Helping people dealing with anxiety
People who suffer with anxiety disorders generally become fearful of social interaction, phobias of certain objects or people or may have general anxiety about most things. This can be a crippling disorder without treatment and the person suffering from it will need a lot of support from friends and family.
Mental health experts will play a large role in helping the person get better as well of course. We will take a look at what each staff members role is in helping the sufferer get back to normal.
Mental health experts and their role in helping the patient
Keep the environment calm and relaxing – The last thing an anxiety sufferer will want is to feel uncomfortable in their own homes. Support workers will need to know the person they support well in order to minimize any disturbances that the person will feel uneasy about. The road to recovery can be long for anxiety sufferers and they may never get there if they are constantly on edge.
Be more helpful than usual – Support workers will want to be more helpful when dealing with anxiety sufferers. Unlike some settings you may have worked in where the resident is encouraged to do more for themselves all of the time, anxiety is not like that. It is a slow process. The reason anxiety sufferers do not do things for themselves is due to fear rather than defiance as you would get in other places. Because of that you should be more empathetic towards their needs. Of course you should always encourage them to do it themselves if they are comfortable doing so.
Work with other professionals – You will want to work closely with management, social workers, counselors and therapists to provide the best possible care plan to the resident. Don’t overstep the mark when doing your duties, you are there to carry out the residents care plan as it is set out. If the care plan has been proven not to work, or the residents needs have changed then you should report this to the manager.
Ensure the persons needs are being met – A social worker is the advocate for that person suffering from anxiety. They will be very involved in the care plan of the individual and will be setting up meetings with the resident and anyone involved with them to figure out the best course of action.
Make sure the person is happy where they are – Social workers will want to know if the person is happy in the setting they find themselves in and if it is suitable for them. If not, they should look at ways of improving the place they live first. If they cannot work out a solution then they will think about moving them to another setting which is more suitable for their recovery.
Find resources and ways to help the anxiety sufferer – Doctors appointments, specialist treatment plans, group therapy sessions and anything else which may be hindering the resident should be looked at to try to help the patient with their recovery program. Every anxiety sufferer is different so this will need to be the right one for them for it to work as intended.
Find the reason for the anxiety – This is the most important first step for a counselor to find out. Once you know this, you can start to make a care plan which will be effective for the person. Not only that but the patient will not be able to recover unless they face up to the reason for their anxiety and actively tackle it themselves.
Look for something else – Anxiety sufferers may be suffering with some other forms of mental health problem as well. For this reason, it is important to make sure that anxiety is actually the only thing they suffer with. If they have some other mental health problem, that could be the cause of their anxiety which could make treating their anxiety pointless if it is just a symptom of something much bigger.
Let them know it is not permanent – Having a professional tell you that your ailment is not permanent can have a very positive impact on your mood. It can give the patient hope that if they can find a way of recovering, they can permanently rid themselves of the awful thing holding them back for so long. Don’t take this step for granted, it is a massive part of the recovery.
Introduce them to ways of dealing with anxiety – This can come in the form of helping them to control their thoughts or it can be teaching the person certain coping mechanisms which they can fall back on when feeling anxious or afraid. This helps them to deal with the anxiety better making it more likely they will try to do normal activities which inevitably leads to recovery.
If possible, avoid prescribing anything – The best recovery is a natural one. All drugs will do is mask the problem rather than finding a solution for it. It is much healthier to find the cause of the problem and deal with it rather than hiding it. Things like anxiety and depression are there for a reason. It is telling you that something is wrong and it needs fixing. If you simply eradicate the “feeling” without eradicating the cause then it will simply come back at a later date, or once you become immune to the drugs you were taking.