Stop Confusing Anxiety with Depression!!
You hear it all the time, "I suffer with severe anxiety and depression". The terms are bandied about so often and always in conjunction with each other. The reality is that they couldn't be more different.
Just think about this for a moment, someone with depression would have the frame of mind that "I really don't care about anything anymore, what's the point, I don't care if I live or die".
Now let’s take the state of mind of anxiety, it's much more along the lines of "I am too afraid to live, I'm too scared to do anything, and I'm too frightened to live or die".
You can see that they are clearly conflicting mind-sets. They cannot exist in consciousness at the same time, it would be impossible. It is possible to suffer very low mood as a result of suffering with anxiety, but we couldn't label this as depression.
As an Anxiety Therapist, and as someone who suffered with anxiety for over 20 years, I believe I have a good handle on the subject. I suffered severe panic attacks almost daily, constant feeling of fullness in the head, phobias, inappropriate thoughts, issues socialising with others, agoraphobia, tinnitus, and the doctors would sigh as they saw me in the waiting room on a daily basis, convinced I was dying of something. It would usually be cancer, internet forums will guarantee that you believe that to be the truth.
Anxiety is the body’s inappropriate response to a natural input.
Inside the mind the body is preparing for action, and the way it does this is to ask lots of Risk Assessment Questions. You might know these as “What If” questions. These are questions that look at the most outlandish ultimate consequence of the situation you are in, so it searches the depths of your creativity to try and make a risk assessment about what might happen.
For example, if you’re driving a car and you turn a corner, and there is a car upside down on fire with 2 people strapped in it, you will activate the fight or flight syndrome, because there is a potential danger there to you and the other people. But your brain starts conducting a risk assessment, and that risk assessment and that works by saying “What if I do this? What if I take this action and the car explodes?” “What if I get a stick, break the window and drag the people out”. “What if there’s petrol leaking and it sets fire?” This is all happening at an incredible speed in your subconscious? Your brain has gone into absolute overload. It’s gathering information from your nervous system, through your senses, your eyes, your ears, your nose, the mouth, the skin, and all of the time, this is feeding info back to the subconscious mind so that a sensible decision can be made very quickly about what you are going to do.
You can see how this is the sensible thing to do. Physiologically, this make sense. So you get to the point where you’ve made your risk assessment, you understand your situation, you’ve assessed the area to see if there’s anything that can help you or hinder you, then you take the most appropriate reaction which your subconscious has decided to take. At this point your physical self comes into action and you act. The adrenaline that is released into the body and the different physical reactions will help you carry out the task decided, whether that’s to save them from the car or bugger off.
NOW, in Anxiety Disorder, you have the same levels of anxiety ALL THE TIME. It’s an inappropriate level of anxiety, it is constantly preparing your body for a fight or flight situation. This is the nature of anxiety. It is a LEARNED HABIT at its core using your creative intellect.
It is using this same creative intellect that we can unlearn our anxious habits. We form a new structure in the mind, and on that structure we build new non anxious habits. As we create this new Non-Anxious Structure, the old one simply falls away, and comes crashing down with all the Panic, Agoraphobia, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, and all other associations to anxiety that sat on the old structure.
I use the Linden Method, the only accepted method of Anxiety Recovery accepted by the NHS in the UK, and soon the HSE in Ireland. With over 20 years of research and a 97.5% success rate, all it takes is you to comply with the instructions I give, and you will become anxiety free, the same way that I did.
So let's see this beast for what it is, a learned habit that can be reversed. Let's separate it from Depression, the two don't belong together. I'll go one step further, fill out the Assessment form, I will review and give a free phone consultation.
You can access the form at http://www.larcoaching.org/home/aaron-o-neill