Myth And Fact: Anxiety Disorders

2 minutes

IN BRIEF: In this post, professional Psychologist Garghee elaborately dissects a major myth surrounding ANXIETY. She explains why and how we should react to anxiety.

Being diagnosed with anxiety disorder will also pave way for you to be flooded with tips and advises coming from variety of sources. Most of these are not reliable; and this stems from the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding the concept of anxiety and its manifestations of different types and intensity.

Myths And Facts: Anxiety Disorders

Myth: If you have an anxiety disorder you must and should stay away from any kind of stressful situation!

Yes. This is a very popular one! if you have an anxiety disorder you must not deal with any situation that generates stress for you and makes you anxious. You should stay away and avoid all sources of stress at any cause. Run, Run, Run away!

Fact: Avoiding anxiety increases it by reinforcing it even more.

‘What you resist, persists’. is a saying that applies perfectly to anxiety disorders. Anxiety usually arises from future related worries, or from disturbing experiences/memories.

Most importantly, it is not practical enough to never be in any situation that leads to anxious or stressful thoughts. Life is uncertain, and that applies to each one of us. So, situations can arise anytime. Avoiding or running away would just make you less equipped with dealing with the situations and put you on the vicious cycle of anxious thoughts and reactions.

Also, all these thoughts, ‘what would happen’, ‘what if’, etc. are future based assumptions and probabilities, since none of us can really see the future. If you avoid facing any situation, you are strengthening the anxiety by not making space for any new experiences. The more you avoid it, the more it increases.

You don’t have to face it all at once. Do it gradually, step by step, increasing the complexity of situation, face the anxiety, and move forth. It fades when you face it and you would give yourself a greater sense of control and coping. Therapeutic techniques like Systematic Desensitisation and other gradual exposure techniques depend on this fact.

I implore you to discuss your thoughts and feelings when you feel anxious, and seek help from professionals when you feel really helpless. Remember a professional is more equipped to not only understand your anxiety, but also is expertly trained to help you eradicate it methodically.

Gargee Kanhere

Gargee is your special friend from YourDOST team. She is a clinical psychologist and has experience of working with various hospitals in Bangalore and Bhopal. Her areas of interest are Positive Psychology, Psychotherapy, Assessment, Mindfulness, special education, De-Addiction Counselling, Psychoanalysis, Yoga Psychology, Psycho-Oncology. An extremely compassionate person who finds happiness in helping others.