Everyone who has anxiety just wants to get rid of it. Many therapists, some of them unscrupulous, lure desperate sufferers by promising that anxiety can “evaporate”, “float away” or “disappear”. It seldom does, especially using their flawed and expensive gimmicks. The chances are you already know this. Most of the therapists that use such language are either charging a high hourly rate for weekly sessions which in the long term achieve little, or are selling an equally expensive “programme” or “system”.
They are not all con-artists, some of them believe in their techniques for good reason: they have helped stressed-out professionals to relax a little or a down-in-the-dumps widow’s mood to lift. They, by and large, have not cured anxiety and, although they may well be full of anecdotes, they can not produce living examples or peer reviewed statistical evidence that supports them. Often they tell you how frustrated they are that the medical profession will not accept them. The medical profession, arrogant and backward as it can be, has good reason to be suspicious.
So if miracle cures for anxiety do not exist then what help is there for you? Plenty! As while instantaneous miracles do not occur you can make changes which will permanently free you from your anxiety and panic. On this site I have listed some of the therapies I have used and comment on their efficacy. Often it won’t be quick, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. If I were you I’d, right now, give yourself permission to take as long as you need to overcome your anxiety; better that it takes a year and works than having it fail in two weeks. At the same time, paradoxically, you should be open to the idea of being free of it much sooner. I say ‘be open to the idea’ don’t grasp it and demand an instant cure.
Here’s my advice, as an ex-sufferer:
1) Let go of wanting an instant cure. Be prepared to earn your cure and become a stronger person. Remember that it doesn’t have to be awful.
How would you feel if your anxiety or panic evaporated or somehow just disappeared? Most anxiety sufferers would say they would feel amazing and over the moon! But would they? Actually you don’t feel anxiety most of the time anyway, so in a sense your anxiety disappears all the time. You consider yourself to have anxiety, though, as you know it will come back. So how would you know if say your hypnotherapist made your anxiety disappear? Some days without anxiety would pass and gradually it would, one presumes, fade into your personal history. But you would never be sure, and one day the natural emotion and symptoms of anxiety or panic would rear their ugly head and you would be back to square one. How can I be sure? I’ve been there. Everyone feels the symptoms of anxiety at sometime in their life although not everyone labels them as such. I had had full blown panic attacks and lengthy periods of anxiety so I was sensitized to recognise the very first signs, the feeling in the pit of my stomach that “normal” people would call nervousness.
As soon as I felt those natural feelings again I was right back where I had started. I tell you this to stress my belief that you can’t just take away the anxiety, you also have to remove your fear of anxiety returning and your label of yourself as an anxious person. For me, the path to no longer having anxiety was a series of steps and small jumps. No one made me believe I was over my anxiety, I proved it to myself as I lived my life. Things that you learn yourself through experience are far more embedded in you than things you are told, ask any teacher! And you want to be permanently free of anxiety, don’t you?
So despite the fact that doctors seem to prefer to talk about controlling rather than curing anxiety I am not afraid to describe myself as cured. I am cured because I no longer have anxiety, am not scared of it returning, and consider myself to be as normal and able as the next person.
There are three important things there. Firstly I had to learn to not fear anxiety returning. That was most important. Secondly I had to respect myself and understand that I was as capable and good as the next person, and that the time I had “wasted” in having anxiety, and the things I had missed were still obtainable.
2) It is better to have exciting things in front of you rather than behind you. Often the anxiety sufferer can feel amazingly low self esteem as they see the world pass them by. Changing self-image can be an important part of the recovery.
3) Be open to the idea that there may be a positive outcome. Often sufferers are told to “think positive”. Such a statement is a waste of breath. On the other hand many people feel, after trying out a few flawed therapies, that they are incurable, that nothing can help them. I learnt early on to just be open to the possibility that I might actually get over my anxiety. To believe in the possibility of a positive outcome was possible.
So forget instant cures, prepare yourself for some work, and be open to a positive outcome. Then start hunting out the therapies that have been proven to work, and chose the one that’s best for you. It doesn’t have to be expensive (I cured myself from books), and it doesn’t have to be horrid. You will succeed.