Are you experiencing sleepless nights, digestive problems, and struggle with feeling constantly worried? These are all common symptoms of anxiety. And, many other symptoms can come along with it. It can be a very frustrating thing to live with and may leave you wondering, does anxiety go away? The good news is, you can overcome your symptoms of anxiety with proper treatment.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is something that people experience regularly. It's something normal that everyone feels from time to time. It's the feeling you get when you don't know the outcome of a potential situation, or you think that you could be in a dangerous situation, or you think there's something to worry about.
Anxiety is something that you're going to experience at some level throughout life. However, when anxiety becomes a major part of your life, it becomes a problem. It can stop you from accomplishing the things that you need to do in life and the things that you want to do. Anxiety can make it difficult to function on a day-to-day basis.
While there are more, the US department of health and human services, states that the five major types of anxiety disorders include:
Who Experiences Anxiety?
As mentioned above, anyone can experience anxiety. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health challenges that we face. In fact, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that "according to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in thirteen globally experiences anxiety." This equates to around 40 million Americans every year.
And, anxiety doesn't only affect adults. The percentage of children that are diagnosed with anxiety has been increasing over the years. This isn't only for teenagers. The same is true for those of younger ages as well.
There are many different reasons why people experience anxiety. For example, if someone is diagnosed with PTSD, they have been through a traumatic experience in their life. There are many soldiers that experience PTSD after returning from war. But, it doesn't just impact soldiers. And, when it comes to other anxiety disorders, there can be other risk factors, including:
The symptoms that you experience can differ based on your specific situation and which type of anxiety disorder you're dealing with. For example, someone that is diagnosed with OCD is going to have different symptoms than someone that has been diagnosed with PTSD. And, those that have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder may not have as specific of symptoms as some of the others. It all depends on your personal experience.
However, some of the general symptoms that come along with anxiety can include:
These are some of the symptoms that you may experience if you have anxiety, but it is not by any means an all-inclusive list.
Does Anxiety Go Away?
This is a tricky question to answer. Anxiety will never just go away. And, if you're predisposed to struggling with it, then it may always be something that you have to be more aware of than other people. But, with the right treatment, and if you learn proper coping techniques and strategies, anxiety doesn't have to be something that controls your life for good.
Multiple forms of treatment can help. Not everyone responds the same to the same type of treatment. You need to find the treatment that you respond the best too. Often, combining several different types of treatment can be the best way to find relief from your symptoms.
Some people find that prescription medication can help them gain control of their anxiety. If you are leery about being on medication, it's important to understand that it doesn't have to be something that you take for the rest of your life. It could be that you're going through something that's more difficult and could use help in getting through it. Or, it could also be that you use medication to help gain some control over your symptoms while you learn other strategies to cope with anxiety long-term.
If you think that medication could help you with your symptoms, talk to your doctor, or a psychiatrist about your options.
There are several different kinds of therapy available to help you learn to overcome your anxiety. One of the most successful forms of therapy used for these disorders is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It works by addressing wrong thinking that leads to wrong behaviors. When you learn how to recognize the thoughts that are leading to your troubles, then you can start to work on replacing them with better, more positive, thoughts. Since your thoughts impact your behavior, it's an effective way to reduce your anxiety.
Exposure therapy is another form of therapy for those that struggle with anxiety and fear. A therapist will work with you to expose you to the things or idea that you are fearful of. They use a systematic approach to doing to keep the process moving forward.
Another therapy that works for anxiety is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This works by teaching you how to accept things as they happen instead of trying to avoid negative situations. You learn how not to allow negative thoughts and situations to control you.
These are just a few of the forms of therapy that are helpful for anxiety. An experienced therapist will be able to determine what the best form of therapy is for your specific situation and diagnosis.
Apart from traditional forms of therapy, there are other things that you can do to work towards overcoming your anxiety. Some of these you can do on your own at home.
Spending time meditating can help you to gain control over your mind and learn how to not be so reactive to situations that would normally cause you anxiety. While practicing meditation, you'll also learn how to practice techniques such as deep breathing. This helps you to gain control of your body, which can reduce physical symptoms of anxiety, like rapid breathing, which can lead to an increased heart rate.
Massage can help release the tension that you carry throughout your body when you struggle with anxiety. It can also help you to relax your mind. This can be best when paired with other forms of treatment that can help you avoid reaching the point of needing the massage.
Some people find comfort in art. Working through the artistic process can help you to take your focus off your anxiety by requiring you to focus on something else. It can be an outlet for your emotions and help you to calm down. This can be through things like painting, sculpting, and drawing. It's not so much about the finished product that you're creating but the process itself.
Making sure that you're taking care of yourself is important when you're dealing with anxiety. This includes things like making sure that you're eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising. While these seem like very basic things to do, they are often some of the first things that you stop when you start to struggle with anxiety.
As your mind races, it can be hard to fall asleep. Or, you fall asleep fast because you're exhausted from the day, but then you wake up in the middle of the night and are so anxious that you have trouble falling back asleep. Throughout the day as you struggle with anxiety, it can cause you to have a lack of appetite or to overeat to make yourself feel better.
Keeping these areas in check goes a long way for your anxiety. Your body needs sleep and proper nourishment to function properly. And, exercise is incredibly helpful at boosting your mood and easing anxiety.
Talk To A Therapist
You never have to face anxiety alone. Sometimes just simply knowing that there is someone that you can talk to and think through a situation with can be enough to help you get through and calm down. Online counselors can do just this. You can have access to a therapist that can help teach you important strategies for dealing with your anxiety, and you don't have to wait weeks for an appointment or response.
If you have anxiety, know that you can learn how to overcome it. Don't hesitate to talk to a therapist if you are in the midst of a struggle with anxiety, and it's impacting your daily life.