How Anxiety affects us

How anxiety affects our overall mental wellness and how to deal with it?

The longer-term effects of anxiety and its effects on peoples’ life.

Anxiety Cycle

When people do not cope with their anxieties, they keep avoiding things that scare them. They have a short feeling of relief when people avoid scary things. Nonetheless, they feel scarier when the similar treats arise. This leads to a detrimental avoidance cycle, making things worse.

In later times, anxiety can turn out to be so intense and severe that it becomes destructive, restricting people’s everyday activities and their live as a whole. At this point, the anxiety experienced becomes out of control and people feel considerably more anxious than expected. Consequently, people can be considered to be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

There are long-term effects of anxiety when it is not treated or managed. It appears that panic may occur as a result of intensive and extreme anxiety. Even longer-term effects of anxiety may also arise and long-term unsolved anxiety may bring about depression in the end

Options to deal with anxiety

Most people having treatment experience indicate that it helps to feel better and attain a higher quality of life. Anxiety is frequently treated by the means of psychotherapy, medication, or support groups. Some therapy methods include cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. People should discuss their situation with professionals to decide which treatment method is good for them.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of most efficient therapy methods used for the treatment of anxiety. Throughout CBT therapy sessions, irrational thoughts that leads to anxiety are identified and they are confronted or challenged. Most of the time, CBT also utilizes components of exposure therapy and relaxation techniques.

Behavioural therapy is used to diminish the relationships between problematic situations and clients’ responses. Additionally, it teaches how to calm our mind and body, so that we could relax, think clearer, and take healthier decisions. When behavior therapy is combined into CBT, they can form a powerful treatment option for anxiety.

Exposure therapy covers mainly facing the scary things. During the therapy, the therapists and clients prepare a plan to face the situation creating anxiety in order to break the cycle of avoidance. It is expected that sufficient exposure will help to alleviate the level of anxiety and its symptoms.

Counselling is a way of talking treatment in order to focus on clients’ problems and to discover problematic feelings in a reliable environment. However, counsellors do not normally recommend solutions. Instead, counselors support clients to a gain broader perspective into their feelings and behaviour to trigger a change.

Joining support groups can be beneficial for anxious people to support each other by sharing their problems and accomplishments. Internet support platforms may also be useful to get help from those with similar problems.

Medication may help to control the troubling symptoms of anxiety. However, it is best to use medication in combination with associated therapy method, because medication solely may not cure fundamental problems of anxiety. The requirement of medication changes mostly case by case.

Self help techniques such as relaxation and stress management can also be used to help your self about your anxiety. Relaxation skills or stress management techniques include deep breathing, muscle relaxation, self talk or mindfulness for instant relief from the symptoms of anxiety. The aim of the relaxation techniques is to help clients cope anxiety in that moment. Self help techniques can also be combined with psychotherapy and other treatment options to cope with anxiety.


References

  1. McNaughton, N. (1996). What is anxiety and how should we treat it?. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 25(1), 51-61.
  2. Butler, Andrew, “General Psychology (Fall 2018)” (2018). Psychology Curricular Materials. 2. [28th of July, 2020] https://scholar.valpo.edu/psych_oer/2
  3. Anxiety Disorders. [28th of July, 2020] http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
  4. Managing Stress and Anxiety. [28th of July, 2020] https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety
  5. Understanding Anxiety [28th July, 2020] https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Understanding-Anxiety-.pdf

Bahadir Bozoglan, PhD

I have a PhD degree on Psychological Counseling and Guidance, and have worked for several universities as a faculty member for years. Now, I work as a full time freelance senior academic researcher, reviewer, psychotherapist, supervisor and statistic expert.

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