Whether you have been diagnosed with anxiety by your psychologist or psychiatrist, or if you have discovered this yourself, realising you have anxiety can feel a little overwhelming.
“OK – so I have anxiety – now what?”
It can be hard to decide about what to do next. That’s ok! Did you know that 14% of Australians have anxiety too? You are not alone! The good news is that we can help you to understand anxiety, and manage it effectively.
Research tells us that people don’t seek help for anxiety straight away, and in fact some people struggle for years trying to manage it, or hope it will go away. In fact, over 40% of people don’t seek treatment at all! What we also know is anxiety doesn’t just “go away” by itself. In fact, the more you try to ignore it, the stronger the anxiety can be.
There are many different ways to treat anxiety. There are internet resources, books and other resources that are readily available. However, some people prefer to talk with a professional about it, like a psychologist.
Psychologists are trained in the treatment of mental health problems and they have developed a range of therapies that are really effective at treating anxiety like Cogntive-Behavioural Therapy [CBT]. Long term studies show that after effective treatment, anxiety can be managed and can also stay away.
Whatever you decide to do, the most important first step is to take action because like the old adage says “do nothing, and nothing will change”. So what have you got to loose?
1. Talk to someone close to you.
Talk to your partner, a parent, or your best friend and tell them “I have anxiety”. Acknowledging that you have a problem can feel like a big weight has been taken off your shoulders. Having a support person can also be helpful as you begin to understand the anxiety you have been experiencing. It can also be good to share the changes you make as you progress through therapy.
2. Make an appointment with your doctor.
Your doctor will be able to talk to you about anxiety, and can talk to you about different treatments that are available. A doctor can provide you with a Mental Health Care Plan where you may receive up to ten sessions with a mental health professional. You can read more about Mental Health Care Plans in our free eBook offer at the end of this page.
3. Make an appointment to see a professional.
Over the years, I’ve often heard people say to me, “I don’t think I need to see you! I’m not crazy!” At first, coming to see someone may feel daunting, and that is normal. Anxiety is one of the most common reasons people come to see us. Finally getting therapy will feel like a big relief, especially as your anxiety lessens. You will learn new ways to change your thinking, improve your self-care and improve your quality of life.
For information on how to find a psychologist in your local area [and how to find a good one] and what to expect at your first appointment with a psychologist, please download our free eBook “Your 101 Guide to Visiting a Psychologist”. It has everything you need to know about visiting a psychologist.
Best of luck!