealthy food, drink, and addictive behaviors, exercising, practicing yoga, meditation, practicing mindfulness, and using deep breathing exercises regularly.
- Medication -- Sometimes, medication is helpful in treating anxiety. Medication helps soothe activity in the brain and often helps the other approaches be more successful. Some people do very well with anxiety medication, while others experience little improvement and/or have unpleasant side effects. Whether or not to take medication is very personal and a decision that your doctor can help you with.
Which Type of Anxiety Help Is Best?
While this answer might seem frustrating at first, it is true and will lead to the best results: The best anxiety help is the one that works for you. Just as no two people's experiences with anxiety are identical, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment approach for anxiety. Everyone's anxiety can indeed be helped, though. It's a matter of knowing yourself and experimenting to discover what is right for you.
These tips might help you find the best treatment for you:
- Know yourself -- From the above list, which treatments immediately sound appealing? Start there. Also, know the nature of your anxiety. If it is severe, starting with a visit to your doctor and asking for referrals to a therapist might be most effective.
- Be patient -- Anxiety is strong and quite likely took quite a while to build to this level of interference in your life. Your mind, brain, and body have developed habitual ways of reacting to it that need to change and heal, and that takes time. Sometimes, people experience some relief instantly regardless of what treatment approach they start with, but deep, lasting relief can take weeks to be noticeable and quite a bit longer to become ingrained and fully effective.
- Give a treatment a chance -- Because anxiety recovery is a slow process, be patient with what you are doing before switching gears. It may take several sessions with a therapist before you begin to feel truly comfortable with them. It may take different types of medication before finding one that your body responds to. It may take consistent practice for those self-help book strategies or lifestyle changes to be noticeable.
- Be flexible and willing to switch -- While patience is necessary, that doesn't mean you have to stick indefinitely with something you don't like. It can take a few tries to find a therapist that clicks with you, for example. If, after three or four sessions with a therapist, you don't feel a connection or sense of hope that progress is possible, it's okay to try a different therapist. It's okay to search for different support groups, too, and build a library of self-help books to gain a wide variety of anxiety-reducing strategies.
While there isn't an instant fix for anxiety, there is indeed a fix out there. Help is available, and you can move away from anxiety's strong grasp and once again enjoy your life.
Peterson, T. (2021, May 13). Help Is Available for Anxiety: Types of Anxiety Help, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, September 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2021/5/help-is-available-for-anxiety-types-of-anxiety-help