Finding the right psychologist can be one of the most difficult things that you will do as an anxiety sufferer. Sometimes, the initial task of finding the right therapist can be just as difficult as the treatment itself. As you anxiously go about finding the right professional to help you deal with your symptoms, you may even find that they get worse. This doesn’t have to be the case, just as long as you know the best ways to identify a therapist who fits well with your needs to bring about anxiety relief.
Questions are important, not just to determine the quality of any professional, but also to gain a deeper understanding of your condition. These are four of the most important questions to ask any psychologist as you begin treatment.
Ask About Their Preferred Treatment Methods
There are various treatment options for anxiety disorder, including well established and emerging treatments. Professionals often have preferred options for their patients, and sometimes they will provide you with a choice of different therapies based on your needs and how comfortable you are with any particular method.
Cognitive behavioral therapies are focused on treating the immediate issue of your anxiety but don’t necessarily go any deeper to look for an underlying cause. This type of therapy can be extremely effective at providing short-term results, but may not be right for your situation, especially if you have had CBT in the past with limited results.
Another option is psychodynamic psychotherapy. This looks at your behaviors as well as your deep psyche and can be compared to psychoanalysis. Instead of only finding a way to provide immediate and short-term anxiety relief or coping mechanisms, the psychodynamic process can potentially identify root causes and past incidents that lead you to behave anxiously or otherwise out of character.
Ask for a Comprehensive Discussion About Anxiety Attack Symptoms
You may not be aware of every symptom of your underlying anxiety issue, and this can mean that you either don’t report these to your psychologist, or you may even ignore them completely. In your initial discussions with a new psychology professional, you need to clarify anxiety attack symptoms, as well as any related symptoms that might be caused by associated mental illnesses.
Is Anti Anxiety Medication an Option?
Some psychologists will make you aware of medications that might be able to help treat your anxiety. Others may prefer therapy as a treatment, and their bias may prevent them from making recommendations when it comes to medication. The right professional is one that will give you all of the options upfront, even if they do have preferred methods based on their training, previous experience, and other patients.
Medication in itself is not a cure for anxiety, and should instead be used with proven therapeutic methods. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are commonly used to treat chronic cases of anxiety. Some of the brand names include Prozac, Paxil, and Celexa. These medications are sometimes used when anxiety is connected to clinical depression. Benzodiazepines may also be prescribed for short-term and immediate anxiety relief, but are not suitable for long-term treatment.
Asking your psychologist about the suitability of anti-anxiety medication can provide relief in knowing that you have options, and will also help you to understand your overall condition from a medical perspective.
Ask If There Are Lifestyle Choices That May Be Exacerbating Your Anxiety Attack Symptoms
Therapy and medications aren’t the only ways to tackle your anxiety. Sometimes, there are simple changes you can make that will help to reduce anxiety attack symptoms, and help to promote better overall mental health. Sometimes these changes may be as simple as eating a better and more balanced diet, eliminating sugars from your diet, reducing caffeine intake, and avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs.
It is important that you are completely honest with your healthcare professional about anything you may be doing that will contribute to your anxiety, rather than just discussing about your feelings and emotional state. With complete transparency, your psychologist will be able to develop the most effective treatment plan, providing you with the opportunity to find anxiety relief and a balanced lifestyle where you aren’t crippled by anxiety, panic attacks, and other destructive symptoms.