Coping With Anxiety
Tip: Change What You Can, Accept the Rest
How Do You Cope? continued...
Rather than becoming paralyzed with anxiety, here's another message you can
send yourself: "I may have to take a job I don't like as much, may have to
travel further than I want, but I'll do what I have to do now. At least I will
have the security of income in the short term. Then I can look for something
The most important thing: "to realize when you've done everything you can,
that you need to move forward," Ross says.
Learn to relax.
You may even need "breathing retraining," Ross adds. "When people get
anxious, they tend to hold their breath. We teach people a special
diaphragmatic breathing -- it calms your system. Do yoga, meditation, or get
some exercise. Exercise is a terrific outlet for anxiety."
Most of all, try not to compound your problems, adds Andrews. "When things
are bad, there is a legitimate reason to feel bad," she says. "But if you don't
deal with it, you're going to lose more than just a job -- you'll lose
relationships, your self confidence, you could even lose technical abilities if
you stay dormant in your profession. Try not to compound one stress by adding
Often your ability to work through anxiety -- get past it -- varies
depending on the type of crisis you faced. "The more severe, the more
surprising it was, the longer it's going to take to get over it," says Andrews.
"You may be on autopilot for several weeks. If you're depressed, that can
complicate things. In the case of divorce, it may take months to years to
really get back to yourself."
But take heart. "If you're doing well in one aspect of your life -- in your
work or your relationships -- you're probably on your way," she says. "Fear and
anxiety are no longer running your life."
Medication for Anxiety Disorders
Medication will not cure an anxiety disorder, but it will help keep it under
control. If anxiety becomes severe enough to require medication, there are a
Antidepressants, particularly the SSRIs, may be effective in treating many
types of anxiety disorders.
Other treatment includes benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Ativan, and Xanax
alone or in combination with SSRI medication. These drugs do carry a risk of
addiction so they are not as desirable for long-term use. Other possible side
effects include drowsiness, poor concentration, and irritability.
Beta-blockers can prevent the physical symptoms that accompany certain
anxiety disorders, particularly social phobia.