Last updated on July 19th, 2022 at 12:15 pm
Anxiety is an innate human emotion that every person occasionally experiences. This is true even for those who are usually low-key, tranquil, and calm. They too sometimes feel worried, nervous, or have crippling anxiety in uncertain or stressful situations that are out of their normal comfort zone. You might be surprised to learn that even I have dealt with my own anxiety issues in the past.
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, in the United States, roughly 40 million adults suffer from anxiety that is beyond a routine emotion. For those people, uncontrolled anxiety can be an overpowering, deep-seated disorder that causes serious pain and even interferes with daily life.
Crippling or Debilitating Anxiety Definition: Anxiety is defined as distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune. Crippling or debilitating anxiety simply means that these feelings overpower a person to the point where it dramatically interferes with their daily life.
Signs Of Crippling Anxiety
Be aware that there are several different kinds of anxiety. However, most have the same symptoms that manifest emotionally as well as physically. Before you self-diagnose, I always recommend that you should speak to a psychiatrist or therapist to get a formal diagnosis.
Signs and Symptoms of crippling anxiety can include:
- Feelings of panic, fear, or a general unsettled feeling
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling “on edge”
- Feeling unsteady or dizzy
- Sweating excessively
- Can’t sit still
- Feeling angry or irritable
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid heartbeat
- Stomachaches, digestive upset, and nausea
- Muscle tension, neck pain, headaches
- Tight breathing
Help For Severe Anxiety
Here at Personal Family Counseling, we understand just how troublesome uncontrolled anxiety can be: It has the ability to erode your confidence, diminish your energy, strip your sense of control, and even bring on intense physical symptoms. Fortunately, you can restore your life and learn how to deal with debilitating anxiety and depression, just like I did.
Seek Professional Help For Severe Anxiety
During their lives, an estimated 30% of American adults experience severe anxiety that is so debilitating, persistent, or intense that it qualifies as a mental health disorder.
Even though anxiety is the most frequent mental health issue in the United States and even across the world, living with severe or crippling anxiety causes many of those people to feel alone and isolated. Perhaps this is why less than two out of five adults who are affected by anxiety disorders ever seek professional help.
As I learned personally, things don’t need to be this way. Thankfully, anxiety is treatable, regardless of how overpowering it can be at times. The majority of people who ask for severe anxiety help go on to ease their symptoms. Many even overcome their anxiety completely with the help of one or more of the following therapeutic strategies.
Psychotherapy for anxiety, or talk therapy, is a collective approach between an individual and a therapist. It implements a variety of techniques that aim to help you identify, understand, and modify the underlying thought and behavior patterns that are contributing to your severe anxiety disorder.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, is the most frequent form of psychotherapy. CBT allows you to swiftly identify your specific anxiety challenges and issues. It then provides you with the tools required to cope with those issues and challenges and ultimately bring to an end your negative behaviors and troublesome thought patterns.
Small Group Counseling
Small group counseling affords people with severe anxiety disorders a nurturing and safe environment to discuss their personal experiences and to share their challenges and successes with the group.
Sensory Motor Therapy
Sensory motor therapy is a body-based approach to dealing with severe anxiety. It aims to help you identify any traumatic experiences from your past that tend to trigger intense physical or emotional symptoms. This type of therapy seems especially helpful for treating severe anxiety disorders that are grounded in acute or developmental trauma.
You can also take our emotional trauma quiz which can help you identify if you may have PTSD.
If you have very severe anxiety, you may be prescribed anti-anxiety medication as part of your treatment plan. Anxiety-reducing medication can help to ease your most crippling symptoms. Such drugs can help support and enhance your progress during psychotherapy.
Practice Self-Care Strategies
There are several types of anxiety, including generalized, panic disorder, separation or social anxiety, and even some phobias. Regardless of your diagnosis, practicing certain forms of self-care can help keep your symptoms to a minimum, and even reduce the amount of “bad” days that you encounter.
There are many effective self-care strategies, but the methods listed below have shown to be some of the most effective at easing anxiety.
Improve Your Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is essential for all mental and physical activity. Unfortunately, anxiety has a tendency to wreck your ability to get enough proper sleep. This is a challenge because we know that proper sleep is crucial when it comes to reducing anxiety. Improving your sleep hygiene and creating an ideal sleep environment are key elements to address when dealing with anxiety. When I was dealing with my anxiety, I found that improving my sleep had a profound effect on my overall mood and well-being.
Performing regular exercise has a plethora of positive health effects. Not surprisingly, it can also aid in taking the edge off of your anxiety symptoms. For some, it even prevents them from developing in the first place.
Especially helpful seems to be aerobic exercise, the type that gets your heart rate up. Cycling, walking, swimming, and running for a minimum of 20 minutes every day can help relieve trait anxiety (your feeling on a regular basis) and state anxiety (your feeling right now).
I have made it a priority to include at least 30 minutes of exercise into my daily routine. This made me feel much better overall, both physically and mentally.
Avoid Or Limit Caffeine Intake
Many people rely on that morning cup of coffee to help them get ready for their day. In addition to waking you up, caffeine also stimulates your autonomic nervous system. In turn, this then puts your “fight-or-flight” response on high alert. Caffeine alone can increase your anxiety, and those who have anxiety disorders seem to be more vulnerable to its effects.
Overcoming Crippling Anxiety And Depression
For most people, there is no complete cure for their anxiety disorder. However, by combining several of the solutions above, you can experience much-needed relief. Thankfully, a well-planned treatment program enables most people with severe anxiety to minimize their symptoms to the point that they take back full control over their daily lives.
If you are ready to get help with overcoming crippling anxiety or feel like your depression is getting worse, there is help. Click the button below to get started with an online mental health specialist.As a BetterHelp afﬁliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided.