Are you interested to learn more about the Myths About Anxiety?
In this article (STL.NEWS), we will discuss some Important myths about anxiety.
We all get nervous or anxious from time to time. Some anxiety is normal and even helpful in keeping us alert, motivating us to solve problems, and spurring us into action.
But sometimes it builds, becomes constant, and begins to interfere with our daily lives, our relationships, and our overall health. Coping with anxiety can be challenging, but learning and understanding the following facts can help you make the best decisions about your care.
Myth: Anxiety isn’t real:
Fact: Anxiety disorders are a serious mental health disorder
Mental health disorders including anxiety disorders are often mistaken for “fake illnesses”. Because they cannot be physically seen, touched, or diagnostically tested. However, mental illnesses can cause serious harm if left untreated and are in fact, real illnesses.
Myth: Individuals with anxiety should avoid stressful situations:
Fact: If you have anxiety, you should avoid stressful situations so you don’t make it worse.
Avoiding stress might seem like an excellent way to reduce anxiety. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, or as effective. Life is full of stressful, unexpected situations, not all of which are necessarily going to cause anxiety for individuals with an anxiety disorder.
Developing the habit of avoiding the things that you know cause anxiety such as crowds, open spaces, bridges, or spiders, reinforces the anxiety disorder which is not an effective way of coping with anxiety.
Effective anxiety treatment usually involves gradually and safely exposing you to the source of your anxiety so that you can learn to cope with it, not avoid it. It is important to learn healthy coping skills to overcome your anxiety instead of avoiding situations where your anxiety can occur.
Myth: Anxiety disorders are not very common:
Fact: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders.
Millions of Americans live with some form of anxiety. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one in five people experience some type of anxiety disorder in any given year.
Some of the most frequent types of anxiety include social phobia, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Myth: Anxiety will cause damage to the body:
Fact: Not only can anxiety cause behavioral and psychological symptoms, but it can also produce physical symptoms.
‘One of the most common myths surrounding anxiety I hear from patients is whether it will do some long-term physical damage to the body. Anxiety can have intense physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, rapid breathing, and tightness in the chest area.
Myth: Social anxiety is the same as being shy:
Fact: Being shy is a personality trait, whereas social anxiety is a disorder.
Shyness and introversion are personality traits that are inherited and are adopted during early childhood. Individuals with these traits may have difficulty talking to others.
They do not know or value their time away from others. However, they do not experience the excessive, persistent anxiety and discomfort associated with social anxiety. Social anxiety disorder is characterized by extreme fear and embarrassment in social performance-based situations, to the extent that the individual avoids the situation at all costs or endures them with a high level of distress.
Myth: Your anxiety will improve over time if you are just patient and wait:
Fact: Anxiety needs to be treated by a mental health professional
The average person with an anxiety disorder waits approximately ten years to seek anxiety treatment. Those who are still able to work and function well enough often delay getting help, hoping the anxiety will get better on its own is also an ineffective way of coping with anxiety. The reality is that this rarely happens. Untreated anxiety can worsen or lead to co-occurring disorders such as depression.
Myth: Medication doesn’t help:
Fact: For some people, medication can really help.
Medication can be very helpful to bring anxiety levels down.
Myth: People can recover from anxiety:
Fact: This is only partially true.
Anxiety can improve with exercise and a healthy diet, but lifestyle changes aren’t enough to make it disappear. To truly defeat anxiety, you need to tackle it head-on with professional help.