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A Shot Gun Approach To Dealing With Anxiety

Updated on September 27, 2013

Anxiety Treatment Options

There are many treatment options that you can teach your clients to help them with their anxiety. Research has indicated that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the best approaches. Teaching relaxation and meditation skills helps some clients. Others benefit from desensitizing fears with Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). I have had other clients use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping, and for them that was the most useful approach. There are small biofeedback units like the Heartmath's EmWave, that help clients train themselves to decrease their anxiety and learn to get into a relaxed state. There are other techniques as well.

I have found that giving clients many choices allows them to then experiment with each one of them, and to get some comfort that they can use alternate skills if the skill they rely on the most isn't working as well at the moment.

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Facts About Anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety is the most common mental health disorder affecting over 40 million Americans age 18 or older. A stunning fact is that only 1/3 of these individuals get treatment.

For children, one in eight have an anxiety disorder. These children have more problems in school, can miss out on social activities and are higher risk for substance use later in life.

According the National Institute of Mental Health:

"Several parts of the brain are key actors in the production of fear and anxiety. Using brain imaging technology and neurochemical techniques, scientists have discovered that the amygdala and the hippocampus play significant roles in most anxiety disorders.

The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is believed to be a communications hub between the parts of the brain that process incoming sensory signals and the parts that interpret these signals. It can alert the rest of the brain that a threat is present and trigger a fear or anxiety response. The emotional memories stored in the central part of the amygdala may play a role in anxiety disorders involving very distinct fears, such as fears of dogs, spiders, or flying."

The hope is that more research will yield more treatments for anxiety, including medications and behavioral health therapies.

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Getting Help For Anxiety

If you are interested in getting help for your anxiety, then talk to your primary care physician and start seeing a therapist trained in treating anxiety. Often times a coordinated approach between your doctor and a therapist will yield good results.

More than that, make sure and give your therapist feedback about techniques that work better than others, and don't be afraid to learn multiple techniques to deal with your anxiety. Everyone's brain is unique, so it just stands to reason that different anxiety reducing techniques will work for different people.

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