How Can I Help Myself?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques are clinically-proven to help you challenge the way you think and behave, spotting and challenging thoughts that make you anxious, and reducing your focus on your body and on illness. CBT encourages you to look at the evidence, to challenge negative assumptions and beliefs.
Sometimes this self-help approach works better if you have someone supporting you. Ask your GP if there’s anyone at the surgery who would be able to support you. For some people a self-help approach may not be enough. If this is the case for you, don’t despair – there are other kinds of help available.
Talk to your GP – make an appointment to talk through the different treatment options on offer to you. Your GP can refer you to an NHS therapist for cognitive behavioural therapy – most places now have CBT available on the NHS. If an NHS therapist isn’t available in your area or you’d prefer not to wait to see one, ask your GP to recommend a private therapist.
Although CBT is widely recommended for anxiety problems there are many other kinds of therapy available which you could also discuss with your GP.
Medication can be very helpful for some people and sometimes a combination of medication and psychological therapy can work wonders. However, you need to discuss this form of treatment and any possible side effects with your doctor to work out whether it’s right for you.