When Anxiety Hits...

Discussion in 'Dr. Bruce Hubbard (Psychologist, CBT)' started by MattK, May 19, 2014.

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    1. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Dr Hubbard,

      I think a common questions a lot of us want to know is what should we do when we feel anxious? The problem is that often these feelings happen when we're alone, not in session. And sometimes they can happen during a time when we can't really help but be alone, e.g. it's midnight, you're feel anxious, you can't sleep, and there is no one to talk to.

      During moments like these, what would be a good way to cope to get use through? Also, is it possible to be anxious but not depressed? Can you be depressed, but not anxious?
      • Like Like x 1
    2. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi Matt

      Great question! It's important to understand that emotions are normal brain responses to real hardships. The best medicine is to consistently change your behavior in a positive direction over time. However, there are steps we can take to sand the edge off anxiety in the moment that can provide relief and help us get moving:
      1. Get perspective - have some cognitive coping statements prepared in advance, you can even work these out with your therapist. When you're anxious, take these out and read them. The statements should be realistic, hopeful, and personally relevant (e.g., "I'm hurting now, but I know that I am taking the steps needed to habituate and adapt to tinnitus. I must be patient, but over time, my experience will improve. I have a lot of good things in my life and won't let tinnitus overshadow me. I choose to live!).
      2. Take a moment to breathe out the anxiety - inhale deeply (using your diaphragm), hold for a second and exhale slowly through pursed lips (a "sigh of relief"). Do this three or four times. If you practice mindfulness, this would be a good time to "breathe into the anxiety", to soften your experience.
      3. Get out of your head and into your life by getting busy with something you can get lost in. For example, do something for someone else!
      Hope that helps,
      Dr Hubbard
      • Helpful Helpful x 4
    3. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hey Matt,
      i see your question is a two-parter:

      While there is about an 80% overlap between anxiety and depressive symptoms, they can definitely occur independently. Depression is characterized by hopelessness, fatigue, anhedonia (reduction or complete loss of pleasure); anxiety is the anxious anticipation of danger.

      Best wishes
      Dr Hubbard

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