When you discover that you have anxiety, either by a visit to your doctor or an emergency room, you need to come up with a treatment plan. The first thing you need to do is decide what is best for you. There are many professionals that treat anxiety and many different forms of treatment. With the right tools, you can come up with a plan that works for you.
The first tool you will need is education about anxiety. Anxiety is an emotional/physical response to stressors. If you have been evaluated and deemed free of physical illness causing the anxiety then you can safely assume that you cannot die from an anxiety attack. You need to come to a realization that it is just an emotional response and you can gain control over it. Educate yourself on the many symptoms that you may be experiencing or may experience in the future. That way, new symptoms won’t add to your anxiety. You will also need to have an accurate list of symptoms to take to whatever professional you choose to work with.
Decide on what treatment route is best for you. Doctors that practice westernized medicine are most likely to put you on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications or a combination of both. Most therapists will teach you cognitive behavioral therapy so that you can learn to control anxiety without the use of medications. Alternative medicine providers may use a number of treatments including; yoga, meditation, acupuncture, herbal remedies, visual imagery, music therapy and deep breathing exercises. Some people benefit from a mixture of both western and eastern/alternative medicine, especially if anxiety is severe. The majority of anxiety sufferers are able to gain control with just alternative medicine and once they learn techniques to reduce anxiety, they are able to treat the attacks with ease at home.
Whatever professional you choose, check credentials, how they treat, experience and who they work with. It helps first to know that Psychiatrists are medical doctors and can prescribe medications, psychologists and therapists cannot prescribe medications, but instead use cognitive behavioral therapy. They will sometimes refer to psychiatrists or general physicians if they need medications to compliment therapies. Eastern and alternative medical providers do not advocate the use of prescription medications and can dispense herbal therapies as needed. You will also want to look at the training they received and how long they have been in practice. Recommendations are the best route to finding out who is good. Lastly, find out who specializes in anxiety treatment and has good experience working with anxiety sufferers. Professionals that have worked with numerous anxiety patients will have more experience in helping someone gain control of anxiety faster. Sometimes, you can learn needed techniques to treat your anxiety yourself in just a few short sessions.
The best professional to work with for anxiety, is a former anxiety sufferer. Medicine can be a cold unfeeling world. That is because most medical professionals go to school to learn medicine, but not all of them have been your shoes. There are “laypeople” out there that specifically practice treating patients with anxiety, because they have personal experience with overcoming anxiety. This is hands-down the best person to treat an anxiety attack. They have overcome anxiety, merely because they learned techniques themselves to combat the attacks.
Never let anyone tell you that you cannot overcome anxiety yourself. It has happened all too many times, you take an anti-anxiety medication and soon you find yourself needing it to get by on a daily basis and soon you can’t stop taking it. Prescription medications can be a so-called “band-aid” approach, when tried and true techniques taught to an individual can last a lifetime. It is a well-known fact that sedatives such as; benzodiazepines are addictive. You cannot just take them and stop suddenly. You have to be weaned off very slowly. When you stop, the anxiety returns and you have no tools to deal with it and you have become involved in a vicious cycle. Leaning the tools to treat anxiety yourself will prevent this from happening. Even if you absolutely had to take prescription medication short-term, when you are ready to let go you will have the needed tools to put anxiety to rest yourself.
Our conclusion is, you have to do what works for you. Everyone deals with anxiety differently and ever case of anxiety is different. Some people need prescription medication, some do not. You may even notice a difference between your own attacks from one to the next. Journal your symptoms, check out different professionals and when choosing, find someone who really knows anxiety. Once you have done that, you are on your way to learning the needed tools to successfully overcome anxiety on your own!