10 Ways to Think About Anxiety Recovery
Jerry Kennard | Aug 9th 2016
Maybe I Should Stop Trying to Recover and Simply Rest?
If you’ve undertaken a recovery program for your anxiety, you know just how much work it takes. Some days your anxiety will feel better than others, but in the back of your mind the temptation to take a break will be stronger on the days when things don’t seem to be working out.
If taking a rest means going back to avoidance and safety-seeking behaviors then the answer is no, you shouldn’t stop. You’ll be undoing all your good work and not facing down the problems.
Is it Anxiety That Makes Me Tired?
Yes. Anxious people are often hypervigilant and concerned about possible threats. This requires lots of energy. Some people also spend a lot of time worrying and find their sleep patterns are disrupted. In order to find the stamina for other restorative and enjoyable things, it’s important you try to balance your activities.
Can Anxiety Harm Me Mentally?
Anxiety is actually a protective mechanism but one that in some cases is activated on the basis of perceived or assumed threat rather than actual threat. The symptoms in themselves are not signs that you are developing a mental illness.
Will Things Improve if I Just Put up With Them?
It’s possible, particularly if there is a specific cause for your anxiety. If you find ways to problem solve your anxiety, you will find that you generally get better sooner. The next time anxiety comes your way you’ll also have tried and tested methods to use.
I Get Anxious and Depressed
This is very common. The more depressed you become, the harder it is to find the motivation to do anything. Mild anxiety and depression can be improved by simple self-help techniques including exercise, diet, sleep, relaxation or mindfulness techniques. Seek medical help if you think your situation is more severe.
I'm a Mess. I Have Many Symptoms
You’re not alone. I previously mentioned that anxiety and depression are commonly linked, but what you’re describing is most likely a combination of symptoms that might include panic attacks, worry, lack of assertion, anger issues and so on. But everything starts with a single step. Consider which you want to tackle first (usually the thing that is troubling you most) and break that into steps. Self-help is important for motivation, but you may need professional help in order to provide structure, guidance and feedback.
Is it Possible I've Always Been This Way?
It’s possible you were born with a sensitivity to stress that is different from other people. Whether anxiety is learned or inherited, though, there’s no reason for it to dominate your life. Treatments come in different forms and there is usually something to provide relief.
If I Look For it Will I Find a Cure?
Because anxiety is a natural part of the human condition there’s nothing we can do to get rid of it. Anxiety is necessary for our survival, but it can become troublesome when the fears outweigh dangers. By changing the way we think and behave it is possible to learn to cope with situations in more adaptive ways.
I'm Ready to Seek Help
Good for you. There are different outlets you may want to explore. Many people start with their family doctor, but you could also consider counselling or perhaps cognitive behavioral therapy, recommended by most medical doctors and psychologists. The American Psychological Association provides a useful psychologist locator. Also consider whether you’d prefer a certain kind of person. That may mean: older, male or female, military background, faith-based and so on.
Should I Ask For Medication?
Only you can make this decision. Some people find that certain medications suit them while others are disappointed in the results. Medication taken for anxiety may help to calm, but can come with side effects. Some people complain that medication dulls the senses too much and makes them tired. Medication can’t cure anxiety or its causes, but used in conjunction with talk-therapy it may help to break into the vicious cycle that has been holding back your recovery.