8 Dec 2013

The spiral of anxiety

Anxious, stressed, are words for a mental state where you feel you're loosing control. This feeling of loosing control both over things and ourselves is connected to most anxiety states.
However, some people are more prone to it, anxiety being part of their mental functioning since the beginning. Contact with anxious and stressed adults doesn't help because the child convinces herself that this is a normal way of functioning.
It's difficult to cope with this generalized anxiety. The biggest problem is that the person feels frustation and anger at not being able to handle it. And this brings guilt, more anxiety and sometimes depression.
One has to learn to cope with this terrible spiral that may escalate to a panic atack, which is no more than an acute state of extreme anxiety, bringing a terrible fear of death.
A panic atack may be an awful episode but has the merit of making the person realize that really needs professional help. The spiral of anxiety-frustration-anger-guilt has to be broken.
A good psychotherapist can help you understand this mechanism and start a process to break the spiral. It's not quick, since even a young person has been having this mechanism for long. But it sure helps.

(From The New Yorker)

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