Individuals suffering from anxiety describe it as a constant burden they are forced to carry with them. Anxiety can feel like an invasion of intrusive thoughts and a racing heart. Anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, chronic worry, social phobia, postpartum anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder, are difficult to overcome. Therapy can help reduce anxiety symptoms by identifying anxiety-based triggers and increasing coping skills.
At its origins, anxiety was a valuable instinct to alarm us of predators and keep us safe. Anxiety comes from concept of “Fight or Flight”, where a psychological reaction (or stress response) occurs in reaction to a perceived harmful event or threat. Animals react to threats in this way, preparing the animal to fight or flee. With an anxiety disorder, people respond with fear even without the threat of any real danger. People often react with anxiety in social situations, such as job-related stress or deadlines, when setting goals, and in other important areas of functioning. In their efforts to resist and remove anxiety, people make the problem worse by making their fears stronger and more persistent.
Therapy has been proven to help reduce and alleviate anxiety. Here are some suggested first steps to alleviate and overcome anxiety:
Step 1: With Knowledge Comes Power
Understanding how your anxiety works (or what triggers your anxiety) is one of the keys to overcoming anxiety.
Step 2: Talk to Your Doctor
Consult with your primary physician if you suspect that you have panic attacks or generalized anxiety. These symptoms can be caused by a variety of physiologic disorders, and you should rule them out as part of the diagnostic process.
Step 3: Learn about Treatment
Therapeutic treatments that target behavior are best at decreasing symptoms of anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are therapeutic treatments that are clinically shown to reduce anxiety and anxiety-related symptoms. Certain types of medication may also be recommended to reduce anxiety symptoms. It is important to know that help is available.
If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, reach out and start to feel better. Contact Jamie Kreiter here.