Anxiety Disorder Recovery 101
Anxiety occurs when we behave apprehensively. Problematic anxiety (anxiety unwellness) occurs when we behave apprehensively too often or too dramatically. Behaving apprehensively activates the stress response. When the stress response is activated too frequently and/or dramatically, the body can become overly stressed, which we call stress-response hyperstimulated, and then symptomatic.
For more information about this, see the “Anxiety 101” section.
Anxiety symptoms are actually symptoms of stress. We call them anxiety symptoms because behaving apprehensively is the main source of the stress that causes the body to become overly stressed (stress-response hyperstimulated) and symptomatic.
Anxiety attack symptoms are also symptoms of stress, but are caused by an over reaction to danger and a corresponding high degree stress response.
Treating anxiety unwellness, including anxiety attacks, requires what we call "Two Levels of Recovery":
1. Physiological recovery: Understanding anxiety, becoming unafraid of anxiety and its stress response consequences, and reducing the body’s overly stressed state so that it stops presenting symptoms of stress.
2. Behavioral recovery: Addressing the underlying factors of anxiety - the behaviors, situations, and circumstances that influence overly apprehensive behavior.
When a person addresses both levels of recovery, we address the root causes at the root of anxiety disorder. When those root causes are addressed – the underlying factors of anxiety - the abnormal stress coming from them is addressed, as well, and so are the consequences (stress-response hyperstimulation and its symptoms).
Level One Recovery
Understanding anxiety, becoming unafraid of anxiety and its stress response consequences, and reducing stress can help alleviate anxiety associated sensations and symptoms.
Accessing good anxiety self-help materials is important to Level One success. The Recovery Support area of our website contains this information (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10).
As well, there are many natural and practical ways to reduce the body’s stress so that the body can recover from a state of being stress-response hyperstimulated. We list many of these in the Recovery Support area of our website.
While it might seem like a simple process to reduce the body’s stress, there are many considerations to keep in mind in order to make a full recovery. Again, we list these considerations in the Recovery Support area of our website.
Nevertheless, if we simply reduce the body's stress and for a sufficient period of time, the body will recover from its stress-response hyperstimulated state. When the body is no longer overly stressed, it stops exhibiting symptoms of stress.
Attaining Level One recovery is vital to overall success.
Level Two Recovery
To maintain Level One recovery, we also need to address the core of problematic anxiety: those behaviors, situations, and circumstances that motivate apprehensive behavior. That’s because continuing to behave anxiously will keep the body stressed, which is counterproductive to recovery. But once you address the core of problematic anxiety – the underlying factors of anxiety – you address the unhealthy stress, which will allow the body to return to normal non-hyperstimulated health. Dealing with the root cause of problematic anxiety is the way forward.
Dealing with Level Two recovery addresses anxiety disorder at its core.
Because there are a great many underlying factors, and factors that are specific to each person, self-help information can provide only support help at best. That’s why the best way to attain Level Two recovery success is with the help of an experienced anxiety coach/counselor/therapist, and one who has had to deal with problematic anxiety in his or her own life.
Working with an experienced anxiety coach/counselor/therapist ensures you identify and successfully address the many underlying factors commonly at the root of problematic anxiety, and those specific to you and your situation. Again, only until these factors are successfully addressed can we expect to experience success.
So, to successfully treat anxiety disorder, both levels of recovery need to be addressed.
For more information:
- Two Levels of Recovery
- How anxietycentre.com can help
- Anxiety Therapy, Coaching, Counselling
- Recovery Support area
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.
For more information about our Anxiety Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Anxiety Signs and Symptoms; common Anxiety Attack Symptoms; the symptoms of panic attack disorder; anxiety Recovery Support area; information about Anxiety; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate link or graphic below:
”CBT can be recommended as a gold standard in the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients with anxiety disorders." - Otte, Christian. "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Anxiety Disorders: Current State of the Evidence." Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. Les Laboratoires Servier, Dec. 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2016.
DISCLAIMER: Because each body is somewhat chemically unique, and because each person will have a unique mix of symptoms and underlying factors, recovery results may vary. Variances can occur for many reasons, including due to the severity of the condition, the ability of the person to apply the recovery concepts, and the commitment to making behavioral change.
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated September 2016.