Is Anxiety Curable, Or Will I Always Feel This Way?
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated February 07, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Tanya Harell
Everyone feels nervous or stressedat times. While everyday life events can bring about mild symptoms of anxiety, larger events such as weddings, new job, moving, etc., can cause more severe anxiety.In these cases, the anxiety is often situational, passing quickly and not making a lasting negative impact. It is when anxiety has become a part of one's daily existence that it becomes crippling to normal functioning and can possibly be considered a disorder.
Anxiety: A Stumbling Block
Anxiety that is more severe can cause individuals to avoid normal routine events such as grocery shopping, meeting friends out for coffee, or even walking the dog ("Effective Recognition and Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Primary Care," 2004). There are several forms that anxiety can take. Somepeople experience a form of anxiety known associal anxiety,which has to do with being social and interacting with others. However, anxiety may also have less to do with the social aspect of life, and more to do with compulsions associated withleaving things undone.
Certain symptomsof an anxiety disorder may ariseout of work or relationship stressors. In these situations, the individual may miss work or avoid taking care of matters related to their relationship. Work-related anxiety can lead to decreased productivity, and increased sick days (Helbig-Lang, Lang, Petermann, & Hoyer, 2012); all of which could lead to quitting the job. With relationship-related anxiety the individual may avoid discussing bills or household chores, which can ultimately lead to conflict and arguments.
Avoidance is often a key symptom exhibited by those experiencing anxiety(Levin, 2012). The avoidance begins as a means of alleviating the anxiety, but is counter-productive. Unfortunately, many individuals’ symptoms become worse before they recognize the danger signs.
There are a number of symptoms to look out for if you are feeling as though you may have an anxiety disorder:
As mentioned above, this can occur if you’re feeling overly concerned about day-to-day or long-term tasks or activities.
Feelings of Agitation
This can include several physiological symptoms, such as fast heartbeat, dry mouth, and sweaty palms. It’s a general feeling of heightened arousal.
Restlessness occurs when you often feel as though you need to get up and do something, or are having trouble sitting still.
Excessive and consistent fatigue may be a sign of anxiety. If you are experiencing tiredness that often follows a state of heightened arousal, or chronic fatigue that doesn’t seem to go away, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Though it is also a symptom of a number of other mental health issues, consistent trouble staying on task may be a sign that you have an anxiety disorder that is preventing you from fully concentrating.
Those experiencing anxiety are often easily annoyed, even by seemingly innocuous disturbances or interactions. If you find that you’re irritable more often than normal, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Tense muscles can be caused by a number of mental and physical issues, but they’re also commonly associated with anxiety.
There are also cooccurring conditions that you may experience, such as anxiety-related depression. If you are consistently experiencing some or all of these symptoms, it may be time to reach out to consider treatment options, including therapy. All in all, anxiety is a vicious cycle that if left unchecked, can lead to more serious disorders.
Heredity, Medication, and CBT
Some individuals are more anxiety-prone than others, just as some are more prone to depression and other mental health disorders (Sokolowska & Hovatta, 2013). For those individuals, due to their genetic disposition, fighting off anxiety may be more difficult. There are medications for severe anxiety, but without a change in how one thinks and behaves, these often prove ineffective. The side-effects (Baldwin et al., 2014), such as weight gain, loss of interest in sex, insomnia, etc. can actually cause more problems, leading to further anxiety.
Anxiety can be mediated with proper treatment involving cognitive as well as behavioral therapy (Otte, 2011). If medication is used, it should not be used for the longterm. The goal should be that medication is used to help during the crisis phase of anxiety ("Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Anxiety Disorders | JAMA | The JAMA Network," n.d.). If an individual is placed on medication, but is not involved in a treatment program involving cognitive-behavioral modalities, the medication may be less effective.
Sometimes simply having someone to talk with when you’re feeling symptoms of anxietycan help to alleviate symptoms. However, many either do not have an available support system, or are too embarrassed to discuss their anxiety with family or friends. Seeking therapy from a qualified mental health therapist is a step forward in the right direction; however, some may need more support than even weekly sessions can offer.
Recent research supports the positive effects of online therapy and counseling platforms for people experiencing symptoms associated with anxiety. In a review published in Current Opinion in Psychiatry, researchers looked at the benefits of online therapy, including internet- and smartphone-delivered methods, when helping to treat those with anxiety. They aggregated a number of studies, finding that online counseling, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in particular, is an effective method of treatment. The report mentions the benefits outlined by a large number of these studies, including the accessibility of online platforms, in addition to decreased cost, increased privacy, and greater convenience. CBT is a form of therapy that helps participants reframe the negative thought patterns that can lead to difficult emotions or unwanted behaviors, such as those often associated with anxiety.
As mentioned above, if you want help confronting unwanted emotions, online therapy can be a powerful option. BetterHelp’s network of licensed, qualified therapists are available to youfrom the comfort of your own home, via email, chat, or video conferencing. And you’ll be able to reach out to your therapist any time, day or night. If you need to discuss your symptoms, have a question, or simply want to chat, reach out, and they will get back to you as soon as they are able. A licensed therapist has the expertise and experience to give you coping tools to deal with your anxiety when it's unexpected, as well as lasting solutions to recover from anxiety. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.
"Lindsay has been such a blessing. I am a small business owner who is married to a PTSD vet. I have a lot on my mind and plate and she has helped me with everything that I could ever dream of. My anxiety and stress are becoming more manageable daily and its because of the amount of attention and care she puts into our sessions. I have told so many people about her and the tips she has given me. I will never be able to repay her for the fresh start she has given me."
"Sharon has been absolutely wonderful!! Speaking with her has greatly reduced my anxiety and she's really helped me to see things in a different light and has provided me with the tools to succeed. I highly recommend her to anyone!"
Anxiety is not something that needs to constantly, or permanently, impact your daily life. With the right help, you can start to manage your emotions and move forward.
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