Have you felt your heart rate increasing? Are you feeling panicky? What about sweaty palms, having issues concentrating, or constantly feeling anxious? You may have your own tools for trying to calm your mind and body, but it has its hold on you. The only safe place you think is home, where it is safe, and you can avoid the outside world; then bam! The cycle of anxiety begins again.
Although anxiety is a normal part of one’s life, when feelings of anxiety and panic overwhelmingly interfere with the person's daily activities, the person needs help. The thoughts and feelings are difficult to control, fears are amplified, the concern lasts for several hours, and the body experiences uncomfortable physical symptoms.
We all have experienced different levels of anxiety throughout our lives and handle stresses differently. For instance, a family member passes away and a person with anxiety prioritizes the things that must be done – they seem to be completely in control. They are capable and able to take care of others but not necessarily themselves. In many cases, people who experience a traumatic event, either think they can manage on their own or do not seek help from their immediate support system...until the mental state triggers become present. By taking care of ourselves, both mentally and physically, we can work through the causes or triggers. In some cases, with medication.
When anxiety knocks, the person begins to spiral into a deep depression, and their life becomes overwhelming and debilitating. Many of us don’t stop and acknowledge the pain and feelings, we suppress them instead; the person just exists, not living their life.
By avoiding or replacing their anxiety, the anxiety manifests the person into becoming a workaholic, an alcoholic, a gambler, an overachiever, a perfectionist, or in numerous other unhealthy ways. For example, a father will bury himself in his work and lash out at the staff. Why? Because this person feels the traumatic life event is out of their control. Although that person is making the choice not their own, they will avoid not facing and looking at or within themselves. When we are not looking at the overwhelming stress and the path that brought us to where we are today, we are not taking advantage of learning tools to assist us to not only feel safe but to also take care of ourselves.
Let’s work on getting you on the healthy and good path again.