Every person experiences stress, but for some the scales will sometimes slip to levels of anxiety and the worry seems never ending. Fortunately, there is help for anxiety. Following, are 3 increasingly popular anxiety treatment methods.
What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by persistent and potentially worsening feelings of anxiety. Feelings of anxiety may occur spontaneously, or as a result of exposure to certain situations or objects. Specific symptoms are typically variant depending on the type of anxiety disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety is perhaps the mostly widely known form of anxiety, characterized by persistent feelings of worry or fear, which last most days out of each week and continue for at least six continuous months. These feelings can arise due to various factors, including social situations, health, work or school, and everyday situations. Those with generalized anxiety typically see symptoms such as fatigue, issues with sleeping [typically insomnia or restless sleep], and difficultly concentrating – among other symptoms.
Panic disorder is a special type of anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. Attacks can be spontaneous or triggered and typically consist of intense feelings of fear that peak in a small amount of time. Many people mistake panic attacks for heart attacks, as symptoms typically arise in the form of: heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, difficulty breathing, and feelings of impending doom. Those who suffer from panic attacks may experience persistent worries about when another attack may occur and may attempt to find ways to prevent another attack by avoiding situations, people, or objects.
Phobias are a form of anxiety disorders that involve fear of a specific object or situation. The fear may be irrational, though rational fears are possible and are typically disproportionate to the actual levels of danger presented in the situation or by the object. Symptoms of phobias typically arise in the form of irrational or excessive worry, actively seeking ways to avoid the fear inducer, and intense anxiety when confronting the fear inducer. Studies show that common phobias include:
- Arachnophobia – the fear of spiders [48% of women, 12% of men]
- Acrophobia – the fear of heights [5% of the general population]
- Aerophobia – the fear of flying [25 million Americans]
- Claustrophobia – fear of confined spaces [5% to 7% of the world population]
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety is characterized by an intense, excessive fear of social situations. Situations that induce anxiety may be those such as performing, talking with others, or walking in front of large groups. Those with social anxiety disorder actively seek out ways to avoid these situations, which may cause interference with everyday life.
Perhaps one of the lesser known forms of anxiety disorders, agoraphobia is a disorder characterized by an intense fear of two or more of the following situations:
- Public Transportation
- Open Spaces or Enclosed Spaces
- Standing in Line
- Being in a Crowd
- Being Outside the Home by Themselves
Those suffering from agoraphobia actively seek to avoid these situations, and in severe cases they may avoid leaving their home.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Though separation anxiety is often associated with children, children and adults alike can face its symptoms. Those with separation anxiety typically fear being away from those they’ve grown attached to and may fear what could happen during the separation. Driving by fear, they may actively seek to avoid separation and grow anxious when separation is inevitable. Separation anxiety may cause the formation of nightmares about separation.
3 Popular Anxiety Treatment Methods
In simplest terms, client-centered therapy is a form of talk-therapy, where the client talk about their life story in their own timing, while the therapist avoids asking questions. Instead, the therapist may repeat back what the client says, so the client is able to know when they are expressing what they actually mean. Rather than working as a guide or a problem-solver, the therapist is a facilitator, helping the client towards self-discovery and self-acceptance; they seek to understand the world from the client’s perspective. In order for therapy to be successful, the therapist provides three facilitating conditions:
- Empathy – therapists completely understand and accept the thoughts and emotions of the client
- Congruence – therapists do not present themselves as authority or superior beings, but rather show themselves truly and accessibly to be seen as honest and transparent by the client
- Unconditional Positive Regard – therapists are empathetic and nonjudgmental in order to convey feelings of understanding, trust, and confidence in order to help clients make their own choices
A form of therapy placing emphasis on the human condition, existential therapy finds its basis in the fundamental belief that everyone experiences internal, psychological conflict due to interactions with specific, innate conditions – otherwise called givens. These conditions are typically seen as: freedom and its responsibility, death, isolation, and meaninglessness. Confronting these givens, according to existentialists, is what causes anxiety. Therapy therefore focuses on finding a balance between being aware of the givens and not letting the awareness become overwhelming. Therapists help clients to understand their past choices and the reasoning behind them, to therefore use the client’s past as a way to increase freedom and assertiveness.
Unlike other forms of therapy, Gestalt therapy places a large emphasis on the present – helping clients to become more present by resolving past conflicts. Gestalt therapy places an emphasis on not just talking about emotions, but instead experiencing them within therapy. Therapists may work with clients through techniques such as asking questions, role playing, and confrontation in order to help clients experience feelings in the present. It is Gestalt therapy’s belief that unhappiness is due to a disconnect between the mind and body, so therapy works to reconnect the two. Additionally, Gestalt therapy works best for those who want to become more self-aware, who want to take more responsibility for themselves, and who want to learn to satisfy their needs while respecting the needs of others.
How Can Makin Wellness Help?
At Makin Wellness, our providers specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Our providers are compassionate and empathetic, and they strive to help our clients on the journey of healing. If you believe these popular anxiety treatment methods may be a good fit for you, visit our website or email us at [email protected] to set up your appointment and begin your path to healing!
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