- New Guidelines for Undiagnosed Anxiety Problems (And How Psychotherapy Helps) -

By David Foster republished on August 11, 2017

It is normal for any individual to feel worried and depressed at times.  Stressors are part of everyday life.  It could be the bills, the traffic, relationships, and other things that can change the mood of a person.  However, too much of these things can lead to emotional and meal breakdown. Anxiety can be very alarming.  It has been shown that the common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety may affect up to 15% of the population.  The study was published by the National Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).  According to the NICE, many people suffering from such cases are not receiving treatments.  The new guidelines talk about different ways for people with anxiety to be able to undergo treatments. 

What is anxiety? 

Anxiety doesn’t just rest in the mind.  A person suffering from anxiety may experience physical symptoms such as shaking, palpitations, sleep interruptions, giddiness, stomach cramps, severe headaches, and many more discomforts.   These are brought by the adrenaline rush.  Usually, the symptoms vanish quickly.  But if they hang on, stress doesn’t just tense the body but may also add up to uncontrollable pressure. People’s attitude towards anxiety varies.  Some view stress as a challenge to grow and develop.  But for other people, especially with low self-esteem, anxiety can turn into distress which when neglected, may cause mental and emotional problems.  Such mental disorder can be very detrimental to one’s life and the lives of the people around him/her. Severe stress and anxiety can lead to uninhibited anger, irrational behaviour, weight loss, lack of concentration, loss of sex drive, and worse physical conditions.  In the UK, this has been a major problem that is usually experienced by aging people; triggered by their age, retirement, children leaving home, and the like. 

NICE: Guidelines for Self-Referred Treatments 

Not all people have the opportunity to combat anxiety and depression.  NICE recommends new guidelines that NHS should acknowledge concerning access to mental problems treatments.  One idea on the guidelines is to provide treatments outside the regular working hours and help people to self-refer to such treatments. NICE also recommends an approach for people who do not get proper treatment for their anxiety problems.  The approach is centred on the self-help programme by which patients will be able to cope with stressors and slowly struggle against the damaging effects of anxiety.  They also have to get access to more intensive approach such as psychotherapy. 

How Psychotherapy Helps 

Although medical prescriptions can be the fastest way to relive anxiety, it can cause side effects that can harm one’s health.  Medical treatments do not actually kill the root cause of anxiety but merely relieves the symptoms.  The most recommended treatment would be psychotherapy.  This treatment involves step by step process of identifying the causes of worries and fears and provides constructive approaches in dealing with them. Two common methods of psychotherapy are behavioral and cognitive therapy.  In behavioral therapy, the therapist helps the patient fight undesirable behaviours that come from anxiety.  The patient is taught with breathing and relaxation exercises. In cognitive therapy, the patient is guided by the therapist to transform unhealthy patters to those which are healthier. People with mental problems generally fail to recognise the symptoms so it is important for relatives and friends to help and refer them to such medications.

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