Fighting anxiety is something I’m passionate about so I’ve put together an Anxiety Resource Center post where I can point you toward helpful information, books, articles and my own advice. When I read through my posts, I see that I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs with my anxiety! I’ve struggled through the years and learned a lot of lessons about what works and what doesn’t. However, I don’t want to be the end-all be-all about what works and what doesn’t which is why I want to supply you with a bit more information than just my own posts. Afterall, just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you! Anxiety is a very, shall we say, customized experience, so it calls for a individual treatment approach. Here’s a list of resources that I hope you find helpful.
I’ve been to therapy several times and have learned a lot throughout the years. Some of my experiences were more successful than others. I will say that it pays to find the right person. I’ve often picked someone by their online profile, only to be disappointed once we start meeting. Don’t make this mistake! Do your research first but reserve the right to decide you need to find someone else or move on when and if the patient-doctor fit isn’t right.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: I have not found this therapy method to be helpful for me, but perhaps I didn’t approach it at the right time in my life. Or it may be that different people with different types of anxiety respond better than others. It’s certainly worth researching!
ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: I’ve found that ACT is a great method to get my thoughts in order and to tackle some of my perfectionism, control issues and more. I definitely recommend this book: Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life by Steven C. Hayes
Before tackling ACT, I had previously read A New Earth By Eckhart Tolle which changed my thinking about my mind and who I really am deep inside. Coupling this with ACT was extremely helpful. I also like An Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. I wrote a blog post about this book: Shocking Truth: Turns Out I’m Not Human
In addition, I think that Meditation can be a highly useful tool in your mental health toolkit. I particularly like Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield or Get Some Headspace by Andy Puddicombe.
There are plenty of other therapy methods out there, so do your research and find someone who can accommodate the approach that you think would work best for you. Be prepared to be open minded because there may be something you’re unaware of or something else that might be more effective than you thought.
Here’s a good resource for Therapy options: Types of Therapy at GoodTherapy.Org
My Blog Posts about Therapy:
There are many different medication options for anxiety. I personally have been on Paxil, Lexapro, Zoloft, Xanax and now Magnesium Citrate. Medications of course have side effects, so weighing those against the benefits is always important, however do realize that your side effects may be different than what someone else experiences and the benefits may outweigh the negatives. Only you can decide through trial and error with your Doctor.
Here’s a good starting point for medications: Psychotropic Medications at GoodTherapy.Org.
My Medication Posts (both the good and the bad!):
Check out the “Best of Angst” tab above for additional posts.
Life with Anxiety:
Life with anxiety can be a frustrating and demoralizing experience. Most people don’t realize the far reaching effects of anxiety. It can affect everything from relationships, friendships, career, leisure time, social experiences and more. Even just simple daily tasks like getting a hair cut or buying groceries can be affected. I’ve been through so many of these issues with my anxiety and have often felt depressed, but overall I believe I’ve done well and have found supportive and amazing people in my life. My best advice is to find someone who understands or who suffers from anxiety themselves and don’t be afraid to look online for people with anxiety! We’re a big group and growing all the time which makes sense since Anxiety is one of the most common human experiences. Never doubt the benefit of having a friend along for the ride to discuss the ups and downs!
My Posts about Living with Anxiety:
Finally, I wrote a novel about how it feels to suffer from anxiety. My story details the life of a college student struggling to hide her mental illness from friends and struggling to fit in. I’ve always hoped it could be a resource for people with mental illness, either to feel like you aren’t alone or to share with others what it feels like to struggle with anxiety on a daily basis. My book can be found here: Angst.
Best wishes on your anxiety journey. It does get better and there are more resources than ever before available to us!