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Proper education required for anxiety management

Proper education required for anxiety management
June 06
14:21 2018

Getting better means gaining control over worry. A number of psychological treatments have shown to help people with Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) produces the most consistent and long-lasting improvements.
It appears that the following components of treatment are most important:
• An approach where people are taught skills to manage their anxiety, as well as taking responsibility for change and control over their thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
• Actively identifying and challenging worrying thoughts.
• Relaxation training (usually a form of progressive muscle relaxation) to control physical tension.

Medication
Some medications, such as antidepressants, have been shown to reduce worry and associated physical symptoms in people with GAD, but it appears that the improvements only last as long as the medications are taken. Benzodiazepines such as Valium provide temporary relief from symptoms, but are addictive. These drugs are not recommended for long-term use. Your doctor will be able to provide more information on medication, but used alone this treatment option will not be as good as when combined with CBT.

Education about anxiety
Anxiety is experienced as symptoms of the flight or fight response:
• Respiration increase – shortness of breath
• Blood is redirected from gut to muscles – nausea
• Sweating increases – cold sweat
• Heart rate increases – palpitations
• Muscle tension increases – shaking and trembling
• Pupils dilate – things look unreal
• Mental arousal – selective attention
• Management of the fight-or-flight response

There are two tasks:
• solve the problem that is making you anxious
• control your level of anxiety so that it helps you problem solve

People are often tempted to avoid threatening situations, but if you do, the anxiety will be worse the next time you are in that situation. The best strategy is to confront the feared situation. Usually, it is better than you thought, and if not, you will have learned valuable coping skills by confronting your fears.
Courtesy thiswayup.org.au

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