Many people suffer from social anxiety. In fact the number of anxiety sufferers is in the tens of millions and that is just in the United States. These people are suffering and they want and need help. Now some of them can simply not afford the help that they need so they are forced to do without it. But many others are able to get help but they just don’t know how to go about it. I have been through every form of anxiety treatment myself and I know which ones work and which ones don’t — for me.
The simple fact of the matter is that different treatments work for different people. Sort of. I also believe that those of us who suffer from anxiety have more in common than we do in differences. Because of this, I believe that what worked for me will probably work for you. And I believe that was a complete waste of my time and money will probably be a complete waste of yours as well. But it is up to you to decide if a treatment option will be something that you want to try. After all, it is your life and you need to begin to live with the consequences of your decisions. Therefore, it is up to you to make those decisions.
So, that said, let’s get my take on the most common anxiety treatments. If you are suffering from anxiety and looking to overcome it you have probably tried some of these techniques. Or will in the future. I think that some are better than others but I will let you make up your own mind.
The most common way that people try to cure anxiety is to visit a therapist. First, it is important that you are visiting the right kind of therapist. The thing about therapy is that it does not work for all people. So, if you are seeing a therapist and your anxiety is not improving, STOP GOING. No therapist is ever going to tell you that they can’t help you for two reasons. The first is that they all think that they can. And the second is that it is people like you who pay their bills. So, it becomes really important that you take ownership over your own treatment and money. If you don’t think it is helping, it probably isn’t helping and you are just wasting your money. So take ownership.
The other popular anxiety treatment option is to see a psychiatrist who is usually referred to you by your therapist. The psychiatrist will recommend medications to treat your anxiety symptoms. Usually the benzodiazepines are the first prescribed though there may be an antidepressant thrown in for good measure. The great thing about benzos is that they work really well for calming an anxiety attack. If your anxiety comes in fits and starts, then you might have great success with these meds. The problem is that they are not very well suited to people with chronic anxiety. If you have to take a high dose of benzos everyday you are going to run into issues of tolerance and dependence. They might work for a little while but then they will stop working only you will have to take them to avoid a dangerous withdrawal syndrome. And like a therapist, a psychiatrist will require that you keep coming to see them indefinitely. They will talk about how they need to manage your medication but really they need to pay the bills. So, like a therapist, if you are not getting anything out of the experience then stop going. The only other thing I will say about psych meds is that in some cases the side effects are worse than the underlying problem. In that case, you will need to think long and hard about the benefits outweigh the costs.
There are many other so-called alternatives to the traditional treatment approach for an anxiety disorder. Some of these options will work and some will not. These include meditation, yoga, group therapy, herbs and supplements, diet and exercise, hypnotherapy and therapeutic touch. I have had some success with herbs for anxiety but most of my cure came when I tried this method to overcome my Shy Bladder Syndrome. You will have to see for yourself what works – but at least you will find a lot of supportive people.
Me months ago:
The other way that we who suffer from anxiety take action is to use the internet. You may be wondering what I mean. But, today, there are hundreds, even thousands, of websites that discuss treatment options for anxiety. The best thing about these websites is that most offer their information for free. I have always found that I got the best results by learning from an ex-anxiety sufferer, a person who has overcome their anxiety disorder, than I have from a therapist. While a therapist is very well meaning, the chances are high that they never suffered from a severe anxiety disorder. Because of this they can only offer you textbook answers. They can’t tell you what has worked for them because they don’t know. Online this is not the case as there are millions of people who have dealt with their anxiety that will tell you the exact steps that they took to do so. Then you are free to use their techniques or not. It is up to you.
I have found a number of anxiety and mental health websites that have provided me with a great deal of useful information. I have also made friends with other people who have the same challenges in life that I do. So, I find other sites and forums to be a great resource. And I think this probably the first place you should look when trying to find out what method of treatment that you want to use. You will be shocked how many people that there are out there who are just like you and have developed skills to diminish and sometimes cure anxiety. So, I totally recommend that you start spending time everyday on websites and forums learning about the issues and what you can do to take action to make a change in your life. I know that some will work better for you than others but you should be aware of every option that it available to you.