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How Effective is Therapy For Overcoming Anxiety? (6 Tips, Stories & Examples)

by Hugo

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Anxiety, an overwhelming feeling many of us encounter, often becomes a relentless barrier to our daily lives and happiness. Left unaddressed, this creeping dread can suffocate one’s spirit, stealing joy from life’s moments and clouding clarity.

In this article, we’ll delve into the transformative power of therapy, revealing actionable tips and authentic experiences that highlight its effectiveness in battling anxiety’s grip.

We’ve interviewed 80 people struggling with anxiety. Out of those people, 51 said that therapy helped them overcome anxiety. Let’s see what helped these people most.

👉 Share your story: Help thousands of people around the world by sharing your own story. We would love to publish your interview and have a positive impact on the world together. Learn more here.

Most recent stories

We’re constantly interviewing people about their journeys. Below are the 3 most recent interviews we’ve published with people who struggled with anxiety but learned to live with it with the help of therapy.

6 tips from the people we’ve interviewed

Therapy is an effective way to overcome anxiety. Here are 6 stories from others that will show you the different ways that therapy has helped others overcome anxiety.

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1. Robyn triumphs over anxiety with resilience and therapy

Robyn, a resident of Alberta, Canada, and an avid traveler, shares her deeply personal journey of grappling with anxiety. Her story sheds light on the physical manifestations of her anxiety, the challenges of finding a diagnosis, and the transformative power of therapy and self-awareness.

Robyn emphasizes the importance of being open during therapy sessions and practicing the techniques and strategies at home. She mentions that after about 2 months of therapy, she began to recognize herself again. She also highlights the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in her healing process.

Robyn advises others struggling with anxiety to prioritize their mental health and seek support. She emphasizes that taking time for oneself is not a sign of weakness but strength. She also mentions that therapy helped her gain insight into her triggers and control them more effectively.

Here’s a link to Robyn’s full interview that contains other helpful advice!

💡 By the way: Do you find it hard to be happy and in control of your life? It may not be your fault. To help you feel better, we’ve condensed the information of 100’s of articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet to help you be more in control. 👇

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2. How Mark navigates the storms of depression and anxiety with therapy and tenacity

Mark Joseph, a 32-year-old digital marketer from St. Louis, MO, candidly shares his seven-year-long battle with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and anxiety. His journey, marked by moments of despair and hope, emphasizes the importance of seeking help, embracing therapy, and the power of self-care in managing mental health.

Mark emphasizes the importance of recognizing and accepting that his mental health issues were real and needed attention. This realization was crucial for him to seek the help he required. Mark sought help from therapists and mental health professionals. They played a significant role in helping him understand his depression and anxiety better. With their guidance, he learned about triggers, coping strategies, and tools to use when feeling overwhelmed.

Mark adopted healthy coping mechanisms such as yoga and mindfulness, which aided him in staying present and managing his emotions. These techniques, combined with therapy, were instrumental in his journey to better mental health.

Here’s a link to Mark’s full interview that contains other helpful advice!

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3. Ashley rediscovered joy through therapy, medication and nature

Ashley Kaiser, a physical therapist and freelance copywriter residing in Tucson, Arizona, recounts her challenging journey with depression and anxiety. Beginning with a sense of burnout in her healthcare career, Ashley’s struggles escalated, leading her to question her very existence and purpose. The weight of her mental health challenges made it difficult for her to even get out of bed for almost an entire year.

Ashley’s turning point came when she sought help, leading her to a primary care doctor who prescribed Lexapro, a medication for both anxiety and depression. While the medication provided a chemical reset she needed, Ashley emphasizes that it was only a part of her recovery. She made significant changes in her career, reducing her patient load to prevent burnout. Additionally, she found solace in trail running, immersing herself in nature, and setting ambitious race goals, which became therapeutic for her.

Ashley’s advice to others battling similar challenges is clear: “My biggest piece of advice to someone struggling with anxiety or depression is to seek help. Sometimes you can’t fix it on your own and that’s perfectly alright. The sooner you allow yourself to be vulnerable and let those around you support you, the closer you are to finding peace.”

Here’s a link to Ashley’s full interview that contains other helpful advice!

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4. How therapy helped Mary navigate anxiety towards self-understanding

Mary O’Hara, a mental health therapist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, delves into her personal struggles with Generalized Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD. Her story is a testament to the complexities of mental health, where she describes the challenges of managing ADHD symptoms, the onset of anxiety and depression during her childhood, and the profound impact of her parents’ divorce on her mental well-being.

Mary’s journey to healing began with a pivotal moment when her boyfriend’s words made her realize the extent of her struggles and their impact on those around her. This realization led her to seek therapy, where she embarked on a multi-year journey of self-discovery and healing. Through therapy, Mary learned the importance of setting healthy boundaries, especially in her work environment. She also delved into understanding her childhood trauma and its influence on her adult life. Mary emphasizes the significance of self-awareness, self-compassion, and the need to separate one’s identity from their job or career. She also highlights the transformative power of therapy in helping her understand her experiences, set boundaries, and embrace her true self.

Mary’s advice to others is heartfelt: “Struggling is normal, it is okay to talk to someone about it. Don’t get in your own way. The temporary discomfort of healing is so much easier and shorter than the prolonged discomfort from fear of happiness.”

Here’s a link to Mary’s full interview that contains other insightful reflections!

5. How Bryan overcame anxiety with a renewed Purpose through therapy

Bryan Davis, a special education teacher from Tyler, Texas, candidly shares his prolonged battle with Major Depressive Disorder, which began in his teenage years. His story is a poignant reflection on the profound effects of medication side-effects, the challenges of low testosterone, and the spiraling descent into alcoholism. Bryan’s narrative paints a vivid picture of the isolation and despair that can accompany depression, further exacerbated by societal stigmas and personal struggles.

Bryan’s journey to recovery was multifaceted. Recognizing the detrimental effects of alcohol, he sought help through online outpatient rehab and therapy. While talk therapy wasn’t his preferred method, both programs introduced him to the therapeutic power of journaling. Embracing this practice, Bryan maintained two journals—one for sobriety and another for mental health. Alongside journaling, Bryan replaced the urge to drink with walking, a simple yet transformative habit that not only improved his physical health but also his mental well-being. This newfound clarity and motivation led him to delve into fitness, eventually collaborating with a personal trainer, Mike Gettier, who provided invaluable support and guidance. Bryan’s commitment to self-improvement didn’t stop there; he pursued courses in life coaching, nutrition, and even launched his website, Mentally39, to share his insights and experiences.

Bryan’s heartfelt advice to others is encapsulated in his belief in change and perseverance: “I want people to know that there is help and that you can change. Is it going to be easy? Probably not. Especially at the beginning. Think of it as learning a new skill or a new sport. Something that you have never done before… But you have to take that first step and get help. That pro isn’t going to come to find you.”

Here’s a link to Bryan’s full interview, where he delves deeper into his journey and offers more insights.

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6. How therapy helped Lark recognize and rise above anxiety

Lark Begin provides an intimate look into her life-long battle with depression and anxiety. From the early days of university, where a heartbreak marked the onset of her struggles, to the challenges of postpartum depression after childbirth, Lark’s story is a testament to the insidious nature of these mood disorders. Despite the darkness, her resilience and determination to seek help shine through, offering hope to others in similar situations.

Lark’s journey to mental well-being was marked by multiple interventions. Initially, the manifestation of her depression as an eating disorder prompted her parents to push her towards therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) played a pivotal role in her recovery, helping her understand the root causes of her feelings. Medication, too, became an essential part of her healing process, especially during her pregnancies. Lark emphasizes the importance of self-help, recommending books like “Mind Over Mood” and “Beyond Positive Thinking.” These resources, combined with therapy and medication, equipped her with the tools to navigate her challenges and maintain a semblance of balance in her life.

Lark’s advice is grounded in her personal experiences: “I wish I knew the signs to look for when it came to having a bad day vs. being depressed. I didn’t think I had a treatable issue (depression). I thought I was just prone to having bad days. Depression is a medical condition and not a personal failure.” She underscores the importance of recognizing the symptoms, understanding that it’s okay to seek help, and remembering that mood disorders don’t define one’s worth or capabilities.

Here’s a link to Lark’s full interview, where she delves deeper into her experiences and shares more insights!

💡 By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, I’ve condensed the information of 100’s of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. 👇

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Wrapping up

The journey through anxiety is deeply personal, yet universally resonant. The stories shared here underscore the transformative power of therapy, offering hope and actionable insights to those grappling with similar challenges. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Every story, every experience, adds to the collective understanding of mental health. Let’s continue to share, learn, and support one another on this path to well-being.

👉 Share your story: Help thousands of people around the world by sharing your own story. We would love to publish your interview and have a positive impact on the world together. Learn more here.

Hugo Huijer AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Founder of Tracking Happiness, with over 100 interviews and a focus on practical advice, our content extends beyond happiness tracking. Hailing from the Netherlands, I’m a skateboarding enthusiast, marathon runner, and a dedicated data junkie, tracking my happiness for over a decade.

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