If you find yourself troubled by anxiety, you’re not alone. Perhaps you’re struggling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder…maybe from panic attacks (or anxiety attacks)…or maybe you’re here to simply find out how you can get more help and support for your symptoms of anxiety.
There are many available treatment programs for anxiety, and a lot of them are very effective. They may also be somewhat costly – well worth it if relief is found. But outside of these treatments for anxiety, there is a different level of support than can also be very useful for someone experiencing unbearable symptoms of anxiety. These resources may also cost less and are available to anyone!
These resources are NAMI, or the National Alliance on Mental Illness, crisis lines, and Anxiety support groups. You can talk to your therapist (if you have one) about these resources and they should be able to provide you with information about one or all of these. Most Counselors provide patients with a crisis line in the event they are not doing well, perhaps feeling suicidal, and need someone to talk to more immediately.
Crisis lines are available for anyone in “crisis,” as the name implies. Of course, crisis can mean different things to different people. But it is definitely a great free tool for anyone experiencing serious anxiety attacks, or having serious symptoms of anxiety. Crisis lines employ Counselors who are trained in mental health issues and are equipped to walk you through an episode of anxiety (i.e. anxiety or panic attack, intense fear of leaving the house etc.). Crisis lines are also an excellent avenue for finding other resources you may need such as anxiety support groups, the nearest Emergency rooms (if really feeling out of control), to name just a few. You can find the crisis line number in any phone book, or by searching online.
Anxiety support groups are another way to reach out to others who are experiencing the same discomfort as you. Groups can be an excellent way of meeting new friends and of connecting with people who really know what you’re going through. Groups will often have a facilitator who will set up an agenda for the group, but he or she usually acts more as a mediator. You can find support groups by searching on-line for your geographic region, or by checking your local phone book. Many of these are free as well. If you run stuck, try calling your local crisis line.
NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a great resource for all mental health related questions you may have. It is composed of people who have been touched by some form of mental illness, either themselves or a family member. They have a true understanding of what it’s like to have a mental illness, and focus on providing the best education and supports for those experiencing a mental illness such as anxiety disorders. Check out NAMI’s website at http://www.NAMI.org for more information. From the website, you’ll be able to find contact information for your local NAMI chapter. You can also call their National phone number at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
I hope that some combination of all the resources described above will give you the information and tools needed to help manage your anxiety. There are many excellent treatments for anxiety, and I encourage you to continue researching until you find what will work for you! More information about anxiety can be found at http://www.symptomsofanxietydisorder.com