DEALING WITH ANXIETY DISORDER
In a previous article, diet and anxiety was discussed. In that article, the amount of people suffering from anxiety was discussed. Anxiety can have a huge affect on everything in our lives – including weight. In the past article, there was discussion around the types of foods and how they can reduce anxiety. In this article, we will take a deeper dive into anxiety and additional treatments of it because if you are dealing with anxiety disorder, it is helpful to know your options.
When it comes to anxiety, there are many different types of treatment to consider. You can try talking therapies, medication, acupuncture, and even options such as exposure therapy. This option is one that is often overlooked by anxiety sufferers primarily because it can be rather unpleasant to experience.
WHAT IS EXPOSURE THERAPY?
The general idea is that the more you are exposed to something that triggers your anxiety, the less power that trigger has over you. You “expose” yourself to something you find concerning, and eventually, it won’t be able to rouse the same anxious response.
The types of anxiety this therapy has been helpful with are:
> Generalized anxiety disorder
> Simple and social phobias
> Obsessive compulsive disorder
> Post traumatic syndrome disorder
IS THIS PROCESS TERRIFYING?
The initial burst of exposure to a trigger is going to cause a significant anxiety spike— but then again, it’s meant to do exactly that. The premise is eventually a person will stop having the same anxious response to the basic stimuli. Anxiety is, as explained on mentalshelf.com, an unsustainable state, which means that the same trigger will eventually cease to have an impact.
WHEN SOMEONE NO LONGER HAS AN ANXIOUS RESPONSE, THEY’RE CURED – RIGHT?
Not quite. The next phase of exposure therapy is to expose someone to something they find more frightening, in an effort to — again — stimulate an anxiety response. Here’s how this works in practice:
- If a person has social anxiety, their first exposure could be visualizing how it would feel to speak in front of people.
- As they adapted to this idea and their anxiety reduced, the escalation would be to actually do it.
- If a person has a phobia of dying, their first exposure could be to visit curahpc.com or similar sites to learn about hospice care.
- As the person adjusts to this and learns of the incredible work involved in palliative care, the next escalation could be to read accounts of those who have been diagnosed with terminal illness.
DO THE ESCALATIONS CONTINUE?
Yes, until the person reaches a point where even the most extreme stimuli no longer bothers them. The idea is to continually raise the level of anxiety the sufferer experiences, then have them overcome it and move to the next stage.
DOES IT WORK?
This is the key question, and one that is impossible to answer generally. Exposure therapy can work as shown by accounts, but it’s a difficult, challenging treatment. It is usually preferable to try other methods of coping with anxiety first, though exposure therapy remains an option if these are unsuccessful.
There is an important caveat – exposure therapy should only be issued in controlled, clinical conditions with a psychologist present. Exposure therapy can do wonders for anxiety and phobias, but it has to be delivered carefully, so this definitely isn’t an idea to try by someone unlicensed. If you want to try exposure therapy, speak to a mental health professional for further guidance.
This is a contributed affiliate post.
FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT
It is necessary to address anxiety when it is present. In order to address all the options available to you, speak with your health care professional.
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