All of us live with these daily threats to our ‘mental health', such as Anxiety and Depression. Many of us also face additional challenges that test us and put our mental health at risk. For some of us, it is the stress of caregiving or divorce or losing a loved one. Or losing a job. Or living with a disease such as diabetes, cancer or hypertension. Or an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Or a major illness such as depression or bipolar. Or surviving domestic abuse, street crime or a Personal Tragedy..
How Does Anxiety Start?
Some Combination of Causes Are:
The amount of stress you have:
Anxiety may start at a time when you are in very stressful circumstances. You may have a single major problem or several smaller problems may add up to an equal amount of stress. In either case, if the circumstances are stressful enough you will feel anxious.
The kind of person you are:
Some people seem to have a natural ability to cope well with stressful situations. Others can tolerate less and are more likely to react with anxiety
Getting anxiety does not mean that you cannot be helped. In fact people with anxiety are very likely to benefit from learning how to cope better with stressful situations.
Two factors contribute to the development of symptoms: external events and demands on the one hand and your inner reaction to them on the other.
Reactions to symptoms can make you more anxious.
The physical feelings of anxiety are frightening. They may make you think that there is something physically wrong or that you are in real danger of a heart attack and worrying that you could be ill or that something terrible may happen causes even more anxiety. And this brings on even more of the bodily feelings.
Its a vicious cycle which can actually make anxiety worse.
You may also find that you start to expect that you are going to feel anxious. You start to anticipate your own anxiety. Worrying about becoming anxious can actually bring on anxiety. This is the second vicious cycle
Avoiding things you relate to anxiety:.
It is normal to avoid dangerous situations, but when anxiety is a problem you may want to avoid things which are not real dangers. The sorts of things that people avoid when they are anxious are crowded places, shops, or meeting particular people. But meeting people and going to shops are important and necessary parts of daily life. So avoiding them can cause great inconvenience and difficulty.
Some kinds of avoidance are less obvious than others but some people put off doing things they know they should do. Others stop themselves thinking about their difficulties or problems.
Unfortunately, although avoiding something may be a relief, it does not always provide a solution because:
- The relief is only temporary. You may worry about how you will be able to go on avoiding it.
- Everytime you avoid something it makes it harder to face it in the future.
- Eventually you grow to want to avoid more and more things.
Anxiety reduces self-confidence because it makes it hard to do things that were once easy.
Self-Confidence is a pleasurable rewarding feeling which comes from succeeding at the things you do.
Self-Confidence is built up by doing things and finding out that you can manage them successfully. No one can 'give' you confidence because it comes from your own success. Alcohol or tablets may boost your confidence temporarily, but do not build it up in the long term.
You lose self-confidence when you find you cannot do things that you thought you could do. This puts you off attempting things that might be difficult and leads to more avoidance.
Self-Confidence can be restored by learning how to cope with small things first before building up to progressively bigger challenges...