When it comes to successful anxiety treatments there are two phases. Firstly is overcoming anxiety from our past. Some specific events may need to have their emotional content down regulated. Other situations may require new techniques and strategies.
The second phase will be the anxiety management. The using of tools and strategies to reduce the anxiety levels and keep them there. Combine this with a deliberate approach by clients to grow and develop as people. To do more things, to meet more people, and to take on more responsibilities. This is the phase that is referred to as the treatment phase. During this period a lot of people will make progress. Most will gain a certain amount of independence and self-esteem. The second phase of anxiety treatment is successful in that most people will not suffer the same anxiety symptoms that caused them so much trouble in the past.
As we will see in this article anxiety is a highly variable disorder. Meaning that it is possible for someone to suffer from crippling anxiety and yet be fine at work, and have moments of uncharacteristically severe anxiety – that is the point.
As mentioned earlier, some people will struggle more than others during this phase. As such, it is highly individualized. This phase is really important because it allows the sufferer to develop and practice new coping mechanisms to manage their anxiety. It allows the sufferer to learn new methods of problem solving. When the anxiety is reduced, it allows the sufferer to tackle their problems more successfully. It is during this period that people actually see the improvements.
Phase III – Maintenance
Once the person has been dealing with their anxiety successfully for two phases, they can move onto phase III. Maintenance. During maintenance the sufferer is able to return to their everyday lives, and their jobs. With maintenance it is suggested that the sufferer continues the progress they have made so far. They continue to practice the coping strategies they have developed and continue to meet people and circumstances that allow them to feel confident again. This is really the end of the road for some sufferers.
Phase IV – Recovery
Once the sufferer has been able to overcome their anxiety for three cycles, they can move onto the final phase of recovery. During the recovery period the sufferer can go back to their daily life and jobs, and continue to develop their skills. During this period the sufferer is able to put the entire experience behind them. It is during this phase that the sufferer is able to make plans for the future, enjoy life again, and develop positive relationships.
The process of getting over anxiety disorder is long, torturous, and frustrating. And it can go on indefinitely. So long as the sufferer continues to take the medications prescribed to them, so long as they are willing to stay on treatment and adhere to the plan, so long as they get the help they need. But ultimately the process is successful when the sufferer is able to return to their lives, jobs, and relationships.
The reason this approach works is that all the treatment methods discussed thus far are coping methods. If the sufferer decides to use one of those coping methods, that does not mean they will stop being anxious, they mean that their current problem will go away. That is the reason this system works. But if the sufferer decides to try a new coping method that means their problem will go away. And of course that is the reason this system fails: the new coping method will not be successful in the absence of the current coping method.
To use the other explanation of the brain:
In the beginning of the process of anxiety disorder recovery one of the sufferer’s brain cells may start to fire a little. That is because the sufferer’s brain will temporarily connect two things together. That connection is called activation. Activation is our brain’s way of telling us to act. If activation were strong enough we would immediately feel anxious. In the first phase of the recovery process (at the onset of the problem), the brain will temporarily connect the threat of losing a loved one or career to something else. The threat remains, but we don’t know what to do with it. So we give the threat some meaning, some action, some coping ability. The solution is in the way of that action. For example, that action could be an “I love you.” But you can’t actually do that because your brain doesn’t know how to connect those two things together. That is why you feel anxious. All the connection is done except for the action part. So your brain will activate that “I love you” when you say it. But your brain won’t activate the action part when you do something like hug someone. The hugging part of the solution is done automatically by your brain. So you don’t feel anxious in the moment. That is because your brain wasn’t activated yet.
We see that the way we feel is influenced by the way the brain functions. That is why in the recovery phase we tend to recover the feeling of those areas in our brain that control our emotions and our behavior. Those parts are recovered when we experience the words “I love you” as much as we want, and experience their meaning in the same way.
In the first phase, we try to stop thinking about those words and try to imagine the words “I love you” as little as possible. During the recovery phase, our brain should become activated with those words. In the meantime, we experience the dilemma. In the second phase, we reduce the activation of the corresponding parts of our brain, and in the meantime, we feel a pleasantness. The third phase has a more positive experience. During this phase, we reduce the pleasantness and finally the pleasantness to the level of the original meaning of the words, and finally the original meaning of our life.
As I understand, the way to prevent the craziness or to control it is the same way we want to prevent it, or to control the onset: by reducing the activation of the brain, by reducing the pleasure and by reducing the intensity of the experience of the meaning of the words.