Do you ever feel like as soon as you let your guard down, something terrible is bound to happen? Welcome to anxiety.
Anxiety disorder manifests in many ways for anyone who’s ever dealt with it. As common as anxiety is in the modern world, there’s a lot about the condition that people either misconceive or just don’t know.
Here are seven myths and misconceptions about dealing with anxiety disorder and some insights to set the record straight.
Myth 1: You can cure anxiety by ignoring the voice in your head.
Some basic worries may fade if you push them out of your mind from time to time. True anxiety, however, tends to resurface. Depending on how mild or severe your disorder is, sweeping the negative feelings under the carpet may only work for so long.
Doctors agree that even mild anxiety is worth treating for a better quality of life. Rather than ignoring the anxious feelings, turn the tables by confronting it head-on.
Myth 2: Getting help for anxiety is akin to admitting you are crazy.
Worrying is a natural feeling for many people. Of course, worrying about getting help can also be a genuine emotion for those dealing with anxiety.
You may not want others to know what you’re going through and you may worry that people might label you as mentally ill or crazy if you seek treatment. These fears are irrational and quite frankly standing in the way of your balance and well being. Getting treatment or finding relief for your condition can give you back your peace of mind.
Myth 3: Getting rid of stress will also get rid of anxiety.
Reducing your stress, and effectively your cortisol levels throughout the day, will undoubtedly impact how you’re feeling. It very well could lower your anxiousness, too. But stress reduction alone may not wipe out moderate to severe cases of the condition. Pair up some practical stress-reduction techniques with some other anxiety busters for a better long-term solution.
Myth 4: Medication is the only thing that will help.
Lots of factors come into play when it comes to anxiety. Diet, supplements, self-talk and talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and plenty of other techniques can help. Just because you have the condition doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go on medication. And even if you do, it may not be a permanent, lifelong course of treatment. Medical science has come a long way in recent years, and now even virtual reality offers hope for positive changes and improvements for anxiety sufferers.
Myth 5: Anxiety is one-size-fits-all.
Just like anyone else, those with the condition have good days and bad days. Sometimes anxiety is through the roof while others it may be humming quietly in the background.
How the condition impacts one person mentally and physically can be different from how another person experiences theirs. The levels can wax and wane between mild, moderate, and severe at different points in your life. Getting some help for mild anxiety when you first notice it can help to mitigate escalation to more life-impacting levels in the future.
Myth 6: You should keep your anxiety a secret to avoid judgment.
It’s often true that no one likes to admit they have a problem. As you’ve likely heard, however, recognizing there’s a problem is typically the first step to a cure or at least improvement. Talking through your feelings can be beneficial in many ways. First, you get them out of your head and off your chest.
When you set your thoughts free, then you clear space in your mind for a bit of fresh air and focus on other things. Talking about your fears and worries can also bring new perspectives from those close to you. Finally, speaking with a doctor can open up your world to new possibilities of treatment with the vetted techniques that can make a difference in your life.
Remember that you are not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the condition affects as many as 40 million adults age 18 and up each year. That works out to be close to 20 percent of the population suffering from various disorders. Now that you know the difference between the myths and the facts, you can take some time to figure out what steps will bring you relief you need.