Anxiety counselling may be the best way to deal with anxiety attacks. Most people do experience anxiety during their lives. However, as you may have noticed, when the stressful situation recedes, the anxiety or stress decreases automatically. Anxiety disorders are exactly the opposite. The attacks start without any actual stressor and may continue for hours, days or even weeks resulting in a patient who is incapable of continuing with their day to day life. Anxiety is often accompanied with depression and may include a range of phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders of varying severity. Researchers are not really sure about the exact cause and origin of anxiety disorders and several clinical studies are on to find viable permanent cures for the condition. Current treatment protocols try to control the condition with medication along with anxiety counselling.
Current therapy: Medication accompanied with anxiety counselling
As humans, we do need anxiety as an essential response to difficult situations. It is not possible to medicate anxiety away completely as it is an essential biological response. When you are angry or frightened, the mind prepares the body for a physical as well as an emotional response. The heart rate increases, blood is pushed faster through the muscles and heart rate is increased to deal with an aggravating stressor. However, when the stressful situation recedes, this heightened body response is reduced and the body is brought back to normal. When this reaction persists for more than 2-3 days, doctors do recommend a complete medical evaluation and an anxiety counselling protocol to find out what is causing the reaction. According to the DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, an anxiety attack that persists for 6 months or more which is accompanied with feelings of fatigue, depression, concentration problems, irritability, muscle tension, and difficult in falling asleep is classified as an anxiety disorder. Currently the exact treatment for anxiety is a combination of medication and anxiety counselling or psychotherapy. Before this can be done, doctors will evaluate the patient by conducting medical, physical, and mental evaluations. The exact disorders and the severity of the disorder will vary from patient to patient. As a result, doctors will prescribe a range of medications that will vary from patient to patient. Medications include the use of benzodiazipines, Selective Serotonin Receptor Inhibitors, etc. These medications are habit forming though and can cause a range of side effects. However, anxiety counselling is mandatory to help the patient deal with the disorder and adapt to normal life.
Anxiety counselling simplified
Currently psychotherapy is the preferred form of anxiety counselling for all anxiety disorder patients. Emotional anxiety counselling is a very gentle process and counselors try to be patient, empathetic and supportive. Anxiety patients are already worried and scared. Having a non-judgmental and supportive person can make a world of difference to the affected patient. In many cases, a good counselor who picked the right anxiety counselling treatment can actually help a patient deal with their problem without the need for medication at all. Different modes of anxiety counselling that are recommended include the following-
- Cognitive therapy – Cognitive behavioral anxiety counselling has been found to be very useful in treating anxiety disorders. The therapist will encourage the patient to cope with the anxiety by understanding the disease and the situation.
- Exposure therapy – Counselors will also try to expose the patient to the stressor. For example, if the patient may be anxious of germs. The therapist will encourage and support the patient to confront his fears and cope with the effects of confronting the fear. This variety of anxiety counselling will last for anywhere from 10-12weeks and it may be conducted individually or in groups.
- Support anxiety counselling – After patients have completed the cognitive behavioral routine, they are encouraged to continue anxiety counselling through private or group therapy sessions. Patients are encouraged to visit or talk to counselors through the phone or through one-on-one sessions to help them through day to day life.
Patients who cannot deal with counselors can also try anxiety counselling through the internet, through chat rooms and through the phone. For serious situations, were trained counselors are not available, a friend or a clergy member also be helpful.