Manifestations of anxiety are not emotionally pleasant for a person – who would enjoy feeling afraid and worried about the future? If anxiety serves us well, there is no need to get rid of it or be afraid of it, but if it is slowly taking over our lives, do not face it alone. Anxiety disorders are very treatable with the help of psychotherapy.
Anxiety is part of everyone’s basic equipment because it helps us do well in situations of danger. It sharpens our senses and activates enough energy in the body to escape in case of danger or to fight with sufficient vigor (hence the reaction of fight or flight). From an emotional point of view, we know it as fear. Today’s world often no longer requires direct confrontation, so anxiety is associated primarily with perceived (expected) threats, which in everyday life manifest themselves, for example, as concerns about our health, health of our loved ones or fears of losing a job.
An anxiety disorder develops when anxiety lasts too long, if it is too intense, or it is an inadequate response to a situation that would not normally cause stress in a person.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – its trigger can be, among others, long-term stress or difficult life events (leaving work, breakup, injury and related limitations). It is tricky in that it can creep up on you and gradually perpetuates a vicious circle of fear, worry, and anxiety, to which critical sense of reason later succumbs.
Anxiety Depressive Disorder – While GAD is more of a predominant mood in the sense that I’m scared because it’s definitely going to end badly, Anxiety Depressive Disorder is something like “it’s pointless, I certainly can’t do it anyway.” You have a good idea that fears are slowly shifting to a level of depressed mood that leads a person to a general decline.
Somatic techniques can help with mild anxiety. Controlled relaxations are ideal: they will bring the excited organism back to rest, thus relieving even tense minds and emotions. You can further support the effect by engaging your imagination – offer your mind images in which you send your worries far away like a boat on a river. Anxiety is a disguised fear, and that is often a worry of losing control. And it is the art of releasing your worries that you can easily practice in this way.
The next level is sharing your concerns with an other person. The other person would ideally be an expert, a psychotherapist who, in addition to support, will help you understand the dynamics of anxiety. Without going anywhere, you can connect online with an expert who specializes directly in your problems.
Anxiety disorders are most often treated with psychotherapy, which may or may not be supported by medication (usually antidepressants) depending on the severity of the disorder. If you experience symptoms, talk to your doctor or contact a psychologist or psychotherapist. It is recommended to exclude somatic diseases in the first place, which may have similar manifestations as anxiety disorders.
Psychotherapy is an effective tool in the treatment of anxiety, whether you suffer from mild symptoms or anxiety is persistent and lasts longer. Its process may resemble detective work, which gradually reveals individual contexts that later uncovers what is behind outbreaks of anxiety in our lives. Sometimes, however, only partial changes are enough (setting priorities, planning time or thoroughly examining catastrophic thoughts). Forms of individual, group and online psychotherapy can be used.
“Studying medicine was my dream. When I finally got my first independent examination of the patient a few years later, I was nervous and made a completely trivial mistake. Of course, I was reprimanded by the chief physician and had to hear a comment from a colleague standing next to me. Sure, I could get over it and learn from my mistakes, I didn’t hurt anyone, and I was still studying at the time, but I couldn’t. I succumbed to the feeling that such mistakes would definitely happen again, and I would endanger someone’s life in the end. My worries were accompanied by a tightness in my chest, and gradually I was not even able to complete the mandatory practice sessions. That’s what brought me to psychotherapy. Now I know that punishing oneself indefinitely for the mistakes one naturally makes is nothing I want to continue to do. I’m learning to be kind to myself. And sometimes to just laugh about it all.”