Stress and Anxiety Treatment in Thailand
Surprising but true — almost one-third of the world’s population suffers from a form of anxiety disorder. Find out if you are part of this group.
We all experience some stress and anxiety in everyday life, and that is completely normal. However, when these feelings of unease, fear and/or nervousness persist through a large percentage of one’s day, it could mean that you have an anxiety disorder. This can be treated, but first, let us take a look at what anxiety really is.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety includes a group of specific types of disorders that cause feelings of nervousness, fear, apprehension and worrying. As stated above, these are all considered normal feelings in certain situations. For example, when you are waiting for a call from a potential employer to tell you whether or not you got the job, it is normal to feel apprehensive. If you are writing a final exam, it is also normal to feel nervous.
The line where regular anxiety crosses over into a disorder is not always easy to see. This means, unfortunately, that a lot of people live with anxiety disorders and do not know it. However, put simply, you may have an anxiety disorder if these feelings are negatively impacting your daily life. If anxiety is keeping you from sleeping, going out with friends, or even leaving the house — you could have a disorder.
As Medical News Today described it, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation.
But anxiety disorders come in several different types. Here are a few of the most common types of anxiety disorders:
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalised anxiety disorder.
Frequently referred to as GAD, this is a chronic disorder in which those affected experience long-lasting anxiety about nonspecific life events. Those with GAD will often feel worried about health, money, work, etc., but will typically have trouble identifying exactly what is worrying them, and usually cannot control these worries.
Unlike GAD which is prolonged feelings of worry, panic disorder shows itself with brief and/or sudden attacks of terror and apprehension. This can lead to physical symptoms such as shaking, confusion, difficulty breathing, dizziness and nausea. These can happen randomly or following frightening experiences or prolonged stress.
Phobias are different from the first two disorders in that it has a fear response linked to a specific cause. Common phobias include spiders, snakes and heights. More often than not, the person is aware that the fear is irrational, but they are unable to control the anxiety that comes from the phobia.
Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Otherwise known as PTSD, this disorder is caused by a specific trauma in the past such as military combat, rape, abuse, serious accidents or other intense events in a person’s life. Those affected with PTSD will often experience flashbacks to the event which incurs fresh anxiety as if the situation was happening all over again. This can be very traumatic for the person affected, having to live through the trauma over and over again in their mind.
Social phobia, or social anxiety, is anxiety caused by the fear of being negatively judged by others, or a fear of public embarrassment. Often those affected will avoid being in public situations, often to the point where everyday life is affected.
Also known as OCD, this disorder involves repetitive, distressing and intrusive thoughts or actions. Someone suffering from OCD may constantly check locks or light switches. They might obsessively wash their hands to the point that they suffer from dry, raw skin. Those affected typically know that their behaviour is unreasonable, but they feel they have to do these things, or their anxiety gets too intense to handle.
Substance-related anxiety symptoms.
Substance-related anxiety stems from the use of various substances. This type of anxiety can take the form of any of the above disorders, but is caused specifically by the use of or withdrawal from substances. The most common substances to cause anxiety symptoms are alcohol, amphetamines, caffeine, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, phencyclidine (PCP) and more.
Anxiety disorders are very common around the world, with an approximate 28% of the adult population either currently suffering or in recovery from one of the above disorders. Unfortunately, not everyone affected understands that they are suffering from a real disorder and that without treatment it will rarely go away on its own.
Thankfully, anxiety treatment is available. The most successful anxiety treatments include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is the most popular and effective therapy used in the U.S. and U.K. With the use of CBT for anxiety treatment, drugs are not typically required to combat the disorder. Most of the drugs used for these disorders (Ativan, Valium, Xanax, Clonazapam) are extremely addictive and tolerance builds quickly — which means that unfortunately, many people taking these drugs end up with a severe drug addiction and a return of anxiety symptoms. For this reason, most clinics will actually discourage the use of medications when possible.
Instead, CBT is used to combine the cognitive (thinking) relationship to anxiety with the behavioural (action) portion. This gives the sufferer the ability to identify, challenge and modify thoughts and actions that create anxiety.
At The Cabin Bangkok, our CBT anxiety treatment programme teaches our clients the tools and techniques necessary to combat anxiety in their daily lives. By including these teachings in their daily routine, clients are able to control their anxiety in a way that was not possible before.
Getting the Help You Need
Many people suffering from anxiety disorders are reluctant to tell anybody what they are going through. It is not uncommon for those with one of the above disorders to be fully aware that their anxiety is irrational, which can make them feel embarrassed if they attempt to tell anyone what is wrong. As well, the idea of having to tell someone can cause an added increase in anxiety — which is why it is important to remember that you are not alone! As stated above, 28% of the adult population is suffering right along with you. So don’t suffer in silence anymore! If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, give us a call to get your initial assessment.