When to Seek Professional Help

ineffective treatment for anxiety

Not all psychiatric problems respond well to a self-help approach, for two reasons:
  • They need very specialized skills for their treatment
  • If left untreated or poorly managed they result in disastrous personal relationships and the sufferers often find it difficult to hold jobs down nad worst of all they can lead to suicide or homicide.
Anxiety disorders or not such a case and self-help approaches, if well designed can lead to long-term success. There are instances however, when professional assistance is needed, almost absolutely recommended and these will be identified later in this article.

Does Self-Help Work

Absolutely. Several of the popular successful programs that you can use which will assist you are reviewed here to help if you want to explore the self-help approach. A number of studies do indicate that people can deal with important, difficult problems without seeking the services of a professional and can address their anxiety difficulties. People clearly benefit from self-help. They do get better and stay better. There is a terrible, but optimistic statement, which goes something like this
Nobody ever died from anxiety. You may think you are going to die. You may feel like you are going to explode. You may feel that this is the worst thing you have ever experienced, but no one has ever died from anxiety. “
So this is one reason why you can use a self-help approach to address a large number of the anxiety disorders or issues.

When Should You Seek Professional Help

Perhaps the professional thing to do is to tell you when you should not use a self-help approach to the management of anxiety and you should seek out professional help. I would say if you manifest any one of the following then go straight to getting professional help, otherwise try a self-help self management approach to your anxiety first and if you don’t get anywhere after a couple of months then you may need more professional guided assistance. So what are these signs of going straight to getting ‘real’ help:
  1. Any Suicidal Thoughts or Plans - if you have any suicidal thoughts or suicidal rehearsal plans or you find compulsive suicidal images popping into your head don’t mess around and go straight to getting professional medical assistance. Anxiety is one of the components of major depressive episodes and your anxiety with suicide thoughts could be an indicator of a greater life threatening illness. Also anxiety with depression, lethargy and a lack of interest in life’s pleasures could indicate other things such as hormonally imbalances, diabetes and so on. This needs a professional evaluation and a professional exclusion diagnosis, before self-treating with St John’s Wort and so on.
  2. Your Day Is Filled With Anxiety and Depression- If you display the following symptoms:
    • Feeling sad most of the day
    • Losing interest or pleasure in activities
    • Change in weight
    • Changes in your sleep patterns and habits
    • Decreased interest in sex
    • Feeling keyed up or slowed down
    • Feeling worthless
    • Feeling excessively guilty
    • Poor concentration
    • Thoughts of death
    Then in all likelihood you are suffering from depression, which happens have anxiety as part of  its manifestation.
  3. Tried A Good Self-Help Program But had No Success – Followed the advice and information on this site as well as some other good programs and still are suffering.
  4. Struggling At Home – Your anxiety is spilling over into your work and home relationships and these are becoming filled with irritability and anger. You sometimes how uncontrollable outbursts.
  5. You Are Overwhelmed At Work – You are in danger of losing your job because you can’t cope
  6. Suffer From Severe Obsessions And Compulsions – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be serious and while the prognosis is good it does need skilled assistance.
  7. You Are Having Countless Sleepless Nights - Insomnia is very common with anxiety, but when sleeplessness starts becoming a major issue then you need to do something about it, because very soon you will resort to self-medication to cope and your cognitive processes become impaired resulting in poor judgment and other illnesses.
If you suffer from these symptoms. Seek professional help and do not go it alone, otherwise you can certainly try to help yourself through this difficult stage. Anxiety symptoms are of such a kind that you just have to respond to them.  very few people can sit by and let feelings of anxiety or their physiological symptoms pass them by.  You are compelled to do some thing the moment they arise.. Unfortunately, the most natural and immediate responses don’t work.  Nevertheless, most people resort to them as a natural response, despite their ineffectiveness.  In most instances, it is only after trying numerous of these immediate and seemingly logical responses and discovering that they don’t work, that more serious and consider treatment for anxiety is resorted.  Here we have a look at five  (5) of these ineffective treatment response to anxiety.
    1. Avoidance - Well this seems obvious.  You know what troubles you so its best to stay away from what scares you the most.  But pretty soon you find you are hiding away from most of life and now you are faced with a whole range of unwanted secondary problems, such as, social isolation, ridicule, lack of confidence and over the long-term some seriously emerging health problems, e.g. peptic ulcers, insomnia, heart disease, etc.
    2. Seeking Re-assurance – Your anxiety levels are so pervasive that you are almost compelled to self-talk your ‘OK-ness’ to others, or to ask them if you are doing OK.  Pretty soon you will find your friends avoiding you because the anxiety that you ‘spill-over’ into friendships becomes too much.  Secondly, since these anxiety feelings lie inside of you, no matter what your friends say they will not just disappear.  So you may feel so momentary relief and be relieved that you are ‘not going mad”, them moment they are gone these damn feelings will be back again like the constant companion that they can be.
    3. Seeking Quick Fixes - You will try all these and the internet is filled with them.  You will try everything from herbs, music beats and chants, exercise, self-hypnosis, etc.  Hopefully you won’t waste too much money before you take a more serious and disciplined approach to addressing your treatment for anxiety plan
    4. Psycho-therapy - unfortunately, the Ego-driven and analysis types of therapy have proved to be ineffective as a treatment approach for anxiety – this includes life-coaching and some self skills training as well.  The research indicates that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is very effective.  Some practitioners have had success with NLP as well.  But I can’t say I have seen many successful outcomes with this approach.
    5. Alcohol and ‘Illegal Drugs- It’s very hard not to use OTC drugs and self-medication to address anxiety situations and anxiety symptoms.  Cocaine and codeine can easily lead to the false belief that they help treat anxiety, because for short moments your energy is boosted and CNS depression effects lead you to feeling more confident.  But this quickly changes and the depressive come-downs heighten your anxiety levels and often leave you feeling worse and more frightened.  The social costs of his self-medicated route turns out to be very costly in the long end and should be avoided at all costs.
    1. Sorry to preach a bit like this, but please be careful and avoid this treatment approach. It does not work over the long-term and your difficulties are only increased, not remediate.  This also includes the long-term use of prescribed benzodiazepine .  They may be necessary for the short-term and part of a professionally managed anxiety treatment program, but not over the long-term.  If  long-term medication is necessary then look to the SNRIs like Effexor or such instead.

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