Various kinds of anxiety disorders may be due to underlying reasons such as stress, painful experiences in the past and other similar instances. It causes individuals to experience sudden emotional surges. People feel extremely sensitive and they tend to have a negative reaction or a pessimistic approach to anything surrounding them. Sadly, people overlook these instances and judge themselves to be emotionally weak. They are not recognizing the fact that they may actually be suffering from an anxiety disorder which needs medical attention.
Psychologists are medical professionals who have been trained in the discipline of psychology. They are able to study mental processes, which enables them to diagnose, evaluate and treat such disorders. Thus, psychologists can help in the treatment of anxiety disorders. “Anxiety becomes unhealthy when its alarm makes no sense. Sometimes, people feel routinely anxious for no reason at all. At other times, the alarm is totally out of proportion to the threat, such as when a student has a panic attack over a minor quiz.” says Lisa Damour, PhD.
The following are some of the ways in which psychologists treat anxiety disorders:
Seeing a physician is key. “One thing I’ve learned when treating clients with depression is to recommend a medical exam right from the start of treatment,” said Lee H. Coleman, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist. Psychologists provide counseling to their clients. They encourage individuals to let go of the negativity that is prevalent in their ideas and beliefs. This will enable the individual to get rid of the factors causing his or her anxiety disorder.
Many people may feel apprehensive about sharing their personal experiences that caused such disorders with others. Due to the treatment procedure, psychologists have in-depth conversations with their clients. They forge bonds of trust during the process, which allows the clients to open up and share their past experiences even if it is painful for them. Building trust is important as clients may feel vulnerable.
Recognizing the cause
After gaining the trust of their clients, psychologists have access to whatever experiences the individual has endured in the past. With this, the psychologists will be able to ascertain which particular incident or experience triggered the disorder. This is very important because it will determine the accurate treatment of the disorder.
Once the psychologist is able to recognize the cause of the disorder, he or she can plan a treatment procedure designed particularly for the client. This is done because every person has a different issue and underlying reasons for the issue are unique, as well. Due to the close interaction between the client and the psychologist, the psychologist chooses the treatment procedure that is the most suitable for the individual.
“The biggest misconception about anxiety is that it’s to be feared and avoided at all costs,” says Noah Clyman, a licensed clinical social worker. Most often, people suffering from anxiety disorder have very low self-esteem. They think that whatever they do might be unsuccessful or will put them in an embarrassing situation. Psychologists design tasks and exercises that can help the individual slowly increase his self-confidence. This eventually leads to treating the disorder.
Exposing their vulnerabilities
Anxiety disorders function in a way that makes individuals feel insecure and unsure about their actions. There may be certain conditions that have occurred in the past and whenever they encounter similar situations, they are afraid that they may face failure or embarrassment. Psychologists put their clients in these vulnerable situations on purpose so that they can get rid of this “false anxiety”.
While some people find it difficult to open up about their issues in front of others, others may actually stay away from company because they feel that they are all alone with their problems. Psychologists hold group sessions to address the mindset. This allows people suffering from such disorders to be able to freely discuss the issues they might be facing.
Apart from the client, others who are close to the individual such as family and friends, also need to be advised. Psychologists can recommend about how they should be supportive to the client, how they must approach the client during an anxiety episode, and the likes.