When does anxiety need to be treated? And for how long?

The anxiety can bring many negative impacts to the routine of those who suffer with it. Although, sometimes, it is a punctual case (due to work stress or studies, for example), it is always necessary to know the time to seek treatment.

However, many people are reluctant to seek help, and this is because they do not know exactly when treatment is needed. But the Healthy Minute brings information to help:


When is anxiety worrying?

Anxiety is a completely natural reaction of the human body. However, at times, it can represent a serious problem, significantly impairing the individual’s daily life.

When it comes to limiting a person’s life, it can be considered worrying. Limiting, in this sense, means bringing losses that would not exist if the person did not have anxiety attacks, that is, when they start to impair routine activities.

If, during work, the person has an anxiety attack that hinders their performance, it can be considered a limitation.

Often, people with anxiety disorders experience crises even in situations that are not real risks, such as during work, in the middle of a family lunch, among other situations that should be considered safe or, at least, non-threatening.

As a result, such activities are affected, which can result in significant losses in career, studies, interpersonal relationships, among others. When this occurs, it is a great warning sign that anxiety is worrying.

Is it possible to have anxiety attacks every day?

Yes, it is possible to have crises every day, and it is still possible to have more than one crisis per day.

People with severe cases of anxiety disorders can have panic attacks frequently, which causes significant impairments in their daily functioning.

Often, people who experience anxiety attacks so often suffer from a disorder called Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which means that no specific triggers are identified.

In general, people with anxiety have trigger situations, that is, situations prone to cause anxiety attacks. In the case of generalized anxiety, there are no specific situations that trigger the anxious response, and the person is suddenly like this.

There are also people with panic disorder with agoraphobia, which consists of the presence of panic attacks and a constant fear of having more attacks, which in turn increases tension and triggers a new crisis.

It is a disorder in which fear feeds the picture, causing the person to suffer from it very often.

When does anxiety need to be treated?

It is necessary to treat anxiety when it becomes debilitating and impairs the daily tasks.

Anxiety crises at seemingly random times are a sign that there are problems in regulating anxiety and, therefore, the person needs to seek treatment.

Another sign that anxiety is serious and needs to be addressed is avoidance behavior, which consists of avoiding specific situations to escape the possibility of having an anxiety attack.

In this sense, if a person realizes that going to parties is a potential trigger for an anxiety crisis, he starts to refuse all invitations from friends and no longer attends parties for the sole purpose of preventing anxiety attacks.

The person starts to dodge common activities, but this brings losses, considering that he loses opportunities. In the case of parties, the opportunity to have fun, to meet new people, among others, is lost.

Avoidance behavior can also arise in other contexts, such as at work (which impairs professional life), in studies, in interpersonal relationships, among others.

What happens if I don’t treat anxiety?

In addition to the damage to social, professional and academic life, untreated anxiety can still develop into even more serious conditions.

Anxiety crises can become panic attacks, which are more intense and bring with it a feeling that life is in danger. Often, people with panic attacks confuse symptoms and go to the hospital, believing that they are on the edge between life and death.

This condition is characterized by palpitations, sweating, fear of losing control, fear of death, tingling in the extremities (feet, hands), tremors, difficulty breathing, nausea, chest and abdomen pain, headache , dizziness , among others.

A panic attack is always a very unpleasant experience and it is common for those who experience one topic to be able to go through another.

This ends up leading to the development of a condition called agoraphobia panic disorder, in which the fear of having new panic attacks ends up leading to new crises.

When it reaches this point, the person is usually very weak, unable to lead a functional life (working, studying, relating, etc.). The search for treatment is urgent, in order to avoid consequences such as suicidal ideation and actual suicide attempts.

How long does the treatment for anxiety last?

The treatment time of anxiety depends a lot on the patient’s response, as well as the treatment chosen.

Milder cases can be treated only with psychotherapy, in which the patient learns techniques to deal with anxiety attacks, as well as learns to deal with the triggers that trigger anxiety.

With treatment, it is also possible to reframe situations that cause anxiety, making them no longer anxiogenic.

In such cases, the treatment time depends on the chosen approach. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective approaches that shows results in a short time, with most patients already showing improvements in a few weeks.

Treatment in other approaches, such as psychoanalysis or gestalt therapy, for example, may take a little longer, but in the end it all depends on the way the patient responds to therapy, as well as the relationship between patient and therapist, which is in short importance for effective therapy.

In more severe cases, it is necessary to use medication in conjunction with psychotherapy. In general, anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs are prescribed , which can take about 2 weeks to work.

Drug treatment tends to last a few years, on average 2 years, but it always depends on the patient’s response.

It is also possible that the patient starts treatment with medication, improves for a while, but then needs to readjust the medications and doses because he stops responding to the treatment.

This does not mean that the treatment is ineffective, it just indicates that the brain is trying to balance itself.

Knowing when anxiety needs to be treated can prevent mental health problems and problems . But it is not always easy to know what the moment is.

Therefore, the Healthy Minute brings tips on well-being and mental health!