Why I am Choosing to Focus on Anxiety
If you haven’t been on Facebook or Instagram, last weekend I announced that I am going to be focusing on working with people who have anxiety disorders. This is going to be my niche and specialty. I strongly believe that there are so many misconceptions when it comes to anxieties. I want to expose these misconceptions and help people either overcome their anxiety or be able to manage it. I use to suffer from severe anxiety and know how frustrating and scary it can be. I am so excited about this!
What is anxiety?
The best way I can explain and this is at least for me is think of a time when you were really scared. Can you remember how that felt? Now imagine having that feeling for no reason at all. Also sometimes having irrational thoughts, and you know these thoughts are irrational, but you can’t help thinking them anyways. Both of these are so frustrating, which makes the anxiety even worse. If you feel your anxiety a different way, I would love to know. We are all different, so it may be different for all of us.
The scientific explanation for what goes on when we are experiencing anxiety is, we have these almond shaped parts deep in our brain called the amygdala. The amygdala is a part of the limbic system, which is in charge of fear and other emotional reactions. The amygdala will signal the hypothalamus that it needs to start the fight or flight response. This then causes epinephrine to be released from the adrenal glands, which causes increase in blood flow to the muscles, pupil dilation and raises heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar. The sympathetic nervous system then goes into overdrive and this causes symptoms of anxiety.
Types of Anxiety
-Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – GAD is the most common anxiety disorder. People who suffer from GAD are the ultimate worriers. They tend to be constantly worrying about something every day and they expect the worse to happen.
People with GAD tend to have insomnia, fatigue, lightheadedness, headaches, nausea, heart palpitation, trembling, brain fog, muscle tension, restlessness, irritability, sweating and pain in their back.
-Social Anxiety Disorder – This is when someone has a lot of fears about being around new people and new situations. They have are afraid of being judged and are very self-conscious. These people have a really hard time speaking in front of a group of people and generally don’t like being the center of attention.
-Phobias- This is when someone has a strong fear over something. The majority of the time it is irrational. This can be fear like fear of heights, spiders, snakes, riding in an airplane, driving on freeways and thunderstorms just to name a few.
-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – This is when a certain event happens that causes great stress. Most people associate military men and woman getting PTSD, however people involved in any traumatic experience can have PTSD. Like a terrorist attack, natural disaster, a violent attack and a loss of a loved one.
People with PTSD can suffer from both anxiety and depression and flashbacks.
-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – OCD is when someone has obsessive thought and repetitive compulsive behavior. They usually end up having to repeatedly do the same thing over and over again. They may have to wash their hands repeatedly or check repeatedly to make sure they locked the door. They have ‘rituals’ that must be done! It is thought that people develop OCD as a way to suppress their anxiety. These rituals might help them get their minds off of it, but most the time when suppressing and fighting anxiety it can make it worse.
-Panic Disorder – Panic attacks are when someone panics over something as if it is life threating, but it really isn’t. This is where the irrational fears comes into play again.
-Agoraphobia – This is when someone is afraid of going outside, afraid of unfamiliar places and open spaces. If it becomes bad enough people can become homebound and have full blown panic attacks in public places
Most people I have met don’t have just one of these they tend to have two or more disorders. I myself have social anxiety and agoraphobia. They use to be so bad! I use to have to force myself to leave the house. I have had many of panic issues in stores, restaurants and my car. I thankfully mastered the ‘look cool as a cucumber on the outside while I was freaking completely out in the inside’. My home was my safe place. However I feel like part of me is gypsy, which was conflicting big time with my anxiety. I wanted to be out and about meeting and talking with people, but a lot of the times I was afraid. I got to a point where I knew if I didn’t make changes fast I would have become homebound. This would have caused so many issues, plus I hated the way I felt. It was just horrible! Things did change. I can leave the house now with no problems at all. In social environment I still have some anxious moments, but it’s completely manageable.
Here is a list of what I feel are misconceptions when it comes to anxiety:
Anxiety is only emotional.
Anxiety only happens after a traumatic experience or experiences.
People who didn’t go through a traumatic experience who suffer from anxiety are looking for attention.
People with anxiety can just get over it and just stop worrying.
You can tell by the outside if someone is experiencing anxiety.
People with anxiety are weak.
People with anxiety are crazy.
The only option for anxiety is medication.
Something has to trigger anxiety
Can you think of other misconceptions when it comes to anxiety?
During the next few weeks, I will be making an Instagram post, post in my Facebook group Balanced Dandelion Community and blog post about what I did to heal myself from severe anxiety and other tips and tricks I learned along the way.
If you have any questions, please let me know, I would be more than happy to answer them!
Have a great day!
P.S. The Picture I took about 6 years ago. I love playing with lighting and photography. Being able to express yourself is really helpful when it comes to anxiety. I'll chat more about that later.