Preventing Relapse

Relapse is a serious return of former anxiety levels that you have managed to overcome – over and above the normal ‘up and down’ that occurs in normal recovery. This can occur for a number of reasons:

1 - Irregular practice of the techniques you have learned.

2 - Exposure to new external stresses.

3 - Unrealistic expectation that all stress will disappear.

4 - Vulnerability to stress because of a lack of a healthy lifestyle

5 - Vulnerability to stress because of a physical illness. If you have any doubts about is wrong you should see your doctor for an assessment to ensure it is not physically or medically related.

6 - Vulnerability to stress because of low self-esteem, lack of confidence and ability to be assertive.

7 - Stopping practising anxiety-reducing techniques too soon. The techniques should become your coping tactics for the rest of your life.

8 - Stopping taking anti-anxiety medication too soon. Even if you are feeling a big improvement, reducing or stopping use of anti-anxiety drugs should only be done under the supervision of a doctor

9 - Attempting to overcome the problem situation too quickly.

10 - Returning to negative/faulty thinking patterns.

11 - Depression. Frequently, anxiety and depression are linked. If the depression persists or is overwhelming, if you feel hopeless or desperate, you must seek professional help. Medication, counselling, a combination of these or hospital admission may be necessary if the depression is very severe.

12 - Return of psychotic or acute behavioural disturbances. You must consult your doctor to ensure these symptoms are treated.

13 - A fear of the change that is occurring and a need to ensure that your dependency needs are met.

14 - Side-effects of sedative medications that cause lack of concentration and a drop in motivation. You should consult your doctor.

It is important that you understand why you are relapsing.