Systemic Issues: Anxiety

Like the diet industry I also believe the mental health system is broken, its all tied together right. Your diet and brain / body connection. Garbage in, garbage out! I was born with anxiety but honestly I wonder if other things causes these brain issues, like chemicals, medications, and/or environment. It could of been my scenario at home, or what other factors change your mind and create anxiety?

Anyway, the psychology industry is sadly similar to the diet industry. Wonder which section has more books at the bookstore: Diet or Self-help? We have so much information out there and so much advice, but worse is when you go to your doctor. The doctor wants to readily prescribe antidepressants and send you to a therapist. The therapist will run you between $50 – $120 for their time (and that is out of pocket, what does the insurance cover?). While a 90 day supply of Prozac (mind altering medication) will cost $4. Personally, I already know I’d rather not take medication for anxiety. I want to break out and define to you what I experienced and how I work to overcome it.

I have never experienced a panic attack. I was always high-strung and nervous, in particular when doing anything new. When I was little I wanted to be the best. I didn’t want to finish last. If I wasn’t great and other kids made fun of me (which they did), I’d give up and not try. Gym class was a nightmare because of that. I didn’t give my full effort because I was bullied and made fun of, probably because of my hesitancy. I was tripped in the halls and shoved. This was in elementary school. You get used to it. But it alters how you interact with other. I feared asking questions, I feared using the restroom, I feared not understanding and my favorite was when topics were discussed they’d ask your opinion and I had none. I never had an opinion and I couldn’t understand how others did. I’d take the opinions of others, if they were popular. Because I was afraid. My voice shook when I spoke. It honestly took me many years of realizing I was okay by doing small things. When I say I feared, I didn’t do a lot of these things. I’d get on the school bus everyday in fear. I’d struggle to raise my hand to use the bathroom and if I got the nerve up and went if someone was in the bathroom I couldn’t use it. I almost peed my pants because of it. And I still struggle with this and I am 46. I still go to a meeting and have no input unless I am heavily prepared and very actively listening. It’s easy for me to disengage and think I don’t get this and say nothing. I also get overwhelmed by things are very technical and I panic!

After I graduated high school I went through tons of jobs struggling with anxiety and fear. I wanted more for myself but didn’t know how to achieve it. After suffering through a very crappy situation it gave me perspective on things. And I realized how silly some of my fears were and I realized I was able to do things beyond the little box I set myself in. That I was better than that but that it was better than what I created in my mind. When I started to doing cognitive behavioral therapy I also realized how negative I was being, and how stuck in my own thoughts I truly was. That my thoughts on something weren’t always the situation and life 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to those things. That was a big deal for me. Another big deal was when I took the blinders off and noticed other people at work who were doing things that I thought I couldn’t do, they were no smarter than me. I always felt they maybe they knew more or could do more. But realizing that made a big difference for me. I started to push myself to do better.

I am really proud of myself. I am not perfect but I do my best and I give my all. Sometimes things are not easy. I feel like sometimes when people suffer from anxiety they aren’t really sure what it is and sometimes those symptoms get confused with low self worth or thinking something is just generally wrong with you. And its not, you are okay. You can get through this and leave this fear prison behind you. I highly recommend using a CBT program or workbook.

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