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How to Cope With Anxiety

Having anxiety is normal, but it can be unhealthy if you have persistent feelings of fear, panic and dread that interfere with your life. If you feel like this regularly, and they are impacting on your quality of life, it’s time to talk to your health provider about getting help.

Anxiety is a common mental health problem that affects millions of people in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. It is caused by a number of different factors, including genetics and childhood experiences.

You can learn to cope with anxiety in different ways. The most effective way is to take control of your thoughts, behaviours and emotions. This involves learning how to relax and manage your anxiety, and taking action to change habits that are causing problems.

Some of these habits include excessive worrying and avoiding things that might trigger anxiety. Other behaviors that might be helpful in managing anxiety include regular exercise, a healthy diet and getting enough sleep.

It’s also important to keep in touch with friends and family, as support can make a big difference. They can provide you with a safe place to share your worries and anxieties, and can be useful in helping you find treatment options that are right for you.

Most anxiety disorders respond well to talk therapy and medication. These can be given alone or in combination.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most common types of talk therapy. It can teach you how to recognise and change negative thoughts that cause anxiety, which are often based on untrue assumptions about yourself or others.

Other types of therapy include interpersonal, problem-solving and stress management therapies. These help you develop new skills to control your anxiety and improve your relationships.

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Another type of therapy is exposure therapy. It involves gradually exposing you to situations that trigger your anxiety, using a fear hierarchy.

In some cases, it may be useful to try and avoid situations that are likely to trigger your anxiety, such as a stressful job or a social situation. Exposure therapy can be particularly useful for certain phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

You might be prescribed an antidepressant drug, such as escitalopram (Lexapro) or paroxetine (Paxil). There are other drugs that can also treat depression and anxiety symptoms, such as venlafaxine and duloxetine.

If these medicines don’t work, your doctor might suggest more specific medications. Some of these are anti-anxiety drugs, such as benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants. They might also be used with other treatments, such as psychotherapy and relaxation techniques.

There are a few different forms of anxiety, and the treatment may differ depending on the symptoms you have. Some are more serious than others.

Some people with an anxiety disorder may also have other conditions that can trigger their symptoms, such as heart disease or diabetes. If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe blood tests and other diagnostics to rule out these conditions.

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