4 Considerations for Seeking Treatment for Anxiety
Anxiety is a multifaceted mental health disorder that presents in various ways. Many people aren't aware that the feelings or symptoms they're experiencing are anxiety, while others struggle with asking for help.
Seeking treatment for anxiety can profoundly transform someone's life. Here are four considerations for seeking anxiety treatment and when it's time to reach out.
Exploring Local Options
Finding local support options can be challenging, especially if you live in a rural area. While someone in a large city can search for anxiety treatment San Jose and find several options, people in remote areas may not have that luxury.
If you can't find local options with a simple search, consider contacting your family physician for a referral. They'll be able to recommend someone in your network to offer support.
You can also reach out to government-funded mental health organizations for referrals and resources. These are particularly beneficial if you lack insurance coverage or your area has a long treatment waitlist.
Developing Symptom Awareness
Anxiety symptoms can be insidious and hard to pinpoint. For example, you may not feel "anxious" when you feel anxiety; many people feel angry or edgy instead.
Anxiety also creates physical and cognitive symptoms, such as muscle tension, headaches, or brain fog. You may feel restless and unable to sleep, even though you're not stressed about a particular issue.
Inaction and procrastination are other signs of anxiety that are often overlooked. People who experience these issues write them off as being lazy, continuing the shame cycle that can worsen the condition.
Becoming aware of your anxiety symptoms and triggers requires practice, mindfulness, and tracking. Consider journaling how you feel and process what factors influenced your emotions. These notes will help you become more aware of your mental health and also be helpful for clinicians as they recommend treatment.
Considering Treatment Approaches
There are several approaches to anxiety treatment. Depending on your situation, you may benefit from medication, therapy, or both.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to anxiety treatment, as it's a complex disorder with many different types under the umbrella of the general diagnosis. However, a few common treatment methods include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - a structured, solution-based form of talk therapy.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) - an alternative to CBT that focuses on embracing thoughts and feelings.
- Mindfulness stress management - daily activities and techniques for coping with stress and anxiety healthily.
- Support groups - peer groups with others struggling with anxiety to discuss the experience and find community.
- Medication - this may include beta blockers, antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medication.
Talk to your doctor or treatment specialist about which approaches suit you. You have a right to advocate for yourself and contribute to your treatment plan.
Evaluating Impacts on Daily Activities
Many people wonder when it's time to seek treatment for their anxiety. The general recommendation is to seek support before you think you should. In other words, it's better to be proactive and get support before your anxiety escalates and impacts your daily life.
If your anxiety is limiting you from doing what you love and affecting your relationships, it's time to reach out for support.