Sunday’s Great Anxiety Treatment Debate: Techniques VS Strategies

what is teh best treatment for anxiety?

I wanted to spur a little debate when it comes to todays treatments for anxiety. Many online anxiety and panic attack ‘gurus’ have made quite a living by selling certain techniques that make us believe will lead to an instant cure for anxiety and panic attacks. But they’re not the only ones, many therapists for anxiety/panic disorder today are more then happy to jump on the techniques and trickery bandwagon as well.

I have no problem with techniques to deal with anxiety and panic attacks, but what happens when they stop working or don’t work at all?

The problem I see when so called ‘experts’ hand out these miracle anxiety curing techniques, is that they mask a problem that doesn’t neccessarily take care of the main issue. Take for instance panic attacks, when someone comes to me for coaching advice on dealing with panic attacks I know exactly what that person is dealing with.

“Within 5 minutes of speaking with the panic attack sufferer, I know how deep their pain truly goes”

At this point there are two things I can do:

how to handle anxiety and panic attacks

Now there’s the road you want to be on.

1) Sit down with that person suffering from panic attacks, and give them certain techniques and coping scenarios that will lead to a windy road that takes them around the problem, sometimes.

2) Show them a set strategy that tackles the thought process and actions that leads to full blown panic attacks. Thus moving them through and with their fears in a systematic and guided fashion that builds confidence in the face of their fears.

Do you see the difference?

This is why i’m not a big fan of these itty bitty techniques that only help people cope with anxiety and panic attacks. I believe that in order to turn a monster into a fly, you have to show that monster that you won’t be pushed around by his intimidating ways.

But can a technique be implemented into a strategy to overcome anxiety and panic attacks?

I guess, but it shouldn’t be the end all be all when it comes to the way you handle your anxious conditioning. So here’s my humble advice if you are one of those sufferers searching frantically online for a solution to your bewildering state:

If someone’s idea of treating your anxiety falls solely into the category of techniques and tricks to help you cope, stand up and walk out the door. Find someone who’s been in your anxious shoes, and ask for some concrete and proven advice that leads to a strategy for handling your anxiety and panic attacks naturally.

If you were an expert on the subject of anxiety would you be more on the side of techniques, strategies or a little bit of both? Share your insights in the comments section below.

 

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Athletes And Anxiety / The Life Of A Low Level Tennis Professional Living The Dream…Final Chapter

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We met a few college seniors and they were headed to a house party nearby and we decided to tag along. We met many drunk party animals that night, and although we were all having a good time mingling with each other, in the back of my mind I was trying to answer a few very important questions: How would we be able to finish our trip with the amount of money we had? Where would I find a second or third tennis racquet in case I broke a tennis string in a match? Also, where the hell are we going to stay?

One of the questions were answered quickly because apparently it was common for other drunken university students to pass out at the house they were partying at, so we took the opportunity and found some space and went to sleep. Now if this was later on in my life when I struggled with panic and anxiety disorders, my body would quickly let me know that I was in trouble. If you think that the next day after drinking alcohol was bad think again, the fear of recurring physical sensations of anxiety and the experiences of the morning of your hangover can greatly add to the possibility of having multiple hangovers and panic attacks in the coming days, and they are not fun I can tell you from experience. But back when I didn’t have the fear of physical sensations of anxiety that led to my diagnosis of having health anxiety I was OK, I just had a massive headache, I was a little dehydrated, but I was OK.

2882_191978690156_1926029_nAfter sharing stories about how great each of our nights were and how crappy we were feeling we needed to come up with a plan, my two buddies were quickly becoming home sick and lost the motivation to continue playing tennis tournaments and roughing it out the way we were doing. I couldn’t blame them, it takes true tennis warriors mentally to consistently do what we were doing for a long period, and many low level professional tennis players do just that in the hopes of one day breaking through. My friends had enough money to catch a bus back to Canada and later on that day they decided to end their journey.

Now I was on my own and confused. If I went back now I would have felt like this whole journey was a failure, and I reminded myself that one day I would have a family, a steady job etc., and I would be looking back at these experiences and great memories no matter how difficult things were at the moment. So I continued on in my tennis journey alone. I asked each tournament director in each tournament if it was OK to sleep in my van in the parking lot during tennis tournaments and was allowed each time. I eventually was able to bring in some money through stringing other players’ tennis racquets and it got me through all the way to the end of my six-week tennis journey in California.

It wasn’t the most successful trip result wise and there were no big victories or ATP points earned, but it was a great success to me because when things got tough I could have easily gave up and went back home, but I kept at it. The lessons that these experiences have taught me are priceless and can’t be taught by anyone, only experienced and understood. I returned home a winner in my books and looked forward to the next tennis adventure. But little did I know 6 years of debilitating panic and anxiety would ruin my life soon…

Thanks for reading Athletes and Anxiety a closer look into the life of a low level tennis professional. Follow the anxious athlete blog for your daily dose of inspiration as well as the best anxiety support you’ll find online.