The Importance of Addressing Anxiety
Anxiety can have a much larger and more detrimental impact on quality of life than you may be aware of. In reality, anxiety can lead to a multitude of negative effects on a person's life, including impaired daily functioning, reduced productivity, and strained relationships. When anxiety is left untreated, it can escalate and develop into more severe mental health conditions like depression or panic disorder. While it can feel uncomfortable to face the reality of living with anxiety, the benefits of seeking anxiety treatment in Chicago far outweigh any known harms from pursuing improved health.
What Treatments Are Available?
While there are multiple treatment routes available, anxiety therapy in Chicago plays a vital role in managing symptoms and effectively coping.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely used and evidence-based therapies for anxiety disorders. CBT focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and behaviors that may contribute to a person's anxiety.
Other highly useful and well-studied therapeutic methods include: dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which combines elements of CBT with mindfulness techniques and emphasizes the development of skills for emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness; and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) which can help people focus on their personal values and committing to behaviors that align with those values, even in the presence of anxiety. Insight oriented therapies, such as existential and psychodynamic models, while typically more long term, have shown long-lasting capacity for helping clients get at the origins of their anxiety, as well as for understanding how anxiety functions for them in the social surround of their work and family relationships.
Another treatment path is medication. Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines, are commonly prescribed to help alleviate anxiety symptoms. These medications work by regulating the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help reduce feelings of anxiety. Any medication use should be closely monitored by medical professionals and will not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with habit-forming characteristics, like the benzodiazepines.
Alternative and Complementary Methods
Treating anxiety can be a multi-faceted process that combines many modalities at once in order to reach the best outcome for each person. There are several alternative or complementary methods to help those with anxiety cope and confidently navigate life. Practices like yoga and meditation can be great functional tools that promote deep breathing and physical movement, and ultimately lower stress levels. And the accessibility of these exercises means they can be done from just about anywhere.
Generally speaking, any form of physical activity can be beneficial for anxiety sufferers. Regular exercise has been shown to increase the production and release of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. It also helps to reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and even increase self-confidence, all of which can contribute to a reduction in anxiety symptoms. And the activities do not have to be overly strenuous. Walking, light jogging, and dancing are all beneficial forms of exercise.
Journaling can also be immensely helpful for people who struggle with anxiety. It provides a productive space for individuals to express and explore their thoughts, emotions, and worries. By taking note when anxious thoughts come up, you can gain clarity and a better understanding of your triggers and patterns. Having this record of thoughts and emotions can be an invaluable resource used in therapy sessions as well.
Considerations and Getting Started
As you research and learn about anxiety treatment in Chicago, you may come to find that one method in particular, or rather a combination of treatments is best for your needs. Here are a few things to consider when exploring your options:
- How severe and unmanageable are your symptoms?
- What are your personal preferences, i.e., comfort with medication or willingness to engage in therapy?
- The availability and accessibility of the treatment should be considered as well. Some treatments may require more time, resources, or travel, which may not be feasible for everyone.
A mental health professional can be a wonderful resource in helping determine the best course of action and getting started with treatment. However, it's important to keep an open mind and approach the treatment process with patience and commitment, as it can take time to see significant improvements.
Start Working with Our Anxiety Therapist in Chicago
Finding a suitable anxiety treatment is a crucial step towards reclaiming your peace of mind and living a fulfilling life. At Wellington Counseling Group, we have a team of highly skilled and compassionate therapists who are dedicated to helping you overcome your anxiety. Your well-being deserves the best care, and with their assistance, you can develop the tools you need to feel confident and secure.
Get in touch today to learn more about the services we can offer you.