Why You’re Always Tired And How To Fix It

Getting Help For Anxiety

Getting Help

Anxiety is your body’s natural reaction to threats, either actual or perceived. Your breathing may speed up, your heart rate might pound, and butterflies might start to fly in your stomach. When it gets out of hand, anxiety can be a sign that you need help.

There are many ways to treat anxiety, including medication, psychotherapy and complementary therapies such as exercise, relaxation techniques and herbal supplements. It’s important to talk with a health care provider about which treatment is best for you.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear that are interfering with your daily life. This is different from occasional feelings of apprehension and anxiety that can happen in some situations, but aren’t a problem.

Some people who experience frequent or severe stress, or have a family history of mental health problems, are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder. Certain medical conditions, including thyroid disease, menopause and heart disease, can also increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

Medications, drugs and supplements that can be helpful include beta-blockers to reduce the rapid heartbeat, shaking and trembling that characterize some anxiety disorders; and antidepressants to improve mood. These drugs can be taken for short-term periods and can work well as part of an overall treatment plan to reduce the symptoms of your specific anxiety disorder.

Avoiding substances such as caffeine, some over-the-counter cold medicines and illicit drugs can be beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. However, they can aggravate the symptoms of your anxiety disorder or interact with prescribed medications. Your health care provider can advise you on the best combination of medications and which drugs and supplements are safe to take with your medication.

Counseling and psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” can help you learn new coping skills to manage your anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common type of psychotherapy and has been shown to be effective for treating anxiety disorders.

CBT helps you change the way you think about situations that make you feel anxious, and it also teaches you to recognize the thoughts and behaviours that lead to feelings of distress or fear. It can be helpful for treating phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition to CBT, other types of psychotherapy for anxiety include exposure therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Exposure therapy focuses on confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder in order to engage in activities that previously were avoided.

ACT is less well studied than CBT, and is usually used as a shorter-term treatment, often with some form of medication to boost the effectiveness.

Anxiety is a complex disorder that affects all aspects of your life. It is very important to seek help for your disorder as soon as possible, because it is easier to get rid of it when you start treating it early.

Causes and risk factors

There are a variety of causes for anxiety, from the effects of life experiences such as traumatic events to the inherited traits that predispose some people to develop an anxiety disorder. The underlying causes of some anxiety disorders are not fully understood, but it appears that there is a lot of overlap in the types of things that can trigger them.

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