Anxiety Treatment in Thailand
Although many medical practitioners or psychiatrists may describe anxiety as a nervous disorder. Counsellors and therapists offering solutions for anxiety treatment in Thailand often prefer to use more therapeutic and supportive explanations. Many also recognise that anxiety is a feeling of unease experienced by everyone at some point in their lives. However, people may identify with associated words or feelings to describe such unease. Some of these may include: irritability, doubt, apprehension, uncertainty, nervousness, restlessness, dread, feeling on edge, and distress and panic.
Some people are more affected by anxiety than offers and may also experience differing levels of anxiety at specific times in their lives. Feelings of anxiety may become more frequent and constant or continue to increase having negative effects on their daily lives. The main form of anxiety we are referring to here is GAD (General Anxiety Disorder).
Following an initial telephone conversation, and the completion of a client questionnaire before the first appointment, we are then able to recommend the most appropriate course of treatment. In most cases, because we are well qualified and experienced, this may include signposting to counselling. However, in exceptional circumstances, if we are concerned about your mental wellbeing or welfare, we will make an immediate recommendation to book an appointment with a medical doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.
THE MAIN FOUR TYPES OF ANXIETY AND ASSOCIATED SYMPTOMS
General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This is the most common type of anxiety. It refers to those who experience continuous and/or excessive worry. Sufferers may believe they have little or no control over it, and find it interferes with their daily life, work and socializing and can escalate over time without seeking help. Sometimes an individual can pin point their experience of increased anxiety to specific events or higher than usual levels of stress. At other times, there are no apparent reasons.
Physical symptoms of GAD may include one or more of the following:
- Constant nervousness, sweating, irritability, increased heart beat (also referred to as palpitations), dry mouth, shortness of breath, fatigue, sleep problems e.g., insomnia
Mental/emotional symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Overthinking, continuous worrying and projection around worst case scenarios particularly perceived threats of unrealistic harm around situations and events.
- Extreme levels of fear, uncertainty, self-doubt and often paranoia particularly when it comes to decision making.
- Difficulties relaxing, concentrating or feeling constantly on edge where you (or other people) find themselves walking on eggshells for fear of escalating the situation, emotions or circumstances.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
This can be described as a behavioural pattern that includes and often combines obsessions and compulsions. To the sufferer, they can be described as a learned behaviour or coping strategy to deal with associated feelings of anxiety. Failure for this to occur can produce extreme physical and emotional symptoms. To non-sufferers or the untrained/unskilled they may seem like excessive and/or unreasonable behaviours.
Symptoms or noticeable behaviours of OCD may include one or more of the following:
- High or extreme levels of discomfort, fear or unease round dirt, hygiene and uncleanliness which may also include extreme anxiety around touching objects other people have touched and intimate physical contact; kissing, holding hands etc.
- Obsessive need to clean repeatedly with the inability to stop, example cleaning surfaces or washing hands so often until skin becomes raw, or even crack and bleed.
- Obsessive need for order with regards to organization, things being done or placed in a certain way. g., repeatedly, arranging canned goods so they face the same way
- Checking doors are locked, lights off, stove off.
- Counting in certain patterns
Social Anxiety Disorder
Sometimes this can be referred to as social phobia. This is when an overwhelming fear and anxiety in social situations, become highly distressing. This can lead to panic attacks, and may result in increased isolation, due to the withdrawal from friends, family members, intimate relationships and the outside world.
- Fear of social or contact situations in which you worry about being judged, embarrassed, humiliated or mocked and the physical symptoms that others may notice such as sweating, stuttering, blushing and even trembling.
- High levels of intensified fears communicating with strangers or new acquaintances including: starting conversations, eating in front of others or even making eye contact.
- Excuses and avoidance of situations before, during and after that involve social interaction particularly ones where the sufferer may be in the limelight or center of attention.
- Expecting the worst possible consequences from a negative experience during a social situation
A panic attack occurs when an individual experiences sudden and unexpected increased levels of fear and discomfort. Panic Disorder can be described as repeated unexpected panic attacks.
Symptoms are very similar to those experienced with general anxiety disorder and may include; increased or rapid heartbeat, sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches and dizziness.
- Panic attacks are the number one symptom people associate or experience when they have any kind of panic disorder initially the sufferer may think they occur without warning in various situations driving, business meetings, shopping malls or even whilst sleeping. However, by learning the subtle symptoms occurring before the sufferer may be able to control and mange them.
- Often panic attacks can subside after a few minutes they can be not just incredibly intense but also be exhausting and drain emotional and mental energy
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CAUSES OF ANXIETY?
As discussed earlier, there are various types of anxiety. Causes can vary but the most common causes of anxiety are as follows:
Stress: Work, school, financial, marriage/relationship problems, and grief or loss of a loved one.
Depression: Can often co-occur with anxiety. In the majority of cases, therapy for anxiety can also help reduce symptoms of depression and vice-versa.
Alcohol: Often used as a coping mechanism for many of the symptoms discussed. More information for help with alcohol problem can be found on our alcohol & substance abuse page.
Trauma: A traumatic event experienced in the past or recently can trigger increased anxiety and have a lasting and enduring effect on mental and emotional well-being and ability to participate in daily life. Treating trauma is a specialist area of therapy. Please contact us and we can recommend an experienced trauma informed practitioner either in Chiang Mai or online.
Genetics: whilst it’s possible to have anxiety without it running in your family. More and more researchers are concluding that there is a link between genes and anxiety disorders.
DOES DEPRESSION CAUSE ANXIETY OR DOES ANXIETY CAUSE DEPRESSION?
As discussed earlier, people who struggle with one or more of the types of anxiety can also identify with feelings of depression. Depression is a mood disorder. It is more than just feeling unhappy or a bit low for a couple of days. Like anxiety, depression negatively affects thoughts, feelings and behaviours and can have a major impact on mental, emotional and physical well-being. More information about the causes and symptoms and finding a therapist in Thailand for depression can be found on the appropriate page.
HOW CAN THERAPY SERVICES IN CHIANG MAI HELP TO REDUCE ANXIETY?
When looking for therapist for anxiety treatment in Thailand whether that be Bangkok or Chiang Mai the majority can only offer non-medication related therapies. In some cases, however, medication may be a helpful addition to such therapies.
WE ADVISE THAT ANYONE SUFFERING WITH SYMPTOMS OF SEVERE ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION SHOULD CONTACT A QUALIFIED AND PRACTICING MEDICAL DOCTOR OR PSYCHIATRIST.
These can be found in private clinics or local hospitals. They can conduct full psychological assessments, and followed up with prescribed medication if necessary. The two most well-known private hospitals in Chiang Mai for foreign visitors and residents are Chiang Mai Ram and Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai branch. Similar establishments in Bangkok include Bumrungrad International Hospital.
ANYONE WITH THOUGHTS OR ANY INTENTION TO HARM THEMSELVES OR COMMIT SUICIDE SHOULD EITHER CONTACT ONE OF THE SOURCES ABOVE OR LOCAL PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL. THE MOST WELL-KNOWN ONE IN CHIANG MAI IS Suanprung Hospital. and Manarom Hospital in Bangkok.
THERAPIES TO MANAGE OR HELP TO DECREASE ANXIETY?
Very similar to people who suffer from mild and moderate depression the following therapies can be extremely affective for reducing and managing anxiety, all of which are available with our experienced therapists in Chiang Mai, Bangkok and online.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is one of the most well-known approaches worldwide for people suffering from anxiety and mild to moderate depression. By engaging in the process of CBT, clients can identify problems, change thinking patterns, and face their fears. With increased confidence, they can learn and implement new coping strategies for unexpected challenges and difficult situations. Mild and moderate depression can include many negative feelings, emotions and behaviours, including isolation, loneliness, low mood, extreme sadness, constant worry, lack of purpose and meaning in life, and disconnection from others and self. Other forms or talk therapy can be found by visiting our counselling and therapy services page.
Hypnotherapy: Many of our negative thoughts, experiences and learned behaviors originate and are stored deep within our subconscious minds and influence our conscious thoughts, behaviours, actions and reactions. Anxiety often arises from a single or sometimes a series or collection of negative experiences. Our brain memorises these experiences at the deepest level and tries to protect us when similar situations are about to reoccur. It does by warning us by evoking various thoughts and feelings resulting in the production of the many symptoms discussed earlier. Hypnosis allows clients to identify emotions, explore relevant (and some seemingly irrelevant) negative thoughts, and then reframe them by observing and experiencing them through a different lens. Hypnotherapy has been proven to be a very effective therapy for anxiety. Many of our clients have experienced significant changes as a result of our wide range of hypnotherapy services for anxiety in Chiang Mai.
Humanistic/Person-Centered Counselling: Spending time exploring the origins and causes of anxiety and depression can be helpful. From this, knowledge of triggers, negative associations, obstacles, challenges and goals can be identified. Then the inner resources can be explored, energized and developed, and further sources of support identified.
Holistic treatment: There are various kinds of holistic treatments and mindfulness techniques to help reduce anxiety including yoga therapy, meditation, Qi Gong and various singing bowel practices such as Tibetan and Crystal. Many of our local clients attend various workshops and classes at Chiang Mai Holistic Wellness Centre and we highly recommend their services to anyone either visiting or living in Chiang Mai.
Medication: Medication has been proven to help with the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety. However, our experience tells us that unless it is combined with a talking therapy or one of the alternative therapies discussed above, the root cause will not be addressed. Medication can be useful where appropriate. Such recommendations need to be made by a qualified medical doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist. They will only prescribe medication after a full psychological assessment has been completed and advise their patients on both the benefits and possible side effects. Decisions then be made as to whether to try alternative therapies first, vice versa or a combination of both.
We cannot give any medical advice or recommendations when it comes to any aspect of medication.
We recommend you contact one of the contacts above, or a licensed medical practitioner in your home country who is aware of your full medical history.
WHERE TO FIND A THERAPIST IN CHIANG MAI TO HELP MANAGE ANXIETY
Brett Thornton is an experienced therapist in Chiang Mai. He has many years’ experience helping his clients manage and find solutions to help with anxiety, and in guiding people to achieve their full potential.
The first step, is to make the initial contact. As many of the independent reviews state, Brett has an understanding, empathetic approach, and a warm, natural and compassionate nature. Many people have reported feeling an immediate trust and hope, even from the initial phone call.
Following on, Brett isn’t pushy and only asks clients to commit to one initial session. Generally, a client will attend their therapy session on their own. However, Brett fully understands that it can be a big step to attend for the first session, and if necessary allowances can be made. So, if a client suffering from anxiety wishes to bring a friend or relative for support, they can wait outside in waiting room or be present during part or all of the initial session.
Contact us today for a FREE confidential 15-minute no-obligation telephone or video call
“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” ~Walter Anderson