Recovery Online Therapy- William I. Perry, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist and Online Therapist
William Perry, Ph.D. Online Therapy for help with Alcoholism, Drug Addictions, Anxiety, Depression Internet Therapy Online Psychotherapy | Online Therapist | Online Psychologist with over 25 Years Experience
Occasional feelings of anxiety are completely normal and help us to function by alerting us to danger and calling us to necessary action. For some people, however, anxiety attacks, or panic attacks, can occur inappropriately and be frightening and debilitating in the moment. The word “anxiety” is from the Latin “angere,” meaning to feel distressed, choked or strangled. This is how many anxiety sufferers feel. Not surprisingly, anxiety is brought on by stress as well as internal disposition, which may in part be genetic.
Anxiety often accompanies depression and/or some physiological disorders which may require psychotherapy and sometimes medical treatment as well, as well as stress-reduction techniques. Some medications are available to treat anxiety but they pose the risk of addiction and dependence. It is always best to use other internal and external tools at our disposal to quell the anxiety and alleviate stress.
There are physical as well as psychological aspects to an anxiety or panic attack:
The sufferer is often fearful that it will never end or that something terrible will happen. In general, an anxiety attack normally has at least two of the following symptoms:
The best way to get through it is to do your best to create a response within yourself that is inconsistent with anxiety: Relaxation.
Relaxation and anxiety cannot coexist, so if you are able to create a relaxation response in your mind and body the anxiety (and often the depression) will evaporate. But you can’t simply will yourself to relax. You cannot think your way out of it. You have to treat it behaviorally.
Here are some tools which can either alleviate the anxiety or get you through it and over it a lot quicker:
1. Start slow, controlled breathing, counting each breath up to four and then repeat.
2. Say to yourself out loud: “This is going to end very soon. “ If you are so inclined say a prayer, out loud. In fact, this even works if you don’t believe there is anything to pray to!
3. Lie down, close your eyes, and while counting your breath visualize what to you is a very peaceful scene.
4. Talk to someone. If you are alone call a friend. You will be surprised at how much even a little human contact will help. If you prefer a more confidential and anonymous talk about your anxiety then it important that you see a psychologist or other mental health professional.
These tools should get you through it pretty quickly, and you can use them anytime you start to feel anxiety coming on. But always be mindful that some anxiety is appropriate in some situations, and that you can constructively use it to form responses to solve problems and more importantly to be safe. If you experience consistent anxiety or panic attacks, or an ongoing depression, it is important to consult with your doctor and see a therapist for that extra help you may need.