Anxiety is a term that is used frequently in today’s society. It’s often referred to in conversations around social media, social interactions, money, health, etc. Yet, there’s a significant difference between experiencing temporary nervousness about a certain circumstance and constantly feeling swallowed up by fear. The latter is a symptom of an anxiety disorder. Still, it is important to recognize that living well with an anxiety disorder can be done and is done by millions of people every day. Before we discuss the particular ways you can still live a healthy, abundant life with anxiety disorder, we need to discuss the basics.
As MedlinePlus states, “Anxiety disorders are conditions in which you have anxiety that does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.”
Furthermore, MedlinePlus explains there are multiple types of anxiety disorders, including:
Different types of anxiety disorders will affect individuals in different ways, based on individual circumstances such as trauma, genetics, and emotional and physical health. As reported by the NIH News in Health, “Anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 American adults each year.” Additionally, “Anxiety disorders can also raise your risk for other medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse, and depression.”
It’s important to note that there is a distinction between an anxiety disorder and occasional anxiety. Occasional anxiety is common and can even be helpful at times. For example, before we take a big test or make an important presentation, feelings of nervousness can surge adrenaline in our bodies, providing us with more energy. Once the event is over, the anxious feelings soon fade away, and relief often quickly follows.
However, with an anxiety disorder, the anxiousness doesn’t dissipate; it’s constant and can be crippling. As mentioned previously, symptoms of anxiety disorders will show up differently for each person. For example, NIH reports that common symptoms of GAD may include:
The good news is that anxiety disorders are extremely common and typically respond well to therapy and counseling.
One way to live well with an anxiety disorder is to maintain your mental health. This will look different for everyone, based on your stress level, physical and emotional health, and access to healthy resources.
Typically, a combination of complementary treatments tends to have positive results on healing from an anxiety disorder. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) recommends treating an anxiety disorder by addressing the following needs:
The NCCIH also states that combining complementary treatments to address more than one need can be beneficial. For example, therapeutic yoga will address both psychological (meditation) and physical (exercise) needs. Additionally, cutting out certain foods from your diet could address nutritional and physical needs, which could, as a result, improve your psychological state.
Maintaining your mental health will have to be a personal decision between you and your healthcare team. This may include your primary care physician, specialist, or licensed professional counselor (LPC).
As NIH News in Health describes, “The good news is that most anxiety disorders get better with therapy. The course of treatment depends on the type of anxiety disorder. Medications, psychotherapy (‘talk therapy’), or a combination of both can usually relieve troubling symptoms.”
LPCs and psychiatrists can be great resources for teaching you how to heal from the thoughts and circumstances that cause anxiety. Additionally, they can help you discover the root of your anxiety, as well as equip you with tools that help you healthily cope with common side effects of anxiety disorders, like:
Furthermore, certain medical professionals are also able to prescribe medications that can help your nervous system regulate while you put your new counseling skills into practice. When used correctly, medication may help empower you to implement changes while your body and nervous system get a break from constantly feeling afraid and on edge.
Another way to live well with an anxiety disorder includes knowing your triggers. For example, if you have a panic attack every time you pass a hospital, it may be in your best interest to avoid going near a hospital for a while. It may not always be achievable; however, if you know something is going to trigger your anxiety or a trauma response, it may be helpful to avoid it until you’ve processed the reason behind your panic attacks.
Knowing your triggers and learning why you respond a particular way when you’re placed in certain circumstances could be extremely helpful in getting your anxiety under control. Your counselor or healthcare team can also assist you as you learn your triggers.
Here at Sage Recovery, we understand how heavy it can feel to be struggling with an anxiety disorder. We understand how it may feel crippling, frustrating, or confusing. The good news is you’re not alone and you don’t have to walk this road alone.
Our licensed clinicians are trained in various treatment approaches so that you can find the technique(s) that bring you the most relief. Sage Recovery’s entire staff is extensively trained to provide trauma-informed care, so you can be sure that you’ll be treated with dignity and care as you heal. You’ve been through some really hard things, and we don’t take any of it lightly. We can help you discover the root of your anxiety and trauma and guide you as you heal.
Whether you’re struggling through some type of anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, or a combination of both, we can help. Here at Sage Recovery, we’re here to help you heal healthily from the hard things you’ve been through. Our masters-level counselors are equipped to use innovative and evidence-based treatments to empower you to take control of your own story. We wholeheartedly believe it’s never too late to begin healing. This is why we offer customizable treatment plans; so you can find treatments that work for your life and goals for the future. When you’re ready to start your healing journey, reach out to us at (512) 306-1394. We’re here to help you every step of the way.