Curing Anxiety: Is there such a thing?

 

Is there a cure for anxiety? Unfortunately, the answer is “no.” There is not a single treatment or a specific combination of treatments that will forever cure a person’s anxiety disorder.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. The American Psychological Association states on its website, “Experiencing mild anxiety may help a person become more alert and focused on facing challenging or threatening circumstances.” So, in fact, there are benefits to experiencing some anxiety every so often.

However, this organization also goes on to share, “Individuals who experience extreme fear and worry that does not subside may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. The frequency and intensity of anxiety can be overwhelming and interfere with daily functioning. Fortunately, the majority of people with an anxiety disorder improve considerably by getting effective psychological treatment.”

The first and most important step to treating your anxiety is having your symptoms properly diagnosed. There are several types of anxiety disorders and determining with a medical professional which disorder is afflicting you will help you treat your symptoms. Anxiety disorder types are:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Panic Disorder

  • Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Specific phobias (for example, acrophobia or claustrophobia)

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

One of the treatment options that varies the most amongst the different anxiety disorder types is medication. Do not take or begin a regiment of anxiety-treating medications without consulting your doctor. Taking the wrong medication can have very serious side effects and could possibly make your symptoms worse. Also, the oversight and guidance a therapist or trained counselor can provide a person with anxiety is invaluable.

Outside of your doctor’s and therapist’s offices, there are any number of methods for handling your anxiety. Apps such as Anxiety Free and Breathe2Relax are great digital tools to use. Also, streamlining your daily routine helps control your anxiety. This includes sleeping 7-9 hours every night, eating healthy, working out regularly, practicing relaxation techniques, and  reducing your intake of alcohol and/or nicotine. Another great method for handling your anxiety is journaling your stress, emotions, and any anxiety triggers you have noticed.

While this next treatment option is a bit unconventional, research shows it can be very effective at helping people suffering from anxiety. ”The companionship of a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world,” HelpGuide.org shares on its website. “Because dogs live in the moment—they don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow—they can help you become more mindful and appreciate the joy of the present.”

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems,” author and behavioral science expert Dr. Steve Maraboli once said. “Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” Anxiety can disable a person mentally, physically, and emotionally. Taking the time to find the best treatment options for you will change your life forever.