Support GroupsMany people with anxiety disorders benefit from joining a self-help or support group and sharing their problems and achievements with others. Support groups offer an opportunity for those suffering from an anxiety disorder to help themselves and others, which allows for unique treatment experience. Becoming a participating member of a group with similar experiences and symptoms to ones own can be extremely therapeutic, and further ease the isolation and suffering that accompanies an anxiety disorder. The ADAA offers a search engine to locate anxiety support groups in your area: ADAA Support Groups.
Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy. There is preliminary evidence that aerobic exercise may have a calming effect. Since caffeine, certain illicit drugs, and even some over-the-counter cold medications can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders, they should be avoided. Check with your physician or pharmacist before taking any additional medications.
The family is very important in the recovery of a person with an anxiety disorder. Ideally, the family should be supportive but not help perpetuate their loved one's symptoms. Family members should not trivialize the disorder or demand improvement without treatment. If your family is doing either of these things, you may want to show them this booklet so they can become educated allies and help you succeed in therapy.
American Psychological Association
Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)