Do you feel like you can’t leave the house or be around people? Do you try to avoid eye contact? Do you get nervous about things outside of your control? Do you overthink the choices or things you say? If so, you might struggle with anxiety.
Anxiety can severely limit your ability to live a fulfilling life. Fortunately, there are various treatments for anxiety that can help. Anxiety treatments work and can help you live a more fulfilling life.
Understanding the Goals of Anxiety Treatment
Seeking treatment for anxiety can be frightening, confusing, or difficult to understand, with many available options. But it doesn’t have to be. While treatment plans can vary, the foundation of anxiety treatment stays true throughout.
Ways treatment for anxiety can help:
- Lowers Anxiety Levels. With the right treatment, clients can feel their anxiety levels decrease, and anxieties become less frequent and debilitating.
- Adds Coping Strategies. Clients will experiment with various coping strategies provided by a licensed professional. They will learn which work for them and best support their healing journey.
- Creates Greater Self-Awareness. By reflecting on past experiences and reactions, some people report becoming more self-aware when dealing with anxiety or its after effects.
- Encourages Healthy Habits. Treatment for anxiety can help clients everyday life by helping create and establish healthy habits around diet, sleep, communication, relationships, work, and more.
Sheena Miller, Clinical Manager at Integrative Life Center, said many people with anxiety disorders are on medication to help with symptoms. But the medication doesn’t necessarily allow the person to address the root cause of the disorder.
The goal, Sheena explains, is for the person to also be in therapy, so they can heal the underlying traumas contributing to their mental health struggles.
“The psychological therapy sessions are where a person can begin to find trauma resolution, healing and peace, hopefully, eventually leveling off the need for medication and living a fulfilling life,” Sheena said.
How is Anxiety Treated?
An open, honest conversation about anxiety with a mental health professional can allow for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment for anxiety depends on many factors, including your symptoms, what’s causing them, how severe they are, and how long you’ve had these feelings.
Treatment options for anxiety include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). A form of talk therapy that helps people understand negative thought patterns and how they result in specific behaviors. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). A type of talk therapy that helps people with strong emotions understand how their thoughts affect emotions and behaviors.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). A psychotherapy treatment using lights and specific eye movements to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories.
- Exposure Therapy. A psychological treatment that helps people confront their fears in a safe space.
- Medication. Medication can help control anxiety symptoms. Therapy and medicine can work together quite well for some clients.
“Just as with a physical wound, the first step in healing a wounded soul is to stop the bleeding, basically keeping the situation from worsening,” Sheena said. “The focus is on helping the person understand the source of their issue so that we can address it.”
How Long Does it Take for Anxiety Treatment to Work?
The duration of treatment for anxiety can vary. Sadly, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to how long it will take to complete treatment, as many factors can affect the process. A strong and willful mind can help treatment for anxiety by assisting the client in pushing through difficult stages of healing.
Factors that affect anxiety treatment:
- Anxiety Type and Severity. Not everyone has the same anxiety type with equal severity. Some people may experience mild to extreme anxiety that can onset at any time or be trigger-specific.
- The Individual. No two humans are exactly alike. Everyone’s brain is uniquely different, which means everyone’s healing process is different as well.
- Underlying Issues. During therapy sessions, one issue may lead to another deeper issue, causing more anxiety or stress and the need for further treatment. It’s best to remain patient and understanding during this process, as it will be better for the long-term goal to uncover and treat these issues that cause anxiety or stress.
Measuring Your Success in Treatment for Anxiety
While treatment for anxiety may seem daunting, there are ways to monitor your success along the way to help you persevere. These might be tiny nitches to huge milestones, but each is important for overall success and mental well-being.
Ways to monitor success:
- Analyze Progress Toward Goals. Look back to Day 1 and see your steps and how different you feel throughout treatment. Creating three, six, nine, and 12-month treatment plans with your counselor can help you see the progress over an extended period.
- Reflect on Changes in Daily Life. Compare how you approach and handle anxiety and stress now versus before treatment. Look at how it’s helped make tense situations seem more manageable. Reflect on treatment techniques used and how they help benefit your success.
- Evaluate New Coping Skills. Experiment with new coping skills to find new ways to handle and manage anxiety. Examine which coping skills worked better than others, and think about how these new tools help you.
How ILC Can Help
Anxiety can be frightening and lonely, and anxiety treatment can seem like a big obstacle. But you don’t have to do it alone. Getting help for these feelings and living your best life by talking with a professional is possible. Integrative Life Center offers treatment for anxiety. Contact us to learn more and start feeling better today.