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This page is about how self-compassion and mindfulness and skills such as forgiveness, kindness and compassion can help us with depression and anxiety.
The pages linked to this section will explore different and special issues with anxiety as well as treatments to help those dealing with anxiety. As someone who comes from a family of anxious people, I have had a lot of experience with anxiety. I have also spent a much of my time in practice as a therapist studying and working with anxiety.
Definition of Anxiety
Anxiety is apprehension or fear about the future. It is a state of worry in the mind and physiological distress. Anxiety symptoms manifest themselves in our body,our mind, and our behavior. People with anxiety have stress and tension in their bodies, thoughts and beliefs in their minds that drive the anxiety, and behaviors which maintain their anxiety. Therefore, treatments for anxiety must target these areas. Click here for more about the definition of anxiety. Click here for more about the symptoms of anxiety and here for more about the physical aspect of anxiety.
Acupuncture is an area that has been explored recently to ease anxiety. There is not much research on acupuncture for panic disorders, phobias, or obsessive compulsive disorder(OCD) . However, some research and anecdotal reports show that acupuncture can be helpful with generalized anxiety. These findings are not clear or strong, but there are many people who report it has helped and believe it is helpful. Click here for more information about this.
Mindfulness Psychotherapy and other Psychotherapy
Mindfulness psychotherapy is a therapy with roots in Buddhist teachings. Treatment components target relaxing the body called mindfulness based stress reduction(MBSR)and can include yoga, breathing, and meditation. Other components include, mindfulness based cognitive treatment which explores how our reaction and avoidance to our thoughts and fears causes much of our distress. There is moderate evidence that this is an effective technique to alleviate anxiety.
Mindfulness activities can also be easy integrated into daily life, without undergoing therapy.
Click on these links so learn more about the mindfulness strategies of:
Another kind of therapy used with anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral therapy(CBT)focuses on changing our thoughts and feelings and behaviors in order to alleviate anxiety. This has solid research behind it and is often the most common method utilized by treatment providers. Here are some ways of thinking that may help you with our anxiety.
Children also have anxiety Click here to learn about therapy with children who have anxiety.
Anxiety medications are usually in three categories. Antidepressents , Benzodiazapenes, and Azapirones. Each of these medications have associate side effects which may be undesirable, and Benzodiazapenes can easily cause addiction. Still, we know that there is good solid evidence that these medications, especially when combined with therapy can alleviate symptoms of depression. Whether or not to take medication is a personal choice.
In addtion to prescribed medications, people often self medicate, which means they use illegal drugs or alcohol. Alcohol abuse is common with people who have anxiety disorders, as is alcoholism. Click here for information about that relationship.
People who drink may also experience anxiety and depression after drinking. Click here to learn about anxiety after drinking.
I am a big advocate of self help. In some cases, people need professional help, but generally, I think self help is a great thing. Many of the things that are taught in therapy you can learn on your own if you are motivated enough, and if you are patient. Click here for some ideas on self help.
Click here for more information on ruminating, which is a central feature in people who are both depressed and anxious.
If you are inclined to go the natural way, there is evidence that exercise, some vitamins and herbs, and other natural remedies can help ease anxiety. Please click here for more information about natural anxiety cures!
The current political climate has many of us anxious. Regardless of where you stand politically, divisiveness seems to be the rule and not the exception. The following pages are written to help you and your family deal specifically with issues such as those.