Considered by many to be the most pressing mental health problem of our day, anxiety disorders affect nearly twenty percent of the U.S. population. Their close connection with depression makes treating these often chronic illnesses even more challenging. Arguably the most effective form of treatment is one that helps patients manage their symptoms over an entire lifetime. As such, these plans often include many different tactics for dealing with anxiety and depression. Here are seven that should help.
Speak To A Therapist
The more you think about your illness, the more anxious you become. Why is this? It may be because anxiety has no single, simple cause. As a result, it is impossible for us to ever fully understand it. What we can grasp, however is, are the things that are likely to exacerbate our symptoms. A trained psychotherapist is an expert at helping patients identify and cope with daily stressors. He or she can give you the tools you need to take control of your life, one day at a time.
Write It Down
Writing in a diary or journal can give you greater insight into your disorder. Not only will it help you relieve stress by getting things out in the open (at least with yourself), it can also help you identify unhealthy patterns of behavior. For example, you may notice that you get more anxious or depressed the day after a heavy drinking session. Writing also helps you express things you might be too embarrassed or ashamed to share with a therapist.
Stick To A Schedule
For obvious reasons, uncertainty is one of the most common triggers for anxiety. Sometimes simply thinking about the unknown is enough to cause a full-blown panic attack for some anxiety sufferers. The only proven way to reduce this risk is to maintain a healthy, regular routine. Your daily routine should include exercise, socializing, and other enjoyable activities that take your mind off your problems.
Depend On Friends
One of the most common mistakes anxiety sufferers make is hiding their illness from others. As you might expect, this often makes them more anxious because they worry about being “found out.” Although there are some thing you might choose to keep to yourself, talking with friends and loved ones about your disorder is often a good idea. You might also consider joining a support group if you want to talk with others who know what you’re going through.