It’s not just a state of mind
Perhaps one of the greatest and most problematic misconceptions about an anxiety disorder is that it’s merely a state of mind. “Many people believe that having anxiety is no big deal,” says Dr Breur. “They think it’s a normal, everyday type of worry that everyone experiences.” But people with anxiety know otherwise. “It’s not just a state of mind. It’s a mental health disorder that can escalate over time if not treated.” To make matters worse, she says such escalation may lead to depression and substance abuse issues.
There are ways of managing it
There are a few effective ways to manage anxiety. Each individual needs a different level of care, and your doctor will be able to help you determine the best course of action. Therapy, medication, and complementary and alternative treatment can be effective treatment options. Talk therapy, exercise, good sleep hygiene, a low-carb and high-protein diet along with stress management are also at the forefront of treatment for generalised anxiety disorder.
Sometimes, it’s the stigma that hurts the most
The stigma of struggling with mental health issues is often what hurts and hinders the recovery process the most. There are many people with anxiety who genuinely feel powerless over their illness since they don’t want to actually admit they’re a sufferer. In fact, an American Psychiatric Association poll released in 2018 found that most people surveyed “wouldn’t vote for a candidate for elected office who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, even if the candidate had been treated for it.”
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