POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 61 Anxiety continued Each anxiety disorder has its own specific treatments and goals, but most include some combination of the following strategies: Counselling An effective form of counselling for anxiety is cognitive-behavioural therapy (or ‘CBT’). CBT teaches you how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours work together. A goal of CBT is to identify and change the unhelpful patterns of thinking that feed anxious thoughts. CBT can help you identify problem behaviours and replace them with helpful strategies. It’s often the first treatment to try for mild or moderate problems with anxiety. Medication Some people also find antianxiety or antidepressant medication helpful. Medication can help with the physical feelings of anxiety. It may also make anxious thoughts less frequent or intense, so it can be easier to learn helpful coping strategies. Some people take medication until their anxiety is controlled enough to try therapies like CBT. Support groups Support groups - in person or online - may be a good place to share your experiences, learn from others, and connect with people who understand. Self-help strategies Many different skills can help people manage anxiety, such as stress management, problem solving, and relaxation. Mindfulness - developing awareness of the present moment without judgement - may also help. Practices that support wellness, such as eating well, exercising, having fun, and connecting with others, are also important. How can I help a loved one? Supporting a loved one who is experiencing an anxiety disorder can be difficult.You may not understand why your loved one feels or acts a certain way. Some people who experience an anxiety disorder feel like they have to do things a certain way or avoid things or situations, and this can create frustration or conflict with others. You may feel pressured to take part in these behaviours or adjust your own behaviours to protect or avoid upsetting a loved one. Support can be a delicate balance, but you should expect recovery - in time. Here are some general tips: o Remind yourself that the illness is the problem - anger, frustration, or behaviours related to anxiety are nobody’s fault. o Be patient - learning and practicing new coping strategies takes time. o If your loved one is learning new skills, offer to help them practice. o Listen and offer support, but avoid pushing unwanted advice. o Set boundaries and seek support for yourself, if needed. o If other family members are affected by a loved one’s anxiety disorder, consider seeking family counselling. An anxiety disorder causes unexpected or unhelpful anxiety that seriously impacts our lives, including how we think, feel, and act. Contact the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team [MHMCT] at 1-902-429-8167 or Toll Free 1-888-429-8167 NEED HELP?