Self Treatment and Other Therapies for Anxiety Management

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It is normal for people to experience anxiety over stressful situations or events. However, as anyone who has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder such as agoraphobia, generalised anxiety or a panic disorder knows, anxious feelings in mentally ill patients extends beyond the norm and interferes with daily life. Extreme and unreasonable fears over simple, everyday things characterise anxiety disorders.

Feelings of worry, unease, fear, dread, and being threatened are quite common but severe in someone suffering from one of these illnesses. Physically, anxiety triggers a fight or flight response in the body and releases greater than normal amounts of the stress hormone adrenaline. This produces a variety of symptoms which include:

? Feeling of terror
? Pale or deep red skin colour
? Sweating
? Rapid heartbeat
? Rise in blood pressure
? Muscle tension
? Chest pain
? Rapid breathing
? Nausea
? Feeling of desperation
? Strong urge to run and hide, or cry
? Tingling in the limbs
? Fear of fainting
? Sleeping difficulties
? Concentration difficulty
? Feeling of detachment from body

Treatment for anxiety disorders usually involves medication prescribed by a doctor or mental health professional. Hypnotherapy also seems to have a positive impact on symptoms. However, there are several things a person diagnosed with an anxiety disorder can do to help themselves.

Self Treatment

Any treatment method which will be effective in relieving anxiety must address the various aspects of the symptoms, including physical, emotional, behavioural, and mental. Relaxation techniques, in particular, provide a holistic solution to many of the symptoms.

Relaxation techniques are very similar to putting yourself in a hypnotic state. This type of self treatment works by decreasing heart rate, respiration rate, muscle tension, blood pressure, and slowing analytical thinking processes. These techniques include:

? Controlled abdominal breathing
? Muscle relaxation on a progressive basis
? Visualisation
? Guided imagery
? Imagining yourself feeling better in the future

It is best to practice these methods on a daily basis to achieve maximum results. Working with a hypnotherapist will help the patient learn the techniques of proper breathing, muscle relaxation, control of emotions, and turning negative thoughts into positive ones.

Relaxation of the mind and body is an aid in learning to control the factors which cause anxiety. Along with a medicinal regimen, it can be quite effective in helping patients diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

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