Inside: Anxiety treatment should be multifaceted and include God because it affects so many areas of our being and life. God needs to be part of treatment.
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Welcome back to Part 2 of the FAQs about Anxiety Series with Christian mental health therapist, Melissa! She is also a fellow blogger at Humble Faith Family Wellness. She blogs about a lot of great topics, and I hope you go check out her site!
In this post, we are going to delve into treatments, recovery from it , how to rise above anxiety, and live victoriously.
If you missed Part 1 of this Anxiety series, —-> The Best Answers to FAQs about Anxiety
Why Does Anxiety Affect All Areas: Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical?
While I addressed the physical aspects of anxiety, it also addresses our mental, emotional and spiritual aspects as well.
When we are anxious our thoughts become irrational. It decreases our ability to problem solve and critically think appropriately. Our thoughts then lead to our emotions. And the more emotionally distressed we are also hindering our ability to efficiently think. As you can see, this situations leads to cyclical issues that can feel overwhelming to work through.
Once we get to the point of feeling so overwhelmed we can start to experience hopelessness and lose faith. That affects our relationship with God. We struggle to be able to look at life through a big picture lens and get stuck in our moment to moment distress. Thoughts can then often lead to “God where are you?”
How Do You Treat Anxiety?
My process of treating anxiety largely depends upon the age of the client and the history leading to anxiety.
Getting a full and comprehensive history is always the starting point in anxiety treatment. #anxietytreatment Click To TweetI need to tease out where the anxious feelings are coming from. Is it due to temperament? Past trauma? Or even a different mental health disorder first and its result is anxiety.
Once I have a better understanding of the etiology and course of the anxiety, I am then better able to decide what therapy modality is going to be the most beneficial – DBT, CBT, trauma-focused CBT, etc.
What is the Most Successful Treatment?
Truly, the most successful treatment has more to do with the insight and motivation of the patient. I can come up with the best skills, tools, and processing questions I can think of, but if the person isn’t willing to do the work, none of it will be beneficial.
A patient who remains in the thought process “nothing will work” or “this isn’t going to help” is going to have that outcome.
What Percentage of your Patients Need Medication for Anxiety?
The majority of patients who are struggling with anxiety due to an adjustment disorder often don’t need medication. They typically are able to process the anxiety and find ways to handle and manage it.
My patients who have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) tend to seek medication management about 50-75% of the time. Some view medication as a last resort whereas others view the medication as a way to “turn down the volume of the anxiety” so that they can hear themselves think.
I am supportive of either thought process as I believe the use of medication is a personal one.
If I Decide to Try Medication for Anxiety, Does that Mean I Will Need to be on it Forever?
For the people who decide to utilize medication, it’s doesn’t mean that they will need to use it forever. Some need it for a period of time while life distress is at it’s highest and the ability to handle or manage it is just too big.
Now, for some other people, anxiety is due to a more chemical imbalance in their system. Which means they may need to be on it for a more prolonged period of time.
What is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that involves intense fear and anxiety of any place or situation where escape might be difficult. Agoraphobia involves avoidance of situations such as being alone outside of the home; traveling in a car, bus, or airplane; or being in a crowded area. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 1.3% of U.S. adults experience agoraphobia at some time in their lives.
Why are Unwanted Thoughts and Ruminations so Hard to Get Rid of When Dealing with Anxiety?
As previously described, when our emotions get too elevated, we lose our ability to think and process information rationally.Unwanted thoughts and ruminations tend to come from our own insecurities or negative statements people said to us in the past. Click To Tweet
So when we don’t have the ability to process this information through rational thought they can get stuck. Our insecurities can also reinforce these thoughts causing us to believe them to be true.
Is it True that an Anxiety Disorder has Some Roots in Childhood?
Anxiety disorders can have some roots in childhood however that doesn’t have to be the case. As described, there are many different types and causes of anxiety.
One aspect that can lead to anxiety is based on childhood trauma and/or distressing situations that happened in childhood that have never really been processed. These situations can form insecurities and decreased self-worth. Both of which increase the probability of anxiety.
What is Recovery from an Anxiety Disorder or Panic?
Recovery from an anxiety disorder looks different from a panic disorder. My goal for patients who have a panic disorder is for them to no longer experience panic attacks. Ever.
The recovery process from an anxiety disorder is for the anxious symptoms to decrease. It’s not realistic to say that a person will never experience anxiety. Sometimes hard life situations happen. And resulting anxiety can, too.
The hope is that the intensity and duration of the anxiety are decreased. And that the person is able to identify stressors ahead of time.
Why Does Recovery Seem So Hard When You’re Anxious?Recovery from anxiety can seem so hard because it can feel like it is negatively affecting all aspects of your life. Click To Tweet
There are many components that need to be processed and worked through. Discussing negative thoughts and emotions are difficult.
And in order to diminish the negative thoughts, they need to be replaced with positive thoughts and truth.
How is God a Part of Healing?
God is our ultimate healer! One of the reasons I was so happy to be working in a Christian counseling center was obviously the inclusion of God. When I was working with a secular organization it always felt like something was missing. And we understand what was missing.
Melissa is a Christian mental health therapist, wife, and mommy of two. She works with children, teens, adults, and couples to better manage their distress and hopefully become closer to God in the process. When Melissa is not working or writing she enjoys movie night and homemade popcorn with her family.
If you missed Part I of this series—–> The Best Answers to FAQs about Anxiety
If you’re looking for more resources —-> The Best Biblical Resources for Anxiety