Everybody suffers from stress or anxiety from time-to-time. Common situations, such as speaking in public, meeting tight deadlines, first dates, as well as being caught in rush hour traffic can cause us stress and anxiety.
But, mild anxiety or stress isn’t really unhealthy. In fact, they can be useful and evolutionary important, as these kinds of stress and anxiety tend to make us focused and aware when faced with serious or threatening situations.
However, as opposed to the brief stress and anxiety people experience on account of general life situations, men and women who suffer excessive and chronic stress or anxiety disorders suffer distress for a long time that interferes with their lives and their abilities to function normally.
Thankfully, with proper and effective treatment, people affected by severe stress or anxiety disorders can learn how to cope, get better, and once more enjoy normal, healthy, balanced, and satisfying lives.
Can stress and anxiety disorders be taken care of successfully without taking medication?
Absolutely! Psychotherapy – also known as “talk therapy” and psychological counseling – can certainly be an incredibly effective treatment for anxiety and stress, particularly if you’re unwilling to commit yourself to taking pills throughout your life to overcome the difficulties you’re experiencing.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, studies have proven that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly useful in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy works by helping people acquire the necessary skills to identify, examine, and change unhelpful thought processes and habits, as well as replace them with beneficial ones.
This lets you lessen stress and anxiety, and practice more control in your daily life, by changing how you respond to the situations you face, in spite of the issues themselves.
Furthermore, due to the fact cognitive-behavioral therapy is a short-term process, it is not uncommon for people to begin experiencing benefits after only 12-16 weeks of getting treatment.
While cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven to be a particularly helpful form of anxiety therapy, a number of other treatments have also been shown to work quite well:
- Exposure Therapy – A variety of CBT, exposure therapy gradually exposes you to an item or scenario you fear, helping you to become less sensitive over time. Exposure therapy is considered especially helpful with helping individuals treat obsessive-compulsive disorders and phobias.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – Integrating cognitive-behavioral practices and knowledge from Eastern meditation, dialectical behavioral therapy brings together acceptance and change. DBT traditionally incorporates individual and group therapy to help you develop mindfulness techniques and skills to boost interpersonal ability, more effectively tolerate distress, and manage emotions.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – In various circumstances, eye movements may actually lessen the intensity of disturbing emotions. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing has a direct effect on how the brain processes information, helping individuals see painful thoughts with less trauma. While research has established EMDR as an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, quite a few therapists have experienced beneficial results when using it to resolve panic attacks and phobias.
Moreover, family therapy and group therapy are also beneficial for people dealing with panic attacks, phobias, or excessive amounts of anxiety and stress.
In spite of the success of psychotherapy in helping people cope with and recover from numerous anxiety issues, if you or your therapist think you’ll benefit from taking prescription medications, your therapist should recommend a licensed psychiatrist for an assessment.
While anti-anxiety medicines may have a role in treatment, it is important to keep in mind all drugs have side-effects, which must be monitored very closely by the prescribing doctor.
Should you undertake anxiety counseling?
If left untreated, severe or ongoing anxiety and stress can lead to costly and debilitating consequences. For example, those who undergo recurring panic attacks usually avoid putting themselves in any scenario that may lead to a new attack. This type of avoidance commonly conflicts with business requirements, family relationships, and other day-to-day tasks.
Not only are overwhelming anxiety and chronic stress debilitating themselves, but, if left untreated, they can quickly trigger other emotional and behavioral challenges such as depression, alcoholism, or substance.
It is important to be aware that no one anxiety or stress treatment is effective for all people, and none are effective immediately. Anxiety therapy should be customized for each individual and you should understand, and be comfortable with, the therapist and treatment plan being proposed from the outset.
Having said that, there is little question that various forms of psychotherapy can help you control, and recover from, severe stress and anxiety disorders.
If you’re suffering stress or anxiety on a regular basis, suffer panic attacks or unresolved phobias, or are coping with other anxiety disorders that are impairing your personal and professional responsibilities and relationships, you owe it to yourself to find the best treatment options available.
Anxiety therapy, whether or not it is employed in conjunction with prescription drugs, can help you restore balance, take back control, and move forward in life with optimism and confidence.