22/02/15 11:20 Filed in: Anxiety
People worry about the future. When that worry turns into anxiety it's time to do something about it.
The truth is there are many different kinds of anxiety disorders. However, anxiety is often conceptualized as an intolerance of the future. Simply put, people worry about the future, about things out of their control. To combat "future worrying" people often try to compensate with control. They may plan every detail or even every minute. They make lists and plans and details and often feel somewhat relieved because they have a modicum of control. However, it can all fall apart when something doesn’t go as planned. Anxiety sets in and the anxious person can lose their mojo. Often, everyone around is painfully aware of this loss of mojo. The value of the experience may not be altogether lost on the anxious person and so the next time they plan, they plan with contingencies. They may get lost in the planning and overwhelmed with all of the contingencies they need to account for and spend a rather anxious period of time working through all of the details. According to CAMH, each anxiety disorder has its own specific treatments and goals, but most include some combination of the following strategies:
An effective form of counselling for anxiety is cognitive-behavioural therapy (or ‘CBT&rsquo. CBT teaches you how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours work together. A goal of CBT is to identify and change the unhelpful patterns of thinking that feed anxious thoughts. CBT can help you identify problem behaviours and replace them with helpful strategies. It’s often the first treatment to try for mild or moderate problems with anxiety.
Some people also find anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication helpful. Medication can help with the physical feelings of anxiety. It may also make anxious thoughts less frequent or intense, so it can be easier to learn helpful coping strategies. Some people take medication until their anxiety is controlled enough to try therapies like CBT.
Support groups—in person or online—may be a good place to share your experiences, learn from others, and connect with people who understand.
Many different skills can help people manage anxiety, such as stress management, problem-solving, and relaxation. Mindfulness—developing awareness of the present moment without judgement—may also help. Practices that support wellness, such as eating well, exercising, having fun, and connecting with others, are also important.
Larry G. Pardy CD RSW BSc. HBSW MDiv.
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