How many times have you heard that having anxiety is something very common and of little importance, typical of weak people, that the really serious thing is having a disease, that psychology does not work or that it is enough to know how to control oneself a bit, take a deep breath and think about something else.
There is another possibility when talking about anxiety, to hear that anxiety problems can derive from childhood traumas. Or that irrational fears can end up ruining lives and all relationships.
But anxiety syndromes, which are encompassed in a very wide range of disorders, do not have to conform to these preconceptions we sometimes hear. These prejudices have more to do with popular beliefs than with real knowledge about anxiety.
An anxiety statement
My name is María del Mar and I am a graduate in Environmental Sciences. I finished my university studies and I started working in a company that had nothing to do with my degree. At the same time, I prepared some exams to be a teacher. I was like this for a couple of years until I took the exams and, although I passed, I did not get a position. But I decided to continue with my preparation and a few months later, when I returned home on the bus after my usual day of work and attending to classes, I suddenly felt tachycardia and chest pressure. I had the impression that I was going to lose consciousness right there. Thinking it might be a cardiac pathology, I went to my health centre, where they explained to me that in reality what had happened to me that afternoon was a panic attack.
María del Mar sought help for her problem contacting an online therapist recommended by a friend. Following the therapy for anxiety proposed by this psychotherapist, she began to comprehend many things about herself and a way to manage her stress and anticipatory thoughts. She improved the feeling of being at the mercy of circumstances with little to no control over her own life. This was the first step that María del Mar took to acquire a series of strategies that allowed her to know how to control her anxiety, cope with is successfully eventually reducing its reoccurrence.
When is it advisable to resort to therapy for anxiety?
What happened to María del Mar is just one of the many ways in which anxiety can manifest itself in a person. But as we said, there are many disorders in which anxiety is the main component. Some of them might be familiar: separation anxiety, social anxiety, agoraphobia, or specific phobias (fear of the dark, spiders, to fly). Below is the testimony of Beatriz and her anxiety problem.
My name is Beatriz and I worked in a laboratory as a biologist, most of the time I was focused on research on pests and diseases of the olive tree. Although this activity did not fascinate me much, I had managed to find in this solitary work a safe refuge since I suffer from social phobia. I used to feel judged, usually for the worse, by my co-workers. For this reason, I tried to spend most of my time in my small laboratory. I had also suffered that feeling of being judged during my years of study at the University. And on another previous occasion, during a summer camp that my parents signed me up for when I was a teenager. When I was in the companion of people similar in age to mine, depressing thoughts came to me. That’s why I became isolated little by little since I had learnt that this was the only way to reduce the anxiety that was taking over me.
The case of Beatriz gives us the key to realize when to go to the psychologist: when the anxiety becomes such a problem, that forces the sufferer to build their life around it, limiting their opportunities for development.
What will happen in therapy?
The therapist is ready to help you understand how to reduce anxiety and manage the things that worry you. While they will not direct your life, they will tell you what tools and strategies you can implement to start feeling better. Next, we will tell you some things that you will live in therapy for anxiety.
# 1 .- You will undertake a path of improvement
Deciding to go see a therapist will be a big step even if you can not see it instantly. From the moment you decide to ask for help, you will begin to move towards a better version of yourself. With the help of the therapist and doing your part, you will improve your emotional well-being and learn to manage your emotions in a more effective way. It is important to be aware that this implies time: do not pressure yourself for immediate improvement, as this could worsen your anxiety.
# 2.- You will discover how to fight anxiety
There is no magic formula that the therapist can tell you so that your anxiety disappears forever. The therapist will give you guidelines so you can recognize the symptoms of anxiety and control them yourself. With each session, you will be feeling more capable of overcoming anxiety and lead a normal life and this learning will be solid and lasting because you will get to it by yourself.
# 3 .- You will find alternatives to medication
Perhaps you have been taking some anxiolytics to fight anxiety. While it is true that you must follow the instructions of your doctor and take them if they have prescribed them, in therapy, you will not receive medication. Part of the therapy for anxiety is based on diagnostic interviews that help you find a way to improve and live more tranquilly without pharmacological help.
# 4.- You will free your environment
Many times we feel that our friends or our partner can help us feel better, so we tell them, again and again, the things that concern us, hoping that they give us the magic solution to stop being worried. This saturates our environment and generates frustration because, although their intention is the best, they are not trained to help in these cases, as the therapist is. When you take the step of beginning treatment for anxiety, you release your friends from the burden of helping you and the frustration of not being effective and you get truly effective support to improve your day-to-day.
# 5.- You will gain time
It is often said that “time cures everything,” and although anxiety is cured, that is not the solution. Time, in fact, harms because it allows setting negative thoughts, fear of anxiety symptoms and behaviours that work as triggers and that you do not know how to manage. When you take the step of going to therapy, you gain time, because you begin to discover that you have mechanisms to live with anxiety symptoms in a much more knowledgeable way, making you more able to control them and lead a more normal life.
Why go to online therapy?
Traditional therapy sessions are very effective for you to learn how to overcome anxiety. But sometimes they are out of reach to some people because of their particular rhythm of life and daily obligations. The cases of which we have spoken in this post are a good example of this since both María del Mar and Beatriz had very little free time.
The alternative is online therapy and the choice of a good online therapist. In fact, this modality offers therapeutic elements of great value that contribute to face the insecurity shown by people with anxiety problems and to stop living in fear.
If you want to improve your level of well-being, in TherapyChat we can help you. We are international leaders in online psychology and we have the right therapist for you.