Anxiety Disorder Recovery 101

Written by Jim Folk
Medically reviewed by Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated October 20, 2022

anxiety disorder recovery 101

Anxiety occurs when we behave (think and act) in an apprehensive manner. Anxiety disorder occurs when we behave apprehensively too often and it interferes with a normal lifestyle.

Behaving apprehensively activates the stress response, which stresses the body. When the stress response is activated too frequently, the body can become overly stressed and then symptomatic, which we call stress-response hyperstimulation.

For more information, see our “Anxiety 101” article.

Anxiety symptoms are symptoms of stress. We call them anxiety symptoms because behaving apprehensively is the main source of the stress that causes the body to become chronically stressed (hyperstimulated) and then symptomatic.

Consequently, treating anxiety disorder requires "Two Levels of Recovery."

Two Levels Of Anxiety Disorder Recovery

The two levels of anxiety recovery are:

Physiological Anxiety Recovery – Level One Recovery

Physiological anxiety recovery involves understanding anxiety and its causes; understanding what anxiety symptoms are and what causes them; becoming unafraid of anxiety, the stress response, hyperstimulation, and anxiety symptoms; and eliminating chronic stress and its adverse effects so that the body stops presenting anxiety symptoms (symptoms of stress and hyperstimulation).

Accessing good anxiety self-help information is beneficial to Level One success. The Recovery Support area of our website contains extensive information about Level One recovery (chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 23. etc.).

Moreover, there are many natural and practical ways to bring about Level One recovery. We list many of these strategies in the Recovery Support area (chapters 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14, and 23). The Recovery Support area also addresses the many barriers to consider on the road to Level One recovery, as attaining Level One recovery typically isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Nevertheless, if you are willing to work at it, you can attain Level One recovery success and eliminate your anxiety symptoms, as well as your anxieties about anxiety, its symptoms, and how they feel.

Level One recovery success is an important step to overall anxiety disorder recovery. However, to attain meaningful and lasting recovery, Level Two anxiety disorder recovery is required.

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Behavioral Anxiety Recovery – Level Two Recovery

Anxiety disorder is caused by underlying factors - unhealthy behaviors (thoughts and actions), situations, and circumstances - that motivate overly apprehensive behavior. Successfully identifying and addressing those underlying factors eliminates unhealthy anxiety as well as its stress response consequences (symptoms, hyperstimulation, etc.).

Furthermore, to maintain Level One anxiety recovery, we have to address Level Two recovery concepts because unaddressed apprehensive behavior can keep the body chronically stressed and symptomatic, which can interfere with recovery and symptom elimination.

Once you successfully identify and address the core reasons for your problematic anxiety – the underlying factors that cause issues with anxiety – you will eliminate those underlying factors and the stress and symptoms they cause. Eliminating the underlying factors will allow your body to return to normal, non-hyperstimulated health.

Identifying and successfully addressing the root cause of problematic anxiety is how you overcome issues with anxiety and its symptoms.[1]

Dealing with Level Two recovery addresses anxiety disorder at its core.

Since there are many underlying factors, and factors that are specific to each person, situation, and circumstance, self-help information can provide only superficial help. Therefore, the most effective way to attain Level Two recovery success is with the help of an experienced anxiety disorder therapist,[1][2] and one who has experienced and successfully overcome anxiety disorder in his or her own life.

Working with an experienced anxiety 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 meaningful and lasting success.

To successfully overcome anxiety disorder, both levels of anxiety disorder recovery need to be dealt with. When you address both levels of recovery, you address the root causes of anxiety disorder, and therefore, the causes and their symptoms are eliminated.

When you address the cause of the problem (anxiety), the cause and its symptoms are eliminated.

For more information:


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 – which we call 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.

Additional Resources

Return to our Anxiety Articles page. Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including .


[1]”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.

[2]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.