Is there a cure for anxiety? No. Can we get rid of panic attacks, irrational fear & reduce anxiety? Yes, we can!
Actually, isn’t panic the real problem anyway?
This is our first challenge. We need to be clear about what we’re addressing, in order to avoid any confusion.
So, how do we do this? Where do we begin? I had so many questions but nowhere to turn for answers. Likewise, if you’ve been looking for greater understanding or just relief from the suffering, then I hope this helps.
The purpose of these posts is to take you on a journey. It will hopefully guide you towards effectively dissolving all irrational panic and also support you, as you return to living a more normal balanced life.
It’s a personal journey that answers many questions and rewards open minded effort with recovery and relief. – Spike
Please, take a quick look at this statistic then I’ll explain why. Published in 2018 (for November 2017), the latest NHS report states 1,007,907 people were in adult mental health services across the UK. There were over 285,000 new adult referrals in that calendar month alone. Proof beyond doubt, this is a social problem of epidemic scale!
Staggering figures, aren’t they? Sadly, this is probably just the very tip of the iceberg. How many more are suffering in silence, struggling to accept a mental health label, simply too fearful or proud to ask for help?
I address this not to those suffering (for you guys please read on), but to those who care. Loved ones, family & friends are often overlooked, yet play such a vital supportive role. If you care for someone struggling right now, your best help can only begin when you first truly understand just how common these symptoms are.
Real help begins when we better understand the cause – Spike
We all handle prolonged exposure to anxiety, panic and depression in our own unique way. While root causes may be similar, our response to it varies wildly. As time passes we adapt, and consequently so do our behaviours.
Anger, withdrawal, exclusion, denial, mood swings and irrational outbursts are common. Like many, perhaps pretending all is well whilst avoiding social contact, is your coping mechanism of choice?
We’ll be looking closer at the Links Between Anxiety And Depression in my next post.
It takes a huge amount of bravery to accept you’re not coping, and go on to ask for support. However, there can be a deep irony that deters those suffering from reaching out. It’s not just the social stigma at work here!
Aside from any personal bias that may exist, if a sufferer seeks help from someone with little or no experience, why risk exposing themselves to the uncertainty of what happens next? It’s so complex and different for us all.
The summary is this… talk freely about the broader topic and hold the person without judgement or question.
Seek out support from mental health services, but not for a cure! for their qualified support.
Take the heat & uncertainty out of the thinking and let them know you’re there.
You’re not expected to know how to fix this and no-one is responsible.
This is natural and normal, not unusual or strange.
It is a show of deep inner strength not weakness, when a sufferer asks for help & strives for recovery.
What it is to feel lonely yet surrounded by people. – Spike
The point of this is to openly and honestly share my experience. I want you to know that anyone struggling to cope is never broken beyond repair, the state they are in is not unique nor unusual.
See, looking back it’s clear what would have helped me. I needed those who cared not to fuss, worry or treat me differently. What I was dealing with was extremely common and not a measure of my character. I wanted understanding and simple kindness, not judgement and certainly not questions (I had them covered!).
To get rid of panic we need time and space. – Spike
OK, so what if you’re the one suffering right now and feel as lost, as lost thing, in lost land?
Well, I imagine sitting at your side, because I recall how difficult sitting opposite others was. Then, I’ll share with you, what first helped me get through a day with just a little less fear and a tiny glimmer of hope.
Important stuff… for those suffering right now
We really don’t have a health problem, do we?
We’ve no chemical imbalance, no personality flaw, no defect – that junk just doesn’t make sense, does it? You may not understand why this is happening right now, but deep down, these concepts just don’t ring true, do they?
Perhaps all we actually have, is a few conditioned misunderstandings and limited tools in our toolbox. That’s it!
If you’re suffering today, as you read these words… doesn’t that feel more like the deeper truth to you?
Anxiety, my sincere friend, is an emotion.
We cannot stop emotions, just as we cannot stop loving, caring or feeling. What we can do though, is better understand them and consequently change their triggers.
Without realising, haven’t your triggers changed at least once already? So, simply put, if your internal triggers have changed one way, all you need do is learn how to change them back… to gently re-calibrate them.
Now, I don’t want to dig deep into social perspectives, that’s for future posts. What is worth noting though, is if there are 250,000+ new monthly mental health referrals across the UK (and many more suffering besides), don’t you think the underlying problem is a fairer reflection of society rather than the individuals themselves?
We don’t need to point a finger of blame, but please understand, you are not at fault! You are not the problem.
Step back, take in the wider view and you’ll perhaps realise it’s time we went a little easier on ourselves?
It’s not us that’s bent out of shape… it’s the reflections of modern society that are deformed.
It’s not a reflection of you. It’s a symptom of our society. – Spike
Now, if we fall ill, we go in search of (and usually find) a remedy, yes? So, with these mental ‘health’ issues, why can’t we find a “fix”, a “cure”, an “ointment”? The reason put simply is, because a) there is no-thing to actually repair b) there’s no-thing diseased to cure, and c) there’s no-thing identifiable we can gently rub better!
No-thing is broken!
‘So, damn it! Why me then? What caused this?’
I must have asked myself that question a thousand different ways and reading this far, I imagine you have too?
What’s commonly believed is external factors cause the high-stress that leads to anxiety (i.e. work, money, relationships, loss, peer pressure etc.) and we look internally to find a so-called weakness to pin it on. It must be our fault somehow, right? We can’t handle things? We’re failing? It’s on us, isn’t it?
No! This thinking is flawed.
Truth is, neither external nor internal factors are responsible for anxiety, just think of them as goats – scapegoats.
True reality is far simpler. Many of us get tossed into the deep end of this extreme high-pressure culture, but we’ve never been given the tools we need to stay afloat. When did you receive your last ‘How To Cope‘ class?
Not only does this explain why more relaxed cultures have lower levels of anxiety or depression, but it also helps us begin to understand the root cause of our domestic childhood and adolescent mental health crisis too.
It’s about becoming overwhelmed, NOT failing to cope. – Spike
So, what can we do right now, to get rid of panic, fear and the associated depression?
Well, if we want things to be different, we must do different. – Spike
If you’re willing to challenge some of your perspectives and build some simple practices, you can change your path. You can begin to enjoy life again, NOT by just coping with strategies or by suppressing your emotions with medication, I mean truly living free from irrational anxiety, panic and depression.
When you think about this, doesn’t it make more sense than forced exposure therapy, cost-saving group therapy, suppressant medication or off the page CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)?
Not that conventional techniques don’t help some develop adequate coping strategies, but what I’m talking about here is dealing with the root cause(s). Dissolving irrational anxiety so there’s no longer any need to cope!
So I’m going to share the first step with you, right now. It will help to pause and reflect on it from time to time.
The mighty first step • • •
Anxiety is an emotion & all our emotions are fuelled by thoughts.
When you’re thinking turns heavy or fear and anxiety arise, try to interrupt it for just a few moments.
Think on this and remind yourself of its truth. It may not seem like much right now, but repeat it every time you sense a change in mood, thought or emotion. In time you will come to understand its value.
I’ll be posting regularly with effort to keep the length down (sorry about this one). No promises
This isn’t scripted or planned, I’m simply trying to unfold the map for you, as it unfolded for me.
Final thought, until next time.. don’t ever give up hope! You really CAN stop travelling this path, you CAN get rid of panic attacks and you CAN live the rest of your life truly happier, more fulfilled and free from the suffering.
If you think this may help someone suffering right now, please share it using the social links below.
P.S. The next post in this series is Links Between Anxiety & Depression. These posts are numbered by my signature, so to read in order just search for #0?? to go straight to the next post. Don’t forget the leading #