Anxiety Disorders

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

From a conventional psychiatric view, anxiety disorders are arousal of intense and ongoing fear. Some are even developing panic attacks. Regardless of their form, they all have one thing in common: The more a person attempts to suppress or fight their anxiety, the more potent it becomes.

Why Does Anxiety Intensify When We Resist It?

The act of resisting anxiety, demands focus on the anxiety. So, there flows a lot of brain energy towards anxiety – in order to get rid of it. An impossible goal. When you try to “eradicate” anxiety, you naturally will strengthen it. From a biological point of view: Fighting against anxiety may look like fighting against life rescue (because anxiety exists for safety reasons).

Note: The reality that concentrating on something magnifies its significance and presence is a natural occurrence. Thus, when anxiety becomes repetitive and “seemingly inescapable”, it doesn’t necessarily signify a disorder.

What Do Anxiety Disorders Involve?

Anxiety disorders can concentrate on a range of distressing or inappropriate themes. These might include death, disaster, inadequacy, or failure. There is often a wish to manage these anxieties.

How Do Individuals Describe Their Experiences With Anxiety Disorders?

“I am constantly frightened about the worst possible outcome.”

“The entire day, I try to avoid anxiety-inducing situations.”

“Losing control and panicking in public places is for me the pure horror.”

“What if my worrying becomes uncontrollable?”

What Are Common Strategies to Handle Anxiety Disorders?

In behavior therapy, therapists try to convince patients to make experiences in “confrontation training”. The risk is, that the anxiety will even increase.

Why Can Some Efforts to Treat Anxiety Occasionally Be Counterproductive?

Resisting anxiety can amplify its presence and persistence. From a therapeutic perspective, the patient may appear inflexible and challenging to assist. From the patient’s viewpoint, it can feel like, “I’m unable to regulate these overpowering fears. Since they come from my head, I must be wrong or insufficient.”

From a resource-oriented systemic perspective, the fact of persisting anxiety may lead to a strategy where we search for the origin of the anxiety. The concept of Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing®) is concentrating on the fact that a trauma is stored in the nervous system.

How Can One Self-manage Anxiety Disorders?

An effective self-help approach to managing anxiety disorders is self-parenting and building up trust into the fact, that there is no “wrong” feeling or “wrong” anxiety. It is connected to something what already doesn’t exist. But the anxiety is stored in the physic memory. Recognizing this, is a first step away from the destructive self blaming.

What Other Symptoms or Conditions Are Connected with Anxiety Disorders?

An increase in anxiety can often coincide with heightened levels of depression. Depression frequently co-occurs with anxiety disorders.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Connected to Depression?

When a person experiences persistent anxiety, it can lead to a depressive state. 

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For whom is this article helpful?

The article is helpful for individuals who are experiencing anxiety disorders or those who want to understand the nature, causes, and management of anxiety disorders. It provides insights into the conventional psychiatric view of anxiety disorders, the reasons behind the intensification of anxiety when resisted, and various strategies and perspectives on handling anxiety.

What issues might one face prior reading this article?

Before reading this article, one might face issues such as:
  • Misunderstanding or lack of knowledge about the nature of anxiety disorders.
  • Challenges in managing or coping with their anxiety.
  • Feeling overwhelmed or trapped by persistent and intense fears.
  • A tendency to resist or suppress anxiety, leading to its intensification.

What insights can readers get from this text?

Readers can gain several insights from the article, including:
  • Understanding that resisting anxiety can make it more potent.
  • The significance of focusing on anxiety and how it magnifies its presence.
  • The various themes that anxiety disorders can concentrate on, such as death, disaster, inadequacy, or failure.
  • Personal experiences of individuals with anxiety disorders.
  • The connection between anxiety disorders and depression.
  • The concept of self-parenting and building trust as a self-help approach to managing anxiety disorders.

What other pages on this website are helpful to understand all context

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