Have you found yourself asking, “Do I have an anxiety disorder?”


If you have found yourself asking this question, it might be time to talk to a specialist for a diagnosis. Diagnosing an anxiety disorder might be the first step in taking back control of your life.


We all feel nervous at times in our life, but anxiety disorders go beyond the stressful, nervous feelings that one might feel about a test, presentation, blind date, or major life change. Talking with a professional can help you understand if you have an anxiety disorder. A doctor will most likely run tests to ensure that your symptoms are not caused by a physical issue, then they may refer you to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health specialist.


There are a few ways to help manage various degrees of anxiety without a doctor’s medication, however a multi-faceted approach is often the most successful and can give you the best chance of management and recovery.


Common anxiety symptoms can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, go to school, and even have healthy relationships. If you are struggling with any of these or similar areas, it might be time to seek help. Call us at 951-737-6199.


The previous information might be known to you, and you might be asking, “I have an anxiety disorder, now what do I do?”


Having an anxiety disorder can be difficult. Many people don’t fully understand anxiety disorders, and you may feel ostracized and misunderstood at times. Many individuals will tell you to calm down, and take a few breaths, not understanding your anxiety is a disorder, and not merely discomfort or a simple case of stress. Not only will you have to maneuver people who don’t understand your disorder, but it can be a difficult thing to understand yourself.


The first thing to remember is that you are not alone.


The second thing to remember is that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety.


The brain is the most complex organ in the body. It’s important to remember that if other organs were experiencing problems, you would seek help, and no one would judge. Just know that there is the possibility of management and recovery for anxiety disorders.


Most likely, your doctor or mental health specialist will suggest therapy. If your anxiety is severe enough to interfere with your daily life activities some form of medication may also be prescribed. These medications are formulated to manage depression and/or anxiety for an extended period of time. These can be helpful while you learn the necessary coping techniques, attending therapy, and unwrapping what is at the core of your anxiety.


It’s important to be as honest as you can with your doctor and/or mental health specialist. If a certain medication is not working, it’s important that you speak up and let them know. It’s not uncommon to try several before finding the perfect fit. A lot of medications are meant to be used for short term periods to help manage panic attacks or lessen the effects of them. These medications are to be used in conjunction with treatment to eventually manage anxiety enough that no medication will be necessary.


You might be asking yourself, “Are there ways I can manage my anxiety without medication?”


The good news is that yes, there are ways to manage your anxiety without medication. Therapy can be a very effective method of managing and treating your anxiety. In fact, research has shown this is usually the most effective option. Where medication treats the symptoms, therapy treats the underlying causes of the anxiety.


Therapy gives you the tools the learn how to relax, look at situations in a new light, and develop better problem solving and coping skills. Therapy not only gives you the tools to manage and overcome your anxiety, but it teaches you how to use them properly.


Since anxiety disorders can differ so drastically, your therapy plan should be tailored specifically to your needs. The length of treatment will also vary depending upon the severity of the condition. The most common type of treatment for anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy.


Cognitive behavioral therapy addresses negative patterns and distortions in the way you look at the world and yourself. CBT has two main components, cognitive therapy and behavior therapy.


Cognitive therapy examines how negative thoughts, or cognitions, contribute to anxiety.


Behavior therapy examines how you behave and react in situations that trigger anxiety.


Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on the idea that your thoughts, not external events, affect the way that you feel.  This means that you can control your response to specific stimuli.


The most important thing with treatment is to remember not to give up hope. Oftentimes things seem impossible, and it’s hard for you to see improvement, but progress is always being made. If you’re struggling, seek out new and different avenues for help, support, and recovery. There is always hope, just remember to keep reaching for it. We know you can do it!


If you or a loved one is in need of anxiety treatment, please contact Full Circle Recovery at 951-737-6199.


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Written by: Nicole Weisbrich