Coping with Anxiety
anonymous Asks ...
I have a lot of anxiety. When I had to give a speech last week that I was very worried about my doctor gave me a short prescription for beta blockers and it really helped me a lot. Could I just use beta blockers all the time? I know that it is silly but the physical signs of anxiety always make me feel worse and then it is just a downward spiral to anxiety, even when I am just breathing fast from chasing after the bus or something.
Katie Brooks Says ...
It sounds as if your anxiety is very uncomfortable and I am sorry that you have that experience. Medication can help with anxiety, but it has short-term and long-term side effects that you might want to educate yourself about. Go to this webpage and scroll down to read the adverse effects of Beta Blockers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_blocker
Remember that we all experience a range of positive and negative emotions. Without sadness we would not appreciate joy. Without anger we would not understand our boundaries. Lastly, without anxiety we would not experience the fear that keeps us out of harms way. Anxiety can also serve the purpose of motivating us to push harder when times are tough. It is important to keep a realistic prospective on your negative emotions. For example, it is very normal to experience some form of anxiety before a big presentation. On the other hand, if the emotions you experience are so uncomfortable that they keep you from functioning normally (avoiding an important presentation) then it may be time to see a therapist.
Taking medication relieves the immediate symptoms, but does not offer you a chance to eradicate the underlying cause of the anxiety. Therefore, your anxiety will remain a chronic problem. If you take the step to see a therapist, you would work towards identifying triggers and coping skills in order to manage the anxiety. This treatment method will teach you the skills in order to gain relief that will be long-lasting. Sometimes it is also helpful to take medication while receiving treatment from a therapist. The medication can help relieve the immediate symptoms in order to work on your skills with the therapist. Once you have learned effective anxeity management skills you can then proceed to wean off of the medication. I hope this information was helpful. There are many forms of effective therapy for anxiety, but I find mindfulness and CBT to be the most effective. Please visit my website for further information or schedule to schedule a phone consultation: GoodTherapySanDiego.Com
Katie Brooks, LCSW