How to Accept an Anxiety Diagnosis

1.

Get a physical exam. Give your doctor all of your personal history so that other conditions can be ruled out. Describe your anxiety symptoms in detail. Your doctor may also administer various screening tests to help diagnose anxiety disorder.

2.

Get treatment. Most anxiety disorders respond well to treatment, although for some it may mean long-term therapy or medications. Most doctors will start your treatment with therapy and perhaps an antidepressant. Commit yourself to a healthy lifestyle including a good diet, exercise and rest. You may need to eliminate caffeine or other medications and supplements that worsen your anxiety.

3.

Face your anxiety head-on. Don't fight your anxiety, but instead become detached and study it. Act as if you are not anxious. Know what triggers it and realize that there will probably always be some anxiety in the future--but now you are in control, not the disorder. Try to change your mindset so that the anxiety no longer dictates how you think and feel. When you accept your anxiety, you are now one step closer to taking your life back.

Tips and Warnings

  • Enlist the help and support of friends and family members. At home, challenge yourself to battle your irrational thoughts and learn to accept uncertainty. Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and meditation. This will improve your ability to relax so your anxiety does not have such a stronghold. Research. Read all you can about your anxiety disorder or join a local support group. Support groups help people realize they are not alone, bringing you closer to accepting your diagnosis. As you progress further into your treatment and start to recover, you can help other newly diagnosed people deal with their anxiety.
  • If you choose not to get treatment for your anxiety disorder, realize that in time your anxiety could cause serious physical issues. They include, but are not limited to: gastrointestinal disorders (such as irritable bowel syndrome), obesity, headaches, allergies and respiratory problems. In addition, make sure to carefully discuss any medications your doctor prescribes as some may carry undesirable side effects--especially if you suddenly quit taking them.
  • Anxiety can be scary and truly interrupt activities, relationships and life in general. It goes beyond general worry and disrupts day-to-day life. Getting a proper diagnosis is vital to beginning appropriate treatment. Many people never seek treatment for anxiety and continue to live life with this sometimes debilitating disorder. Perhaps they refuse to accept they have an anxiety disorder or are convinced that it is some other health problem. But there is hope.