But for some of us, things change... our anxiety starts to grow stronger. It comes on more and more and seems to happen for no apparent reason. Suddenly we are more anxious in
general and feel apprehensive and 'on-edge' frequently. Persistent physical symptoms may appear. We may notice that we are more shaky or sweating more in public or experiencing
things like heart palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness, nausea or blushing – any symptom related to anxiety can develop – and worrying about these symptoms only makes them worse
for it increases the anxiety.
Many people live like this, generally more nervous, plagued by anxious thoughts and physical symptoms. Here, the main problem is the anxiety itself, and that we get too scared, too easily, too often.
For some people, however, it doesn't stop there. Anxiety continues to increase and, over time, it can get so bad that it leads to a number of more serious problems such as uncontrollable worrying, panic attacks that come out
of the blue, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours, irrational fears and phobias (particularly social phobia) and, in some cases, even severe depression. Now, it's the extreme thoughts and behaviours
themselves that become the defining part of the problem.
Today, these serious cognitive (thinking) and behavioural problems involving high anxiety and fear are classed as 'anxiety disorders'. This is based on the medical model, which views these
problems as mental illnesses, disorders, where something goes wrong in the brain and the answer lies in 'fixing' the thing that has gone wrong – often with medication.
Take the middle-aged woman (emotionally fragile from early life stress and conflict) who suffers emotional abuse at the hands of her
partner – abuse that not only scares her but also makes her feel that she cannot do anything right and that everything she
tries wil fail miserably or is totally worthless. Is her generalized anxiety disorder (or severe depression for that matter) simply the result of something
going wrong in her brain that can be fixed by medication?
What about the man in his early twenties, riddled with anxiety, whose father constantly put him down and criticized him with such venom as a
child that he's now petrified others will do the same. Is his social phobic behaviour truly dis-ordered and irrational?
Or the teenage girl brought up by overly strict religious parents that have so drummed the fear of God into her that all she can do to
obtain relief (from punishment by the Lord) is turn to rituals. Are her obsessive, fearful thoughts and compulsive behaviours really all down to mental illness?
Generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, social phobia, PTSD, panic disorder, severe depression – are any of these problems truly irrational, dis-ordered and mental illness?
Or is there a better explanation?
How many 'normal' people...
Say "Touch wood" so as not to tempt fate?
Repeatedly check doors, windows, switches?
Take a drink before social functions?
Avoid public speaking at all costs?
Almost everyone displays behaviours associated with anxiety disorders (such as worrying more, over-checking, ordering, the need for perfection, increased anxiousness, moments of
panic, etc.) to some degree at some time in his or her life – more so in times of stress – for they reflect subconscious ways to feel
secure and stay safe.
These self-protective behaviours aren't irrational or dis-ordered and they aren't even unique to anxiety disorders for they are part of each and every one of us.
Also, when we look at the backgrounds of large numbers of people with various anxiety problems and disorders, they are often strikingly similar in many ways. Stressful life experiences with
subsequent feelings of insecurity and damaged self-esteem occur across the board with such regularity, and are so similar, that it is hard to see how these factors cannot play a
major role in the onset of these problems.
There is no real mystery to what causes these problems. Whatever anxiety problem or disorder finally takes hold, these problems all start in a similar way – one that
involves two main things: over-exposure to threatening situations and shattered self-esteem.
Anxiety Problems and Self Confidence – Feeling in Some Way 'Bad' or 'Wrong' or 'Not Good Enough'
Research shows that over 50% of anxiety problems start before the age of fourteen (it's probably nearer 90%) and many people with long-term anxiety disorders, when asked what they remember
most about the start of their problem, reply "Being too nervous for a long time".
The way we feel about our self in childhood and adolescence can stay with us a lifetime and those who are frequently made to feel insecure and vulnerable when growing up (or later in
life for some) are surely more susceptible to develop anxiety-related problems down the line.
If we go through a period in life where we are constantly 'put down', 'picked on' or made to feel threatened in any way it's not suprising that anxiety (our inner self-protection instinct)
will ramp up and we'll become more nervous – constantly wary and alert, always on the look out for danger in order to protect ourself.
However, threatening situations not only scare us, they also make us feel bad (upset, hurt, insecure, weak, afraid, small, inadequate, sad, angry, confused... a whole myriad of negative
feelings). And if we feel bad often enough, for long enough, we can start to believe that we feel this way because there is something inherently 'bad' or 'wrong' or 'not good enough' about us. Over time, self
This highlights a critical component in the development of these problems that hasn't really been given the attention it deserves: the way we feel about ourself deep inside and
how this becomes linked to being scared.
It is this, not mental illness, that lies at the heart of most anxiety problems and disorders today. It also lies at the heart of their cure.
And so, all that you read from 'Help-For' is based on the premise:
Not diseases, disorders or mental illness, anxiety and
depression problems involve natural survival instincts common to us all – normal self-protective thoughts, feelings and behaviours that become over-sensitive and intensified,
grossly exaggerated and out of control.
They develop from experiencing too many (or too severe) stressful, negative life issues and events... ones that make us feel weak and vulnerable.
In essence, these problems come from our subconscious trying to protect us when life has made us afraid. And they start, strengthen and grow from our mind's attempts to explain and
resolve the intangible fear we feel inside.
When we can see these problems for what they really are, it's possible to cure them completely. Understanding and acceptance allows hurt to heal, removes self-doubt and
starves fear of it's fuel. Understanding and accepting that our problem is totally justified, given our life experiences, offers the one, true way to fully extinguish the
smoldering ball of bad feelings inside (the ones that keep the fear alive) and move beyond anxiety to become the strong, confident, unique, worthy individual that it's our birthright to be.
For unique insight into anxiety-related problems and how to deal with them:-
Explore this website
Get essential information on anxiety, symptoms, problems, meds, disorders etc. and gain a new perspective on these problems.
Menu | The Start of the Problem
Check out the 'Help-For' books
Combining massive relief-bringing "aha" moments over "what is happening and why" with proven techniques to reduce anxiety
and build real self confidence, these books show how it's possible to fully cure high anxiety, GAD, OCD, panic disorder, social phobia, PTSD, severe depression and more... and to do it
yourself, naturally without therapy or medication.
Calm Anxiety: Taking Back Control
– For anyone struggling with high anxiety and nervousness... Learn how to remove the fear, stop the anxiety and restore high self-esteem.
Evolving Self Confidence: How to Become Free From Anxiety Disorders and Depression
– For those who have been nervous/anxious for a long time and are now starting to experience such things as: uncontrollable worrying, panic attacks out of the blue, obsessive thoughts and compulsive
behaviours, crippling social fears and phobias, chronic post-trauma stress, more depression – or – have a long-term anxiety disorder... Learn how to cure
these problems completely and develop real confidence in yourself.