Anxiety disorders are more prevalent than alcohol or drug abuse in the U.S. Yet, only about 25% of those who suffer actually receive treatment. Unfortunately, the consequences of untreated anxiety could lead to various other problems, including: acute suicide risks, alcohol or substance abuse, depression, sexual disorders and secondary illnesses.
About 13.1 Million People in the United States Suffer from an Anxiety Disorder
One of the most severe forms of anxiety consists of panic attacks: a problem we commonly treat at our Center. Often panic attacks occur for no medically detectable reason. Being human with imperfectly functioning physiology’s, we are all vulnerable to occasional physical symptoms such as chest pressure or pains, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, a case of the jitters, or feeling vaguely unsettled or “weird.”
But the anxiety-prone person, rather than ignoring those discomforts, dwells on them, magnifying and prolonging them by thinking: “I MUST know precisely why I’m feeling like this; I MUST be certain it’s not serious; I MUST never lose control or act crazy; I MUST not do something stupid or look foolish; I MUST have a guarantee I’m not going to die; I MUST not make myself look anxious.”
Fired by such unrealistic notions, the anxiety-prone individual creates out of the air, feelings of fright, while rigidly adding uncomfortable situations and increasingly circumscribing his or her life.
The solution consists of recognizing that the MUSTS — but not the preferences — are false; and although it would be highly preferable to avoid discomfort, it is never a MUST. We do not always HAVE TO feel entirely comfortable and we usually will not. Although it would prove lovely never to unduly upset ourselves, being human and imperfect we assuredly will some of the time.
Additional Reading: Signs of Anxiety and Panic Attacks