When it comes to understanding mental health and mental illness, many people have preconceived notions about disorders. From anxiety to depression to bipolar disorder, many myths abound and attach stigma to mental health issues without helping individuals to better understand the details. These myths about generalized anxiety disorders and other anxiety challenges continue to prevent individuals from seeking treatment.
Myth 1: Anxiety isn’t a real illness. Anxiety is a very real illness that can greatly impair your quality of life. Just because you may not be able to visually see the illness does not mean it does not exist. Your anxiety is real.
Myth 2: Your panic attack might knock you out. While panic attacks can be incredibly terrifying, you will not pass out due to high blood pressure and heart rate. Focus on grounding yourself and riding out the panic attack by realizing that nothing bad is going to happen and the attack will end soon.
Myth 3: You can just get over anxiety if you try hard enough. One of the worst mistakes people make is assuming that it’s all in your head and can be stopped at the drop of a hat. Anxiety is a real disorder that is incredibly difficult to overcome without some sort of support. Medication is not right for everyone, but treatment programs are often the best way to help you deal with your anxious mind.
Myth 4: Drinking and smoking will get rid of that anxiety right away. While these vices may help alleviate anxiety in the moment, they will ultimately never fix the issue; in fact, drinking or smoking may make your anxiety worse in the long run. Do not rely on these vices to self medicate.
Myth 5: Anxiety is a rare disorder. You are not alone. Almost 1 in 5 Americans report suffering from an anxiety disorder. Whether you have already sought support for your anxiety or are considering doing so, know that there are many, many others out there dealing with very similar challenges.
Click here to read the full article by Teresa Tellekamp for Huffington Post.