Anxiety disorders are often associated with service members — and understandably so. Conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety-related issues often arise from the trauma that occurs to service members during times of conflict. However, those who are close to military men and women may also suffer from anxiety disorders. The spouses of military personnel are among the most immediately exposed to the trauma that their partners may have suffered while on duty. As a result, many spouses of service members also end up developing anxiety disorders.
Anxiety counselling is a treatment option for military spouses. As opposed to taking medication, counselling gets to the root of the problem and gives patients the tools they need to handle their condition on a daily basis.
Here's how anxiety counselling can be a useful tool for family health in military families.
It helps in controlling thoughts and other cognitive processes
Much of anxiety arises from how people perceive the world around them. If you're always shrouded in negative thoughts and fear, you may end up having many different phobias, panic attacks, or social adjustment complications. Patients with anxiety typically develop negative thoughts due to their experiences. In particular, military spouses may have a hard time controlling their negative perceptions due to what happened to their loved ones.
The good news is that anxiety counselling can help alleviate these complications. Behavioural therapy is a critical component of counselling, and it helps you adjust how you perceive the outside world. Your brain will be trained to react more positively to situations and to control negative outlooks.
Exposing patients to what they fear
Anxiety counselling can also help military spouses tackle their fears head-on. By sharing what you feel with a counsellor and having a more positive outlook, you can confront your phobias and eventually learn how to deal with them.
Anxiety counselling may also involve a combination of exposure therapy techniques to assist with handling your fears. You may be exposed to specific situations that you dread within a controlled environment for a period of time. For example, some military spouses fear watching the news because they may hear that their loved one is in danger while in active combat. Others may face anxiety due to being away from their loved ones for long periods.
Exposure therapy counselling sessions mimic these fears at less intensity and within reasonable boundaries. This will gradually help you adjust to complex situations and handle them appropriately.