Severe anxiety can have a huge impact on our ability to cope with getting through each day. There doesn’t need to be any stressful events happening to experience debilitating anxiety. It can strike with seemingly no reason at all, and when it does it can be extremely difficult to manage. Here are some tips for how to deal with crippling anxiety which will hopefully help you to cope with it a little better. I’ll also share a strategy that worked for me to overcome my crippling anxiety and get back to living a near normal life.
What Is Crippling Anxiety?
Although crippling anxiety is not a medical term, it is just a very good description for describing the effects that anxiety can have. If you have ever dealt with anxiety before, then you know it can absolutely be crippling and prevent you from doing even the most basic tasks.
Crippling anxiety is different to just feeling a little anxious or stressed or nervous about something. With crippling anxiety, the anxiety and panic completely takes over your ability to think straight. Small tasks can become insurmountable goals.
Crippling anxiety will generally fall into the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or social anxiety disorder. All of these anxiety disorders can be crippling in their own right.
Symptoms Of Crippling Anxiety
If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms then you should consult with your doctor who may diagnose you with an anxiety disorder.
Withdrawing from social situations
Tightness in the chest or throat
Having trouble falling asleep
Waking throughout the night
Body aches and headaches
A general feeling of being completely overwhelmed
There are other symptoms but these are the main ones that most people with crippling anxiety will suffer from.
How To Treat Crippling Anxiety
Treating crippling anxiety is the same as treating anxiety. Fortunately there are several things you can try in order to alleviate your symptoms.
Psychotherapy should be your starting point. Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy. Talking through your problems with your doctor will give them the information they need to diagnose and treat your anxiety. Your doctor will also be able to run some tests to determine if there is any underlying medical condition that is contributing to your anxiety.
Medication. After discussing things with your doctor they may prescribe you medication such as Valium or Effexor to help treat your symptoms. In my experience it is always important to ask about the side effects of any medication you are about to start. Asking about withdrawal effects is also a very good idea.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is another tried and proven method for treating anxiety and depression. CBT helps you to change the way you process certain events and situations and gives you a healthier way of thinking through your problems. In my experience, CBT is very useful and with a little bit of practice you should see improvements to your condition.
Mindful meditation is also very effective at conquering anxiety. It can be difficult to be present with all of those racing thoughts running through your head, but practicing mindful meditation on a regular basis can definitely help. Personally, I struggled with mindful meditation, as my mind always seems to drift off in other directions and it is hard to stay in the present. A psychologist once told me that there is no pass or fail with mindful meditation. You haven’t done badly at it based on the number of times your mind drifts off. All you need to do is be aware that it has happened and bring yourself back to the present. Hearing this had me judging myself far less harshly about mindful meditation. I now do it regularly and it definitely helps my anxiety levels.
Acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) I love ACT. I have used it in conjunction with CBT to challenge a lot of my negative beliefs and thought processes. I’ve found it to be quite effective with a little bit of effort. Using ACT will help you to be more present and you will find it easier to sit with negative feelings and anxiety, without it taking over and controlling or crippling you.
If you want to read more about ACT then I strongly recommend reading The Happiness Trap by Dr. Russ Harris. I have a few of his books about ACT and have found them very useful. Usually with these type of books the information is so bland and boring which makes it really hard to concentrate and take it all in. With the way Dr. Harris writes his books, I found that it was no longer a problem. They are written in a way that is easy to engage with and follow along taking in all of the valuable information.
Exercise is a great way to tame your crippling anxiety. You don’t need to go to the extreme and join every gym class, all you need to do is go for a walk. Doing this on a daily basis is a great way to reduce your anxiety, increase serotonin production and also improve your physical fitness. I understand that sometimes leaving the house can be difficult when you have anxiety, and I have had many days where I just couldn’t force myself to go for a walk. The hardest part is always the first step and dealing with all of the overthinking that goes on beforehand, so sometimes you just have to tell yourself to ignore everything, put your walking shoes on and go out and start moving. Once you are out and moving it becomes easier. Walking is also a great way to relieve all of that built up tension and it will also help you to get to sleep at night.
Panic Away is without a doubt my number one resource for all things anxiety. It has a bit of a hyped up sales page, but I can tell you they back up every claim they make and it genuinely works. I was diagnosed with agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house) due to my anxiety. I used the strategies I learned in Panic Away to get on top of my anxiety and I now rarely have trouble leaving the house. I have come a long way in the last 10 years, and Panic Away was the one thing that made the biggest difference for me. I loved that the whole system was easy to follow and simple to understand. It has a 60 day money back guarantee so it is definitely worth a try.
If you would like to learn more about Panic Away then please click this link to read more on their website.
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