Notes from this week’s episode:
Anxiety is not something I’m doing to myself
I wish people understood that I wasn’t “doing it to myself”. I have frequently received the comment that I am “creating my own problems”. I have been made to feel like my anxiety is my fault. It would help to hear that I’m understood and that they acknowledge that I’m doing the best I can.
I wish people understood that I know how crazy I sound or how irrational my fears are- the pervasiveness of those anxious thoughts are the battle that I’m fighting. You can’t talk me out of my anxiety by telling me it’s an irrational thought. I’m pretty smart- if it were that easy, I’d have done it. Because I know it’s irrational.
Comments from members of our Private Facebook Group
Anxiety causes real suffering
If you’re reading this, or listening to this episode, because a loved one is suffering from anxiety, here are some insights into the very physical nature of anxiety.
Here are some symptoms of an anxiety attack: a pounding heart, gasping for breath, feeling faint and light-headed, nausea, sweating and shaking.
Anxiety has a definite physical set of symptoms, and they are not to be taken lightly.
Nearly 25% of emergency calls in the UK requesting an ambulance are related to the symptoms of anxiety. No-one calls an ambulance unless something is happening in their body that feels serious.
Anxiety isn’t always rational & it can come out of nowhere
“Anxiety can come on out of nowhere, no matter where you are or what you are doing. It might last moments, minutes, or months!”
Anxiety triggers flight, fight or freeze in the body. It sends stress hormones pumping through the body that can make someone freeze on the spot, or want to run away.
It is not a case of somebody being dramatic or high-maintenance. It is a case of genuine suffering with very definite physical symptoms.
Never think it’s JUST anxiety. Know that anxiety is genuine suffering. It’s easy to think we’d know how to cope if it was us – until it is us!
“I wish people could be more empathetic towards us and stop telling us just to do it and it will be better.”
Empathy is not auditing another’s experience. One of the quickest ways to isolate somebody needing support is to expect them to respond to how you think they should. It’s not about you.
You cannot know what another is experiencing, and you cannot help them unless you honor their experience.
How you can help
Let your friend or loved one know you are here for them. Listen without judgment.
Simple acts of kindness:
Bring them a glass of water or a cup of calming tea
Put a couple drops of lavender essential oil on a tissue and bring it for them to inhale.
Invite them to change up their environment by going outside or going for a walk with them.
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