Anxiety & Panic Attacks

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I have had a couple of people say to me that my description was a bit too close to their experience. The first thing is that I don’t think it is possible to be over-anxious. In general, when we talk about anxiety, the discussion quickly turns to panic. Panic is when there is a threat that the person in question won’t survive the immediate moment. We don’t talk about anxiety when the situation is more like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

When I talk about panic, I am mostly talking about the physiological changes in response to fear. It will be a general “we are afraid” talk, but only with those that feel comfortable with it. For many it isn’t a comfort thing. I know of many that can be pretty bad in this area. They want reassurance that everything will just be fine.

One thing that I’ve discovered is that being over-anxious will make the person in question more anxious. It will make the anxiety come out in much more direct ways. They may feel that they are suffocating in the room, or that someone is going to take their life away. They will talk about the “feeling in their stomach”, “fears and dreads” and “anxiety attacks”. There isn’t much relief from this, of course. One problem with this is that it will be so painful in the current situation that they may try to avoid or remove themselves from the situation, thereby increasing their problem further.

I want to be clear that some people are not as anxious as others. Most will feel like they are more anxious than most. There is nothing wrong with that. However, you should always respect that person’s view, as they should respect yours. It is impossible to know how someone else is and how they deal with their health conditions.

I have had many friends over the years say to me how their past anxiety got better as they got into higher education or married. That’s fine. However, it is very important for each person to understand their own limits and how to deal with their anxiety. It may also help to “let someone in” to help understand and support each other.

I think it’s important to understand that your anxiety will not go away on its own. It will not magically become a harmless habit. There are many support groups that can help, it is always good advice to seek the advice of a medical professional.

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