Two Levels of Anxiety Unwellness Recovery - Part 4
So, if you want to overcome anxiety disorder, I recommend that you work at both levels of recovery. Once done, problematic anxiety ceases to be a problem or causes disruptions to a normal lifestyle. Achieving both levels of recovery is best way to attain meaningful recovery.
Level One recovery is learning as much as you can about anxiety so that you:
- understand anxiety, what it is, and how it affects the body (being overly anxious has a negative effect on the body, and as a result, the body becomes symptomatic)
- learn that you don’t have to fear anxiety and its sensations and symptoms (while the sensations and symptoms of associated with anxiety can seem powerful, they occur for good reason; understanding this reason will help you become unafraid of anxiety’s sensations and symptoms)
- learn how to help your body recover from the negative effects of being overly anxious (there are many natural and practical things you can do to help your body get rid of the sensations and symptoms of being overly anxious)
- work at your recovery strategies so that your body can recover from the negative effects of being overly anxious (regularly practicing successful recovery strategies will help your body recover, as it does, it ceases exhibiting symptoms of being overly anxious)
Level Two recovery is:
- Identifying and successfully addressing the underlying factors at the root of problematic anxiety - those behaviors, situations, and circumstances that cause anxiety unwellness (as you successfully address your underlying factors, you cease creating problematic anxiety and its negative consequences)
Unrealistic expectations of recovery:
Yes, anxiety disorder and its associated sensations and symptoms can seem powerful. And yes, it can seem as if some more serious medical or mental illness is the cause of these powerful sensations and symptoms. But they only seem powerful because we don’t understand what’s going on, and so we imagine the worst. Imagining the worst is an example of apprehensive behavior, which is often a catalyst into anxiety unwellness.
Because today’s society has been conditioned to expect instant gratification and results, unfortunately, many people who develop anxiety unwellness have unrealistic expectations about overcoming it.
For example, some people think (and expect) that they can learn how to overcome problematic anxiety by receiving a two or three paragraph explanation. Other people think (and expect) there is something they can take that will instantly, or relatively quickly, eliminate their condition and symptoms.
While we understand the DESIRE for quick solutions to anxiety unwellness, there aren’t any. So these “quick-fix” expectations are unrealistic. Overcoming problematic anxiety requires the right information, help, and support…and most often, therapy with a coach/therapist who truly understands anxiety unwellness and how to overcome it.
Because of what it takes to overcome anxiety unwellness (as we outlined in the Two Levels of Recovery), those programs or products that promise “instant results” should be avoided. And while some people may experience “instant results” (which usually means a reduction in symptoms), they don’t experience lasting results. That’s because if you don’t address the core of problematic anxiety – the underlying factors that cause problematic anxiety – it can remain and continue to cause problems.
Because unidentified and unaddressed underlying factors are at the root of problematic anxiety, there isn’t anything you can take to correct them. You have to identify what they are and WORK through them until healthy change is accomplished. Sure, there are many things we can do and take to help reduce the sensations and symptoms of behaving overly anxiously, but this is like putting a bandage on a wound without addressing the cause of the wound. While the bandage may keep dirt out of the wound so that it can heal, if the cause of the wound keeps occurring, the wound itself won’t heal. Dealing with the cause of the wound is the only solution that completely eliminates it.
To attain tangible and meaningful results, we want to be realistic about what it takes to overcome anxiety unwellness. But this is also the good news. You CAN overcome anxiety unwellness by doing the right things. No one needs to suffer needlessly. Anxiety disorder is treatable for anyone willing to do the right work. This provides hope that returning to a normal life free of problematic anxiety is possible, and doing so is not beyond our ability.
”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.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder coach, counselor, or therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome 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:
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Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated June 26, 2018.