Welcome! If you have anxiety and you really want to take charge of your fear so you can live the life you always dreamed of, you are among friends who have successfully gone down that road ahead of you.
Although the road can be rocky in places, the destination is paradise. You just have to keep moving, get on track and keep your dreams and goals always in mind.
The first step in anxiety disorder self help is learning. Learning about what is going on inside you, finding out that you are not alone, and realizing that you can in fact help yourself get better.
Anxiety limits your life so much.
Did you know that most people who suffer from anxiety disorders say that if they could change just one thing in their lives, it would be to get rid of anxiety?
"It's not fair! How can you ever fufill all the items on your "bucket list" if you are always afraid?"
Being constantly fearful, timid and unsure is no way to live your life.
This is the time and the place to learn more so that you can embark on an adventure of anxiety disorder self help and free yourself to live a GREAT LIFE!
I know I used to be afraid to make a decision, scared to even seek help, and in a state of panic about admitting I was having problems, and then not knowing what to do about it. There is one thing you can do, and it's painless and can only help you.
Learn as much as you can, and then take a few little steps forward. You can map out your own individualized program, your own anxiety self help plan.
You have to know what you are dealing with before you can fix it. For so many of us, even seeing the words "anxiety", "fear" or "panic" written down someplace is enough to cause heart palpitations! Don't worry if this is you. It gets better with time and exposure. :)
Let's take a look at what happens when we experience fear. It's actually a natural helpful thing. It's just that for some of us, you might say it's become a little too "helpful"!
It is important to understand that anxiety in itself is not a "bad" thing - it actually has a very useful function. In fact, it can be really good, at the right times and in the right situations.
And for this reason you do not want to eliminate it. You just want to manage it more effectively, so that you are in charge, not your fear!
Fear responses are are essential to our survival - now days, but even more importantly long ago when our ancestors lived in the wild. Imagine yourself as a cave person walking through the forest when suddenly you become aware of a grizzly bear. Or in modern times, imagine yourself casually walking down the street when suddenly you realize you are about to get mugged.
Our bodies help us respond to possible danger by flooding our nervous system with chemicals that prepare it to flee, freeze or fight. You have probably heard of the "flight or fight response". This is it!
In fact just by imagining those scenarios you probably set that system on red alert. Did you feel your heart beat a little bit faster?
This automatic fear response can charge your body up with a blast of power and remarkable strength to enable you to escape danger.
While this marvelous system works so beautifully, it can have mixed benefits in modern life.
"There's actually nothing chasing me, I'm just thinking about having to make a presentation in front of 100 people!"
Yes, those same chemicals that will help you run crazy fast if you encounter a mountain lion, start to flood your body when you are simply getting worried over something.
Oh my, it's definitely time for us to continue learning some anxiety disorder self help!
The fear response system has a lovely shut-off mechanism. The chemicals that flood your body in response to fear have antidotes. In physically dangerous situations in the wild we would quite often respond by either running away as fast as we can, helped along by a burst of adrenalin that helps us go even faster than we normally could. Or sometimes we might have to actually fight off whatever was chasing us, helped again by that burst of adrenalin.
The running or fighting expends the chemicals in our bodies. We run or fight for awhile and then stop when the danger has passed. Our brains and bodies know that we no longer need the fear, and all of the chemicals that helped us are washed out of our system.
This is why exercise is an excellent part of anxiety disorder self help!
There are many other ways to relax in addition to exercise that we will learn about as we go.
Lifestyle, genetics, trauma, childhood issues, thinking patterns, personal habits, diet, and beliefs also impact the liklihood of getting an anxiety disorder.
If your anxiety gets so overwhelming that it significantly interfers with your ability to live a normal life --- you may have an anxiety disorder.
Though numbers may vary, it is estimated that 40 million Americans have anxiety disorders.
This is not just an 'adult' illness. Children and teens can and do get anxiety disorders. It's estimated that approximately 8 to 10 out of every 100 children are affected by anxiety disorders.
While only a doctor or registered professional such as a psychologist can make an official diagnosis, take a look at the types of anxiety disorders below and see if the symptoms seem familiar.
There are several different types of anxiety disorders:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Someone with generalized anxiety disorder constantly worries and feels tense, anxious and flooded with catastrophic thoughts. Worry can be over specific things or it may just seem that you are worried all the time about everything. The levels of anxiety are very intrusive and has a significant impact on the life of the sufferer robbing them of joy, relaxation and pleasure.
A person who has a phobia will experience intense fears at the thought or exposure to specific thing, events or circumstances. Common examples include fear of spiders, snakes, elevators, heights, flying, or driving over bridges.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Also sometimes known as social phobia, social anxiety disorder is quite common, and involves intense fear of interaction with other people. Being embarrassed, humiliated, stared at and 'under the spotlight' are can be major sources of anxiety and stress if you have social phobia.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
This anxiety disorder is characterized by urgent and repetitive thoughts and behavior. The behavior is ritualized and is performed in order to provide a sense of calm to ease anxiety through repetition of specific tasks or motions, and may be imbued with a sense of prevention of a bad event or done almost as a form of punishment.
Panic attack disorder
Intense, terrifying fear that may appear in reaction to particular events or it may appear for no apparent reason. The extreme experience of fear is called a panic atack. Individuals with panic disorder can come to fear the prospect of having another panic attack, and will reorganize their lives and activities in the hopes of preventing another panic episode. It in essence becomes the fear of fear reactions.
Agoraphobia is usually a complication of panic disorder. A person who has panic attacks begins to fear them and limits their activities to "safe" places in an attempt to reduce the liklihood of their occurrence. Individuals often have difficulty going to specific places or events where panic attacks previously occured and are often eventually confined to their homes.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post traumatic stress disorder typically is characterized by heightened sensitivity to sounds, sights, fragrances, or events, that are a reminder of a past traumatic event. This syndrome is most often seen in veterans of war, but can also be experienced by those who have been kidnapped, abused, bullied, or were in an accident.
Don't worry if you feel you might have problems with anxiety, but don't see a category above that exactly fits you and your symptoms. Some people have combinations of different anxiety disorders at the same time, or slightly similar situations that don't quite fit into the description of a particular condition.
Many people who suffer from bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder or depression have symptoms of anxiety or have panic attacks.Or you may experience anxiety that is annoying but not severe enough to be classified as a disorder.
You can definitely still benefit from learning how to better manage anxiety.
Each person is unique and the categories above are just labels.
Your custom made anxiety disorder self help program is going to be a little bit different than anyone elses.
Science has been moving quickly in exploring the nature of anxiety and there are now several empirically proven treatments that you should find out about as you start your journey of anxiety disorder self help.
We keep up to date on scientific advancements on anxiety treatment, and on various wellness trends that are relevant and publish this information on the web site. So stay tuned!
You are not alone. There is help. Yes, you can help yourself feel better! And we can help you on the road to recovery.
We provide maps, refreshments, funny stories and inspiration for you on your anxiety disorder self help journey!