Avoiding the Anxiety Rebound

Anxiety is a feeling of intense discomfort, which drives people to avoid the feared stimuli. Anxiety is defined by avoidance.

It is important to understand that every time we avoid an anxiety-producing situation, our anxiety will be even worse the next time around. Our brains see it like this: "When I avoid this situation, I feel better. I guess I should try to avoid it next time too." This can result in an unwanted rebound, where the anxiety grows in intensity every time the person is confronted with the thing they are afraid of. 

Addressing the thinking errors that might be driving the anxiety is useful, are you using errors in logic that make this situation seem much worse than it actually is?

Sometimes the automatic response is so ingrained that it is difficult to stop without support. A therapist trained in using exposure therapy can help someone gradually become less reactive to something they are afraid of. Intense anxiety can interrupt a person's ability to live their full life, but using these skills, anxiety can managed.

 

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Mollie Wirtz