We have all dealt with feelings of anxiety at some point in our lives. If you have felt anxious in the past, you probably have a number of questions.
We’ll answer one of the most asked questions about anxiety here. A question that’s on everyone’s mind when they think of anxiety:
How long does it take for anxiety to go away?
Stay tuned to decipher and understand how long it takes to deal with anxiety and get ahead of it. We’ve also put together a few steps to help you deal in your process of dealing anxiety at the end of this article!
Well, the short answer to this question is that it depends. It’s impossible to look at anxiety with a one size fits all approach.
Let’s take a look at a longer and more insightful answer to our question. Well, there’s bad news and good news.
The bad news is that the feeling of anxiety is often something that oscillates. You may have a long period of no anxiety and then a stressor may trigger some anxious feelings.
However, this all depends on the levels of anxiety that one has. We’ll discuss this further as we discuss a number of different treatments for anxiety and the time typically taken to relieve symptoms.
The next part is what we’ve all been waiting for – the good news. The good news is that there are a number of treatment plans for all levels of anxiety that can help us manage our symptoms and get ahead of the anxiety. If properly managed, even people with severe anxiety see long periods of no symptoms.
The first treatment we’ll look at is a cognitive behavioural therapy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapies
What are cognitive behavioural therapies?
Cognitive behavioural therapies refer to a group of therapies which believe that the root cause of mental health concerns and psychological disorders are linked to cognitive factors.
In this type of therapy, the psychotherapist aims to equip their clients with the ability to identify maladaptive thoughts and behaviours.
The psychotherapist also psycho-educates their clients and helps them learn how to change these maladaptive thoughts and behaviours. There are a number of different cognitive behavioural therapies that employ different practices to reach these goals.
How effective are cognitive behavioural therapies?
A large body of evidence suggests that cognitive behavioural therapies are effective to treat a range of mental health disorders including anxiety.
Cognitive behavioural therapies have been used to treat mild and moderate anxiety as well as anxiety disorders.
How long do they typically take to work?
The time taken in therapy varies from person to person based on the severity of one’s condition.
Typically, because cognitive behavioural therapy is problem focused one requires 20 sessions or less to be able to better cope with anxiety.2
We’ll now look at the effectiveness of medication for anxiety and the time that it takes to show results.
Medication may be used to treat moderate or severe anxiety. This treatment can be used either alone or in conjunction with another treatment.
Medication for anxiety is prescribed only by a mental health professional or psychiatrist.
How effective is medication to treat anxiety?
The effectiveness of medication for anxiety varies from person to person, and depends on the medicine prescribed.
One may have to work with one’s doctor to find what combination of medicines and therapy works best for them.
How long does medication take to reduce symptoms of anxiety?
SSRIs are commonly prescribed for generalised anxiety disorders and typically take between 2 to 6 weeks to start showing effects.
Based on one’s doctor’s advice, one may need to continue medication from up to 6 months to a year.
What are self-help treatments for anxiety?
For mild anxiety, or anxious feelings that each of us feel on a day to day basis or in particularly stressful situations, there may be some practices that we can do to equip us to better deal with anxiety.
These may include mindfulness mediation, learning relaxation techniques, therapeutic writing, etc.
In fact, we offer a self-help treatment called Overthrowing Anxiety. This program has been created by Christian Goodman. It teaches you a number of skills including but not limited to breathing exercises and mediation. This self-help program is effective across a rage of anxiety disorders.
How effective are self-help treatments?
The research on self-help treatments for anxiety is limited and mixed. However, they ay be useful for mild anxiety that does not meet clinical criteria.4
The results of initial analysis of self-help treatments are promising, but further research is required before we come to any conclusions about efficacy of these treatments for anxiety.4
How long do they take to reduce anxiety?
Self-help treatments are to be used mainly for mild feelings of anxiety. These practices may allow for instantaneous relief of the feeling of anxiety. However, to deal with anxiety in the long term, we would suggest seeking help from a mental health professional.
We’ve now looked at a variety of treatments and the time they take to reduce symptoms of anxiety. What’s next? Well, here are some next steps that can help you take charge of your mental health and deal with anxiety.
Acknowledge the importance of mental health
Accept that each person is different and we will all take different amounts of time to deal with anxiety
Reach out to a mental health professional to chart out a plan to deal with anxiety
Be consistent with your treatment plan
Learn skills and mechanisms to deal with any symptoms of anxiety in case they re-surface
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Disclaimer: Please note that all articles are not a substitute to visiting a mental health professional. All articles, videos and ebooks have a entertaining purpose only. Self-diagnosing anxiety or any other disorder can be extremely dangerous. We highly recommend seeing a professional if you feel overwhelmed or anxious.
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