Anxiety has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the most common and prevalent psychiatric condition in all countries,” with a lifetime prevalence estimate of 13 percent to 20 percent.
This post will help you know- what is anxiety and its benefits, including how it can alleviate symptoms of panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, insomnia, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, PTSD, and depression.
What is anxiety?
Many people still ask, “what is anxiety“? Well, according to WHO’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10), “it is an unpleasant emotional or physiological state associated with an anticipation of danger, loss, or adversity.”
In other words, it’s a condition that should be treated with doctors prescribing medications to treat the core symptoms. Anxiety may also be caused by external triggers that can make the condition worse. In the case of panic attacks, for example, this could involve stressful situations or places such as school shootings.
There are typically three types of anxiety: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), Social anxiety disorder (SAD), and Panic disorder. Other disorders include:
- Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Why treat anxiety?
In addition to impacting your health, anxiety can negatively affect every aspect of your life. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concerns in the United States, with over 37 percent of adults struggling with them. And in 2021, anxiety and depression cost the US economy more than $20 billion annually.
How treatment works: Medication vs. Therapy
Many people are familiar with prescription medications to treat anxiety disorders, and there are certainly benefits to taking medication. They can take the edge off anxiety symptoms without you having to do anything other than take the pills. This is great for those who struggle with daily tasks such as leaving the house, going to work, or seeing friends and family.
A lot of people overlook the benefits of life coaching or anxiety therapy. One is that therapy helps you discover better ways to cope with your symptoms. There are many different types of therapy, so a professional can help you determine which approach will be best for you. The goal is to help you make positive changes in your life that allow anxiety to be managed effectively and overcome the challenges that trigger it.
Some of the benefits of anxiety therapy
Easy-to-follow, individualized treatment plans that work with your particular symptoms, triggers, and situation are customized to your needs.
Avoid the triggers
Therapy also helps you learn how to avoid the things that trigger your anxiety and manage it better so that it doesn’t impact your everyday life.
Improve mental health
A trained therapist can also help you determine if you are suffering from any other mental health issues, or they can refer you to someone who can help. Sometimes when people experience anxiety, they develop similar symptoms of another mental health issue such as depression or bipolar disorder. And sometimes, the actual cause of the anxiety is something else entirely, so it’s essential to know if there are other factors affecting your mood or emotions.
Another reason anxiety therapy can be beneficial is that your doctor can find ways to improve sleep, which can help with anxiety symptoms. Anxiety often makes it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep, especially if it’s impacting your daily activities. The results of anxiety treatment focus on helping you relax and become more in tune with yourself. So while you might initially want to go back to bed and hide under the covers, eventually, you’ll learn other ways to cope with your symptoms and make changes in your life that will allow you to sleep better.
You can learn a lot from therapy, especially if you begin to understand the different triggers and patterns surrounding your anxiety. You’ll learn what you can do to help yourself in those situations and any negative thought patterns that emerge. One of the major benefits of anxiety therapy is that it will allow you to develop positive coping mechanisms, which will help you see the way forward and improve your life.
Reduce the impact
You will learn to be more proactive when you have anxiety symptoms and reduce how much they impact your daily life. While medication can help with short-term relief, therapy can provide long-term benefits. By talking through challenges with a professional, you’ll learn new ways to deal with anxiety symptoms and develop skills that can change your outlook on life for the better.
Accept yourself for who you are
Therapy is about understanding yourself and your triggers and managing them as best as possible so that you can live your life and not let anxiety define it. It’s not always easy, but if you are willing to learn new ways to deal with your symptoms and reduce how they impact your life, you can make adjustments and begin to improve your mental health.
Reduce the risk
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), many people with anxiety disorders also suffer from substance abuse problems. In fact, some people use alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with their symptoms so that they can get through their day-to-day life. But overdosing on them can have serious health impacts on your body, so many people resort to taking prescription medications such as anxiety meds instead. However, this is not a safe long-term option. Therapy reduces the risk of substance abuse and addiction to medications.
If you are experiencing a panic attack or experiencing avoidance behaviors when it comes to your triggers, therapy can help you establish new strategies for coping. You’ll learn how to use your emotions as a tool for strength and growth instead of letting them control you.
Anxiety is a common and very real problem for many people. Other mental health disorders can accompany anxiety, and treating it effectively can help you sleep better and manage your emotions better. It is caused by so many factors that there are no surefire cures, but some treatment options are better than others, for example, therapy. Reaching out to a professional who can provide therapy or counseling is never a bad idea if you are experiencing any symptoms.