• Theo

Getting Help for Anxiety

The number of people suffering with severe anxiety is ever increasing which is causing many free resources to be stretched. Here in the UK, the waiting list to get some kind of counselling is around a year. A whole year! So what can you do to get support in the meantime?



 

Paid Therapy

If money is no object, you can go to a private therapist. There are plenty available but they often cost a fortune. I had a brief experience with this (five sessions I think) and for me, it wasn’t helpful. Again, if you’re not on a budget, you can continually try new therapists until you find one that works for you. My biggest issue with this kind of support, is that there are people that will exploit your need for help. They want you to be a returning customer so they may not actually have your recovery as the main goal.


 

Paid Self Help

There are a number of books available on the topic of anxiety (many of which I have purchased, as well as having written my own short guides: link here). Personally, I found these incredibly helpful at the beginning of my journey to overcoming anxiety. They don’t cost a lot but they offer a deeper understanding of what’s happening in your brain and body as well as offering tips to manage various symptoms. The only downside is that you need to be into reading. That’s one of the reasons I wrote my own guides as in a lot of books, there was a lot of ‘fluff’ meaning information that wasn’t useful to me but just made getting to the important bits that much longer.


As well as books, there are plenty of paid subscriptions or one-off payments to online resources such as The Linden Method. Again, different methods work for different people. I didn’t have a lot of luck with the ones I tried, but it all depends on your needs and what you’re looking for in terms of support.


 

Free Self Help

One of the best things about the internet is the amount of resources that are available to you at the tip of your fingers. First and foremost you have YouTube where there are a lot of videos but there are also charities set up to assist those suffering with mental illnesses like anxiety disorders.


This option often means it takes more time to find support rather than a therapist with a session, but the more you look into it, the more you will find the things that work for you. For example: type in “cognitive behavioural therapy” and see what comes up. You could also try “mindfulness exercises”, “anxiety relief”.


 

Social Media Platforms

There are so many pages and groups dedicated to offering information and support to those struggling with anxiety disorders. Quora is a fantastic place to find answers to questions and be part of a healthy community. Facebook groups are often a great place too, but from my experience, a lot of the time, people just need someone to talk to and post in those groups rather than discussing how to manage the symptoms. Instagram accounts are fantastic as they often post tips and information daily and the comments section is filled with people that you could connect with.


 

Medication

This is my least favourite as I never found something that brought any positive results in regards to anxiety. However, some people have found it to be life saving. Although you may have to be put on a waiting list for therapy, speak to your GP about their thoughts on medication that could help you, and if they think it will, you should be able to get it right away. Just bear in mind, it usually doesn’t help that much with severe anxiety and there are a lot of potential side effects that can be harder to manage long-term.


 

It takes time to get the right help for anxiety, but you have to start somewhere. The best place to start with is your doctor and then based on the information they give you, you can go and do your own research and look into what other people have found helpful.


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