Dealing with Anxiety

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Old 02 February 2013   #31
This is great talk I recently saw about anxiety and it really helps explaining what happens.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYJdekjiAog

Main thing is to remember that brain is very plastic mechanism, it's not static as people used to believe, and even by thinking you are getting better or by having positive thoughts you can influence level on anxiety, in time it will change, you just need to be very systematic when while trying to reduce it. That talk says everything.

And there is another thing, social/economic system heavy influences anxiety. While I was living in Europe I had far less anxiety problems because of better social security net, while here in US it is way higher because I don't have any security, but then I do have much better benefits and higher income, so it a matter of choice.

Fixing anxiety problem with some substances or pills is easy way out. It's like feeding homeless people so that they can stay alive... you don't solve anything with this, you just prolong their suffering. If you need to change something then you change it where problem begins and not where it ends.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #32
I have many colleagues, especially females, who enjoy visiting psychologists and other specialists. And they say to me "you can't sort it out by yourself". Maybe they can't, but I can (might be related to gender. Girls talk in a stress, boys sit and think). Of course you must read a lot and work on yourself, rather than crying in the napkin with psychologist. It requires more efforts. I think psychologist is a nice addition to your own work on yourself.

When I started having problems, I decided to go with the simplest solution first, and it's getting yourself to a good shape. I just started visiting fitness, lost 20 kilos. 80% of my mental problems went away. So the first problem you must eliminate is hypodynamics - it's when your blood isn't that effective as you sit too much.
Breathing exercises also help, as oxygen is important for your brain to work properly. Most of you will never try it, and will smoke or take pills. And I know it. People are very hard to try something new. But those helped me in very difficult situations, when I felt I'd either take some heavy pills, and I'm glad I didn't. It somehow affects the brain work, maybe it relaxes some neurons.
When you have any mental problems, it's often your brain becomes too focused (narrowing of mind). Don't sit. Take a walk, visit a friend (if you a female), or just stroll or take a trip where you like or enjoy. Later, with a calm mind, you will sort it out, and you will, though it may look impossible.

Psychologists are good, but I guess some people can cope by themselves, if you have enough analytics to learn about psychology.
For example there are many techniques for working with the past, if it causes you problems. The problem is usually when you were a child, you perceive things not too adequately, and it may cause you to feel very strong emotions. What you need is putting your Child experience (emotional) to conscious level of Adult. You can write a biography, and then sort out bad and good things. Take the bad things and think about them from your Adult perspective. And then it will go from subconcsious Child experience to your Adult, and you will be free from those problems. They hit hard as it's something in our subconscious which we try to avoid as it was a painful experience. We untie those knots.

Considering your present, and self-motivation, there's a lot to read about. For example assertive behavior can help, and other things. It's often if parents were too strict, this inner voice of them leaves inside of our brain, and we "punish" ourselves, though indeed it's our inner Child-slave of parents-tyrans. It's because our brain gets used to a certain scenario, and if there's only a bad one, it will be. But you can create yourself a good one. Eric Berne has a lot about it to read.

The same goes about your future. You have scenarios, and they also may cause anxiety. You could subconsciously program yourself to bad things, as in those states we can think bad things about our life and how doomed it is. It's when we plan it. But we can rethink it, review and change.

After many years of studying and learning different stuff, I know that it "won't help", if you revise something for one-two times. And it's in any area of knowledge. You must be persistent and take at least 8 approaches (with big spans) until it starts working on a conscious state.
Always write down what causes your anxiety, then work from simplest (your body condition). Review your thoughts in a calm state later.

I think it's one thing mental problems, and another are emotional. Though they are related, I think our medicine approach is too heavily related to drugs (as it's easier). Though I agree some people have it very hard (mentally ill), most people have rather emotional, but not mental problems.

Last edited by mister3d : 02 February 2013 at 03:54 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #33
Mister3d, you're throwing in a lot of gender stereotypes there (and it's not the first time I've seen you doing this), and it's quite ironic that indeed what you don't seem to realise is that your conditioning in gender stereotypes has actually shaped your views on yourself. See, it's not simply that women are prone to seeing psychologists and crying into napkins, it's that the patriarchal society we live in has always insisted on males being tough and not expressing their feelings; therefore women aren't more likely to go to psychologists simply because they're women, it's that men are less likely to visit psychologists because they're men. Because society frowns on men engaging in any kind of behaviour that could be perceived as weak or emotionally fragile. Ironically, your belief that getting fit and into shape totally plays into this too - if you have problems, don't admit it, just go the gym and be a tough guy, because that's what men are supposed to be! Or so society tells us.

The human mind, while strong in many ways, is also very vulnerable. One in four people suffers from depression or another mental illness at some point in their lives - and this affects both men and women. And yet, studies have shown that both men and women are less likely to view a man, who is displaying symptoms of depression, as being depressed and in need of professional help, even if his symptoms are exactly the same as a woman's who is considered depressed. This is because of the way in which gender stereotypes shape (or in this case, totally distort) people's views, and explains why women are more likely than men to seek professional help with problems, even though many men are equally in need of help but deny it.
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Old 02 February 2013   #34
Here's a study on the relationship between gender stereotypes and the diagnosis of mental health issues.

I imagine the OP may have had similar experiences with his anxiety disorder.
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Old 02 February 2013   #35
To the OP:

Having gone through this (albeit in very minor episodes) myself I can recommend two things:

1. When it gets bad pick up and play a video game. This might not be a 100% cure but it was a good treatment for me. Being able to escape your thought process and immerse yourself into another world for a few hours really helps you deal with stress and mental (sometimes physical too) trauma. It does provide a relief.

2. See a professional. While average folk here (as well as family members) can help you with armchair advice there is no substitute for a trained professional who deals with such issues full-time and has "seen it all". Seek more than one opinion, and do not be too paranoid about the "drug pusher" conspiracy theories.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #36
Originally Posted by leigh: Mister3d, you're throwing in a lot of gender stereotypes there (and it's not the first time I've seen you doing this), and it's quite ironic that indeed what you don't seem to realise is that your conditioning in gender stereotypes has actually shaped your views on yourself. See, it's not simply that women are prone to seeing psychologists and crying into napkins, it's that the patriarchal society we live in has always insisted on males being tough and not expressing their feelings; therefore women aren't more likely to go to psychologists simply because they're women, it's that men are less likely to visit psychologists because they're men. Because society frowns on men engaging in any kind of behaviour that could be perceived as weak or emotionally fragile. Ironically, your belief that getting fit and into shape totally plays into this too - if you have problems, don't admit it, just go the gym and be a tough guy, because that's what men are supposed to be! Or so society tells us.

I'm quite against the gym - I prefer either yoga or running etc. Nowhere I implied the idea of being a tough guy, I myself dislike bulky guys and think those muscles, though create hormonal "shield", play quite against people themselves. I was talking about blood circulation, as we sit a lot and hypodynamics may occur. When I was 17, I exactly did the gym with relief muscles and I know how it affects the body and mind, and I think it's not a good way to build your body or exercise.

Do you agree that women and men might need different approach? That they are different? I said it may be due to gender, and I think there are differences. About crying to a napkin, it's not related to gender. People, while visiting a psychologist, start the dialog with themselves, but it's not something you can't start on your own. Also I mentioned twice I'm not against those specialists, but I think solely relying on them isn't a good idea either.
I'm thinking whether you're up to something when you say it's because our society forbids men expressing their feelings. But it sounds like you're presuming men and women are very similar, whereas they weren't created for the same tasks (we wouldn't have genders then).
Though I partially agree on this (that men are not expected to cry for example), it's also has to do with gender. I even see it with my cats - female cat is more expressive and "talks" more. And females on average talk and socialize more than men, and it's not because someone forbids it to men. Have you seen the book "men are from mars, women are from venus"? Though I understand gender talk is a pretty slippery, and I admit I shouldn't mention about napkins, there are still differences, which we might ignore. I take your note I should be more careful expressing and shaping my opinions on gender. But please consider, as several females tell me "I can't make it on my own", my experience proves otherwise. Nowhere I stated "females can't cope by themselves", which how i might sound though.


Originally Posted by leigh: The human mind, while strong in many ways, is also very vulnerable. One in four people suffers from depression or another mental illness at some point in their lives - and this affects both men and women. And yet, studies have shown that both men and women are less likely to view a man, who is displaying symptoms of depression, as being depressed and in need of professional help, even if his symptoms are exactly the same as a woman's who is considered depressed. This is because of the way in which gender stereotypes shape (or in this case, totally distort) people's views, and explains why women are more likely than men to seek professional help with problems, even though many men are equally in need of help but deny it.


That's interesting. But also consider that men are more disposable and replacable from a biological point of view. Man is supposed to be strong, as he is one to protect and fight. Of course today it's not something needed, but in our genes it's still so. I think it's all has to do more than with stereotypes or trying to put down the opposite gender (which stems from misunderstanding of differences). It's we should ask why men are less supposed to cry and express their insecurity feelings?

Last edited by mister3d : 02 February 2013 at 05:25 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #37
Originally Posted by leigh: Did you even read the first post properly? I doubt someone would use the term "anxiety disorder" if they were just "overreacting" or "worried" about things, and being blunt isn't exactly a tactic I'd imagine many psychologists or psychiatrists recommending for dealing with someone who is vulnerable.

The lack of empathy shown by some here is pretty staggering.


Ive read everything he said, I dont give opinions or advice unless I know what im talking about, otherwise id would just be throwing out random thoughts that can cause more harm than good.

Most anxiety disorders are brought on solely by the person themselves as a result of their basic character traits. Rarely are they caused by any physical problem which can be remedied; so actually yes, most people with an anxiety disorder are doing exactly that, theyre unnecessarily worrying and overreacting about things that don't warrant it.

Molly coddling people often has the result that they believe their worries are founded in reality and that theyre right to panic about things to begin with. There is a difference between being honest and firm with someone and being a dick to them. Ive had to deal with plenty of nervous and anxious people before, some come in for training with tears in their eyes because theyve worked themselves up into such a state that they think if they cant do the job when they go back to work at the end of the week that they will be yelled at, demoted or fired.

Now, if the OP wants to give any further details about how bad the attacks where, what they were caused by and how hes dealt with it, im sure plenty of people will be happy to help and give advice.
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Old 02 February 2013   #38
So we are to not celebrate the mediocrity of society, while at the same time holding a pity party for those that are sad?
 
Old 02 February 2013   #39
Wow... I only expected a couple of replies o_o

Well, first of, thank you to Erik for the book recommendation; I will certainly be taking a look at that.

Amsterdam is, alas, well outside of my budget at this time .

As for more information... well, I have actually been seeing a counsellor for the past year and a half, which was about the first right step made. At the current point, my issues have more to do with not being able to "loosen up", both by way of hitting a creative block and discarding ideas during the brainstorming stage, as well as going over and over and over redoing regions of an artwork (especially lineart) until it's just a messy blur because it just never feels like it's working out. There are also times when it gets worse and insecurity over what I'm doing and future prospects dominate my thoughts (like when I started the thread. Sorry ).

Showing people my art is also a problem, but I suspect that's normal.

At its worst, I couldn't do a 5-minute sketch without destroying it in a fit of self-loathing. Managed to deal with that by working 5 minutes a day on whatever was in my head, then 10, then 15... etc. Basically going until the emotions got too overwhelming, then leaving.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #40
Originally Posted by BigPixolin: So we are to not celebrate the mediocrity of society, while at the same time holding a pity party for those that are sad?


Right, because mediocrity in work is totally the same thing as mental illness, right? Your use of the term "pity party" demonstrates why so many charities are having to work so hard to remove the stigma of mental illness in society today - congratulations on having zero empathy and for predictably being the "internet tough guy". You must be so proud.
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Old 02 February 2013   #41
Originally Posted by mister3d: I'm quite against the gym - I prefer either yoga or running etc. Nowhere I implied the idea of being a tough guy, I myself dislike bulky guys and think those muscles, though create hormonal "shield", play quite against people themselves. I was talking about blood circulation, as we sit a lot and hypodynamics may occur. When I was 17, I exactly did the gym with relief muscles and I know how it affects the body and mind, and I think it's not a good way to build your body or exercise.


I didn't mean to imply that you personally go to the gym, I meant that your response about paying attention to your body was typical of the male response.

Quote: Do you agree that women and men might need different approach?


No, I don't. Men and women may be different in many ways physiologically but when it comes to mental health issues, we are the same. It's just that society treats men and women differently, and has different expectations.

Quote: I'm thinking whether you're up to something when you say it's because our society forbids men expressing their feelings.


How can I be "up to something" when mentioning that? It's a fact. Society frowns on men who display their emotions openly; it's a behaviour that's traditionally associated with females, and as such, men are discouraged from behaving in a manner which is socially deemed feminine.

Quote: But it sounds like you're presuming men and women are very similar, whereas they weren't created for the same tasks (we wouldn't have genders then).


Having different reproductive systems doesn't mean that the two sexes should deal with their mental health issues differently, if that's what you're suggesting.

Quote: I even see it with my cats - female cat is more expressive and "talks" more.


Well I have a male cat and a female cat too and my male is more expressive and talkative. Are you seriously trying to prove a point about human mental health issues by referring to cat behaviour?

Quote: And females on average talk and socialize more than men, and it's not because someone forbids it to men.


A large part of this is due to society. Read up on this.

Quote: Have you seen the book "men are from mars, women are from venus"?


I've never bothered to read it, no. But are you aware that it's been heavily criticised for relying on stereotypes?

Quote: But please consider, as several females tell me "I can't make it on my own", my experience proves otherwise. Nowhere I stated "females can't cope by themselves", which how i might sound though.


I didn't say you'd said that though. And if you can make it on your own, good for you. But my point was far broader, in that men tend to shy away from psychological help but of gender stereotypes and expectations in society. Did you read the link I posted? It demonstrates rather soundly how both men and women view the two sexes with regards to mental health problems.
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Old 02 February 2013   #42
Originally Posted by imashination: Most anxiety disorders are brought on solely by the person themselves as a result of their basic character traits. Rarely are they caused by any physical problem which can be remedied; so actually yes, most people with an anxiety disorder are doing exactly that, theyre unnecessarily worrying and overreacting about things that don't warrant it.

Molly coddling people often has the result that they believe their worries are founded in reality and that theyre right to panic about things to begin with. There is a difference between being honest and firm with someone and being a dick to them. Ive had to deal with plenty of nervous and anxious people before, some come in for training with tears in their eyes because theyve worked themselves up into such a state that they think if they cant do the job when they go back to work at the end of the week that they will be yelled at, demoted or fired.


Honestly, you don't actually seem to know very much about anxiety disorders at all. Most of them are not simply brought on by a person's own personality traits; in fact most anxiety disorders are chemical in nature (whether due to brain chemical imbalances, or in many cases substance abuse) and tend to require a combination of medication and cognitive behavioural therapy to treat, not, contrary to your claim, being tough with them. The therapy includes a gradual exposure to the anxiety trigger, with gradual being key.

I don't think you can compare nervous students to someone with, for example, post traumatic stress disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder.

I do agree with you, however, that the OP could provide some more information which could help people to focus their suggestions.
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Old 02 February 2013   #43
Originally Posted by leigh: I didn't mean to imply that you personally go to the gym, I meant that your response about paying attention to your body was typical of the male response.

My opinion is that before starting sorting out mental issues, one should really try to balance his mind and body. And though it doesn't solve some deep inner problems, it may help to prepare for it.

Originally Posted by leigh: No, I don't. Men and women may be different in many ways physiologically but when it comes to mental health issues, we are the same. It's just that society treats men and women differently, and has different expectations.

Perhaps so. And there are different approaches to treating them.


Originally Posted by leigh: How can I be "up to something" when mentioning that? It's a fact. Society frowns on men who display their emotions openly; it's a behaviour that's traditionally associated with females, and as such, men are discouraged from behaving in a manner which is socially deemed feminine.

Largely yes. I think in some countries like India it may not be as strict, and I suppose China. It's where the culture allows to accept your female part as well... maybe I'm wrong though. I see some parents treat their children very well,without shouting at them and humiliating by different comparisons to "real men" and so on. I think those children should be much more healthy mentally. And some are treated quite aggressively though.
Russians are very strict at expressing your female part (and I think Americans may be as well, they seem similar somehow). It's very blatant on this.

Originally Posted by leigh: Having different reproductive systems doesn't mean that the two sexes should deal with their mental health issues differently, if that's what you're suggesting.

I'm definitely not suggesting it. I think you can (if you want) use your brain to help yourself for a start, and not just rely on professional help. But it depends I guess.
Originally Posted by leigh: Well I have a male cat and a female cat too and my male is more expressive and talkative. Are you seriously trying to prove a point about human mental health issues by referring to cat behaviour?

But what about children? They are born with differences. I guess women are more intuitive, and think differently.

Originally Posted by leigh: I've never bothered to read it, no. But are you aware that it's been heavily criticised for relying on stereotypes?

No, I didn't hear it was criticized, but it explained to me some interesting things I was unaware of, and they actually work, and my female friends agreed on this (that indeed they perceive things like it's described there, and were surprised men perceive things in another way, and I was also surprised they are not aware of this). Then another interesting read on this is ethology of humans by some Russian researchers (for example TRACTATE OF LOVE & CONCEITED MAMMAL protopop.chat.ru/tl3.html). It's more harsh, though there is even some harsher stuff on this, and it deals mainly with instincts.

Originally Posted by leigh: I didn't say you'd said that though. And if you can make it on your own, good for you. But my point was far broader, in that men tend to shy away from psychological help but of gender stereotypes and expectations in society. Did you read the link I posted? It demonstrates rather soundly how both men and women view the two sexes with regards to mental health problems.

I have read it, though it's a bit hard to me. I will keep that in mind. Though I'm not sure why would men be shy going to a doctor, if it's not a relative of theirs? Aren't some people just shy? Maybe they are just afraid of docs, and sometimes, rightfully so.

Last edited by mister3d : 02 February 2013 at 04:15 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #44
Originally Posted by imashination:
Most anxiety disorders are brought on solely by the person themselves as a result of their basic character traits. Rarely are they caused by any physical problem which can be remedied; so actually yes, most people with an anxiety disorder are doing exactly that, theyre unnecessarily worrying and overreacting about things that don't warrant it.

Molly coddling people often has the result that they believe their worries are founded in reality and that theyre right to panic about things to begin with. There is a difference between being honest and firm with someone and being a dick to them. Ive had to deal with plenty of nervous and anxious people before, some come in for training with tears in their eyes because theyve worked themselves up into such a state that they think if they cant do the job when they go back to work at the end of the week that they will be yelled at, demoted or fired.


It's very easy to spot the folk here who have absolutely no idea what an anxiety attack entails. It's not a case of 'worrying unnecessarily' or 'overreacting.' It's actually a terrifying psychotic episode that can last for hours.(my longest experienced episode was 16 hours) One can exhibit all the physical traits and symptoms of the onset of cardiac arrest. It is literally a battle with your own mind for control of both the situation, and your thoughts.

To the OP: my attacks stayed with me for years and I eventually defeated them when I finally convinced myself that there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with me physically and that it existed entirely in my mind. My Mother, who, at the time was a meditation adept, had a huge calming influence and helped me with breathing excercises. My Father never really intervened, but it was one of his blunt statements which still sticks in my mind that, in hindsight, was as effective as any of the other ammunition in the mind-war: "If you were REALLY having a heart attack you'd know all about it!"

It may seem ridiculous but, I found, the struggle to overcome the attacks hinged on a culmination of seemingly unrelated offensives.
My attacks always occurred as soon as I went to bed. (I've spoken to others who always got them in the shower, or on the bus) Everyone will of course differ, but dis-association plays a pivotal role in destroying this mental illusion. Towards the end of my 'attack era', whenever I felt the onset(which usually began - as I read in bed - with a doubled heart-rate, horrible, sharp chest pains and a numb left arm) I would get up and lie on the floor. Or go down and sleep on the couch. Eventually, as I dis-associated my bed with the attacks, they began to subside. I would openly laugh defiantly as my first palpitations started: "Ha! Here we go again..." It's a strange thing, baulking at your own efforts to repel your 'other' own efforts! At the tipping point of the struggle I would often go to the A&E at the local hospital and just sit there thinking: "I'll be safe here." Miraculously, the attack would abruptly cease. Surely another sign of the purely mental aspects of my plight. Then there was the book my Mother brought back from the States: "An end to panic." When an attack began I would leap onto the floor of the bedroom and begin reading. I believe I only ever read the first two and a half pages as the introduction was so powerful, succinct, and nurturing in it's description of WHY I should not allow myself to be overcome that the attack would cease. So, in effect, it was through a combination of counter-thoughts and realisation that one marvelous day......they stopped. And I have never had a serious re-occurrence since.

I could go on and on but I've probably bored you already. Keep your chin up. It may seem like the end of the world during an attack but it's surprisingly commonplace.(I believe Leigh quoted 1 in 4 suffer from mental illnesses) And more importantly, there are methods to rid yourself of the plight with or without professional help. Ultimately though, you will have to overcome your own thoughts. (which I'm sure seems a bit 'A Beautiful Mind' to some people here, but it's the only way I can describe it.

Best of luck.

Last edited by musashidan : 02 February 2013 at 04:30 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #45
Originally Posted by mister3d: ...might be related to gender. ...


You have a very outdated view on gender on how psychology works.

What may have worked for you, will not necessarily work for the next person.
It is such an oversimplification of the many psychological challenges a person can have.

It is also usually pretty brave of a person to admit they have a problem and need some help sorting through it. You make it sound like that is a weakness, while it actually is a strength.

To be willing to visit a psychologist and admit you may require help and are willing to let go of your own fears and opinions and try somebody else's method.
That is courage.
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