Anxiety disorder, like any disorder, can be debilitating, but it is manageable. Sadly, there are still many misconceptions out there surrounding the disorder. This is surprising considering the level of media coverage encouraging people to share their stories and to seek support. Whilst this shift in attitude is positive and has increased awareness of the devastating impact of the illness there is still a long way to go in normalising the condition.
Often the term anxiety is thrown around with little regard to meaning. Misconceptions are held about what it means to have an anxiety disorder and what devastating impact it can have on a persons life. For those suffering, this only worsens the plight.
Top 5 misconceptions:
1. Feeling stressed is the same as having an anxiety disorder.
Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point-it maybe over an exam, job interview, or medical appointment. Whilst feelings of anxiety are perfectly normal it does not mean that you have an anxiety disorder.
2. You can just ‘snap out of it’.
It is not something you can just ‘snap out of’. The most unhelpful things people say when in the midst of an anxiety attack is to ‘just don’t think about it’ and ‘its all in your head’. Telling someone with anxiety to stop is no different from telling a person with a broken leg to go running.
3. There is not always a reason.
Anxiety disorders are complex and often very difficult to make sense of. Sometimes you can be sitting quietly with yourself and suddenly be drowning in fear, trepidation, dread and horror through no logical reasoning. Anxiety does not always require a trigger and just because it isn’t there doesn’t mean anxiety won’t rear it’s ugly head.
4. Anxiety is both a mental and physical illness
Symptoms of anxiety can vary widely and take the form of nausea, headaches, palpitations, changes in appetite, thirst, stomach ache, sweating, muscle tension, to name but a few. Each person experiences the physical effects differently and each time. Just because you can’t see it, does not make it any less real.
5. There are treatments for anxiety
Even today some believe that anxiety will just sort itself out. For a few this might be the case but it doesn’t always work, some require ongoing support to manage their symptoms.
There is no need to suffer in silence when there is help available.
Remember, everyone is different and no two cases are the same.
If you would like advice and support regarding anxiety please contact us.