Anxiety. Only relatively recently has anxiety been recognized as a legitimate mental illness, often referred to as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Of course, anxiety itself can come in the guise of many different disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (or OCD), and it is commonly associated with Major Depressive Disorder (or depression) as well. The effects of any anxiety disorder are often not only mental, but physical. While there are certain medications that can be administered to help deal with these disorders, it’s usually recommended that people look into therapy as well. Therapy for anxiety in particular can be crucial, as many disorders of this type are chronic and long-term. Though medication can be effective in some ways, they usually can’t work on their own — and if a person is diagnosed with a mental illness at a young age, most parents don’t want them becoming dependent on a medication too early in life if it’s at all avoidable. Therapy can do wonders. Therapists can help patients develop coping skills that will change their lives for the better. This is particularly crucial for patients suffering from anxiety disorders. Consider a mental illness the same way you would a physical ailment — it needs to be treated. The best way to do this is through therapy.
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders?
The symptoms of anxiety disorders range, and can be difficult to identify — in part because anxiety disorders are the most common types of mental illness in the U.S. About 40 million adults 18 years or older in the U.S. suffer from anxiety disorders — that’s 18% of the American population. This means that a lot of people dismiss their symptoms of anxiety and attempt to “white knuckle” their way through said symptoms. They feel as if what they’re feeling is normal, if unpleasant, and therefore let the symptoms build up until they’re decidedly abnormal. Symptoms of anxiety can include a rapid heartbeat, breathlessness, feelings of nervousness as well as paranoia, and an inability to concentrate. People with anxiety often worry constantly — about work or their health, their relationships and their loved ones. They often put a lot of pressure on themselves. In fact, people with anxiety are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than people who don’t suffer from anxiety disorders.
Why Seek Treatment?
Although anxiety is extremely treatable, only one-third of people suffering from it seek treatment — again, often because they’re inclined to trivialize it until it becomes too much of a problem. People need to seek treatment for this type of disorder, in part because if they don’t, it usually only gets worse. This kind of disorder can lead to physical ailments — many people find themselves having panic attacks in conjunction with anxiety disorders, which can feel much like a heart attack. They also might suffer from digestive problems and elevated blood pressure. These disorders can also lead to an increased risk of depression, as well as other mental illnesses. Treatment for a disorder like this can start at a young age — some people start seeing a therapist when they’re as young as four years old. It’s important to emphasize that there is nothing wrong or strange with seeing a therapist. Although some feel a stigma around therapy, it is in fact very normal, and growing more common every day.
How Does Talk Therapy Work?
One of the most common types of therapy, and certainly one used when address anxiety disorders, is talk therapy. Talk therapy usually involves sitting with a therapist and discussing your various issues. It will be at your own pace; you won’t be pushed. A therapist can help you develop coping strategies, and confront past traumas in a safe, calm environment. Therapy also helps people learn how to more effectively communicate with others, and group sessions are often suggested for families and couples. Therapy is a positive step, and should be seen as such.