Overcoming Anxiety Hurdles
When anxiety reaches a point where help is sought there's often a sense that a major hurdle has been crossed. However, this is tempered by the fact that you've finally had to admit a certain level of defeat in admitting you aren't coping. Even so, you've done the right thing by seeking help, so is this the closing chapter to your anxiety problems? Unfortunately this first hurdle may be one of several yet to be overcome.
Your first step in seeking professional help has probably come from the family doctor. In the run up to this, you may have spent weeks, months or longer attempting to deal with anxiety yourself. If there's one thing we can anticipate from a visit to the doctor it's getting medication. Surprisingly, many people give up on medication because it doesn't seem to work. For one thing, there is often no immediate effect on anxiety as some medication takes time to work. Thereafter, the side-effect hurdle starts to loom. For some people these may be quite modest and for others they are pretty unpleasant. Many people complain that all their medication does is make them sleepy. Others don't like the way the medication seems to take over and they don't like the sense of giving over control to tablets.
Anxiety can be an issue in its own right but very often it is accompanied by another form of mood disorder. Typically this is depression so this additional hurdle, or some other condition such as panic, can add to the pressure. These days it is not uncommon to find both depression and/or anxiety being treated with a group of medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). But many people still find their symptoms are only mildly suppressed or even unresponsive to such medications.
One of the most effective treatments for anxiety and depression is cognitive therapy. People very often combine their medication with treatment by a qualified cognitive therapist, usually a licensed psychologist. Finding a good therapist is yet another hurdle. If you live in a major city you should find a good range of qualified therapists but for some therapists you may have to wait. More rural areas present more of a challenge. You may have to travel some considerable distance for face-to-face meetings with a therapist. For some people the costs and the travel arrangements can become another hurdle and this may affect the motivation to undertake regular sessions.
Anxiety is responsive to treatment and self-help measures but it almost always requires a degree of motivation and commitment from the person who is experiencing it. This is often quite difficult as everything about anxiety tells the person to avoid or escape situations that make them feel uncomfortable. Getting past this hurdle is perhaps the most significant. Without your own commitment to change it's unlikely that things will improve. One thing we know about hurdles is they can be difficult to jump, but they are usually surmountable.