At times we all feel anxious; it’s a natural way for the body to deal with certain situations. When anxietystarts to impact your daily life, however, it’s time to get help.Anxiety disorders is the most common of all mental disorder. People often feel these issues either aren’t a big deal or that they can be self-managed, without professional help; usually this is not the case.
What can you do?
If an anxiety disorder is disrupting your life – perhaps interrupting your sleep, or causing you to avoid certain situations – you should speak to your doctor.
Based on the belief that the condition is part physical and part psychological, your doctor may recommend medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.
Medications for anxiety disorders may include antidepressants or what’s called a benzodiazepine. You can receive these prescriptions from a doctor or a psychiatrist, who will also help monitor any possible side effects. These medications help balance and control the physical causes in your body that are partially to blame for your anxiety.
The psychological treatment used is typically Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Part of this treatment involves identifying the thoughts and feelings that trigger your anxiety, and understanding why you feel anxious. Then, using small and manageable steps, you’ll be guided through a process to confront those fears and gain control over them. This treatment may be done individually, or as part of a group.
Every disorder requires a slightly different approach, and your treatment plan should be tailored to your specific situation.
Your doctor may also be able to suggest effective and evidence-based ways to manage your anxiety. Education about the disorder, relaxation techniques, diet, and positive thinking are all things you can do to help reduce the anxiety you feel.
Remember: You’re not alone
Living with an anxiety disorder isn’t a reflection on you; anybody can develop one. At least 1 in 10 Canadians are affected by anxiety disorders each year*. In fact, they’ve become increasingly common in younger people — especially young adults in their teens or early 20s.
Read our information about anxiety for more information about symptoms and treatment.
(According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada)