Anticipatory Anxiety: How to Handle Worries About the Future
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If your own coping strategies are not helping, you could explore professional help. A therapist can help to find sources of stress and help to address possible causes. They can also help you identify harmful or less effective coping methods.
Therapists may recommend cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or exposure therapy.
Anticipatory anxiety can appear as a symptom of generalised anxiety disorder.
Other conditions can also involve a fear of possible future events:
Anticipatory anxiety is worrying about the bad things that could happen. The anxiety typically focuses on things you can't control or predict.
While fears are normal, they can become signs of anticipatory anxiety if they start to interfere with your daily life.
It's often not easy to talk about what you're afraid of, but voicing those fears can help them seem less scary.
Letting loved ones know about your anxiety can also help, especially if you feel isolated because of your symptoms. Friends can offer support by listening and providing a distraction.
How you talk to yourself about anxiety will affect you.
When you start to worry about something, ask yourself if it is a realistic possibility.
With anticipatory anxiety, you may spend many hours imagining the worst-case scenario.
Medication may help improve symptoms, especially when combined with therapy.
Medication may be recommended if your symptoms:
Potential medications include beta-blockers, benzodiazepines (sedatives), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and other antidepressants.
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