As someone who has struggled with anxiety for many years, I know how overwhelming and isolating it can feel. The constant worry, racing thoughts, and physical symptoms can be debilitating and interfere with everyday life. While I have tried various coping strategies, seeking professional help from a mental health counselor has been my best choice.
As a female professional who tends to be timid, seeking help is daunting. The stigma surrounding mental health and the fear of being judged or misunderstood makes it challenging to take that first step. However, I have also begun to understand that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness– and that many resources are available to help those like me who are struggling with anxiety disorders.
Where Should You Start?
The first step in seeking help for an anxiety disorder is to recognize the symptoms and acknowledge that they interfere with daily life. These symptoms, for me, include constant worry, racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, and physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and sweating. It’s important to remember that everyone experiences anxiety differently, and what may be a mild symptom for one person may be severe for another.
Once you recognize anxiety symptoms, reaching out for help is essential. This can be daunting, but many resources are available, including mental health professionals, support groups, and hotlines. Find an aid that works for you and that you feel comfortable with.
Choosing Virtual Mental Health Therapy
When seeking help for an anxiety disorder, finding a mental health counselor who specializes in anxiety disorders and who you feel comfortable talking to is crucial. This may take some research and trial and error, but finding someone who understands your unique experiences and can provide effective treatment is important. For me, this meant finding an online mental health counselor. When I scheduled in-person treatment, I rarely showed up. I discovered that my reliability, and therefore my mental health, improved when I switched to virtual therapy.
I’ve Tried It All
Treatment for anxiety disorders may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Each type of treatment helped me in different ways. Therapy helped me identify the underlying causes of my anxiety and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms. The medication helped to alleviate anxiety symptoms while I was busy learning these strategies, although it took a while to find the right medication and dosage. I will caution that it’s important to work with a mental health professional to determine the best course of treatment for you.
In addition to seeking professional help, many self-care strategies can help manage anxiety symptoms. These may include exercise, mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, and self-compassion. I joined my local YMCA and started swimming. The routine definitely contributed to improving my mental health.
I’m Not Perfectly Healed, But I Found Success
While seeking help for an anxiety disorder can be daunting, it’s important to remember that there is no shame in seeking help and that many resources are available to help manage symptoms. Proper treatment and support enable managing anxiety and living an entire and productive life. Not every day is perfect for me. I definitely have days that I struggle emotionally.
For me, the decision to seek help for my anxiety was difficult, but it was also one of the best decisions I have ever made. Through virtual anxiety therapy and self-care strategies, I have learned to manage my symptoms and take control of my life. While I struggle with anxiety occasionally, I now have the tools and support to manage it effectively.
If you are struggling with anxiety, I encourage you to seek help. There is no shame in asking for help, and it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Proper treatment and support enable managing anxiety and living a peaceful and productive life. Remember to be kind to yourself and to take things one step at a time. The journey may be difficult but rewarding, and hope for a brighter future exists.