Anxiety - A Sane Response to Life's Inherent Insanity?

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25 Feb 2018 15:31 - 25 Feb 2018 15:35 #316606 by Arisaig

steamboat28 wrote: You literally said "I don't find it [anxiety] a mental illness..."


The rest of the quote is important.

EDIT: It is apparent there is a communication breakdown on this point, not so much someone trivialising mental health.

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Last edit: 25 Feb 2018 15:35 by Arisaig.
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25 Feb 2018 15:36 #316607 by steamboat28
As someone who suffers from GAD, I can assure you that the rest of the quote is not, in fact, important. Restraint and discipline help with people who are anxious, but do little to nothing to help people with anxiety. There is a difference. A marked difference.
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25 Feb 2018 15:36 #316608 by User22414
Sorry Steam but two can play that game

Viewpoints like this stigmatize


We can all take a fraction of what someone said and turn it into sometihing that affirms their stance but , my opinion was asked by V on the subject and i have since posted a few times explaining my stance i therefor decline your accusation ....

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25 Feb 2018 15:42 #316611 by User22414
Anyway i responded to the article that for me is not conclusively about the DSM 5 definition of Anxiety disorders or about feelings of anxiety wihich is a different area all together. That we can agree on.

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25 Feb 2018 15:49 #316612 by Arisaig

steamboat28 wrote: As someone who suffers from GAD, I can assure you that the rest of the quote is not, in fact, important. Restraint and discipline help with people who are anxious, but do little to nothing to help people with anxiety. There is a difference. A marked difference.


I know someone (no name or relation for their privacy (also using them, their pronouns for this narrative)) who currently suffers from several stress, anxiety, and panic disorders. It will, eventually, kill them. This person already knows how they will, most likely, die... and it isn't natural.

But, despite these disorders that will kill them, they continue forward and have learned to handle these episodes through training (They can literally pass out on command, you can't be stressed or anxious when you're unconscious). It is, in essence, discipline and restraint from letting it control them that is extending their life.

Yes, this isn't the case for everyone. I suffer from some pretty severe depression. I know how to handle it now. It still affects me, as this person's disorders still affect them... but we can control it, rather than let it control us.

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25 Feb 2018 16:29 - 25 Feb 2018 16:30 #316616 by Kit
So I've been really digging into anxiety for a very very long time because I suffer from Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks all the time. I'm going to try and explain this, please bear with me because it's like trying to describe with words what's only felt.

Anxiety exists on a scale for everyone. It's a response that keeps us safe. If you see a bear in the woods, she's bearing her fangs at you and roaring, what do you do? Most people's Fight or Flight (or Freeze) response kicks in without another thought. Why? Why didn't you stand and assess the situation? Remove the fear response from the picture and you'd probably end up with an internal dialog that sounds like this.

"Hey look! There's a fuzzy thing there. Oh I think it's a bear. What pretty fur! Oh she's standing up and showing me her teeth. I think her fangs are as long as my forearm! That's cool! Oh she has quite the beautiful voice, wait I think she's angry...maybe I should-" and then the voice ends because the owner got mauled ;)

Instead the brain goes from DANGER right to flight/flight/freeze.

But when you walk into the woods, anxiety primes you for this. She whispers "Hey, you know there's bears in these hills. Keep an eye out" allowing you to stay on the edge of the fight/flight/freeze response so you're ready. That level of anxiety will differ from person to person (assuming here that they have the same experience with woods and bears). Some won't even give a damn, others will already have initiated that fight/flight/freeze response before even getting into the woods, some do it when another simply suggests going for a hike.

I read a study that said it was useful (evolutionary speaking) to have people with high anxiety in your group. They saw the dangers first (because they were more keen to look for them)

The brain has shortcuts for fear responses. It takes the experiences in your life, decides if it was good or bad, and skips the thought process the next time it encounters something similar and just sends you the signals.

It's like creating shortcuts in a word browser. You can start from your home page, type in www.templeofthejediorder.org , click forum, click index, click general forum, click health, physical fitness, and wellbeing, then click on this thread to get there. Or you can save it as a shortcut if you've found you come here often enough.

People who suffer from an anxiety disorder have the kind of brain that gets shortcut happy. It gets to a point where you don't even know WHY you've triggered the fight/flight/freeze response. All you know is you want to run and it feels like there's no reason for it. I sat in the car once for an hour because I had to turn in a library book and that triggered a panic attack. Just the other day I had a mild panic attack trying to decide what soda I wanted to drink with lunch.

I felt I was torn with indecision. I wanted to run, but I had to do this, but it was scary and I didn't want to, but ... it was worse when I wasn't on meds for it. I couldn't even approach an employee at a store to ask the location for what I wanted except after scoring the store two or three times over, and really needing the item. Otherwise I'd leave without it. And when I did approach someone, my legs felt weak with fear.

To help combat this, before I got into the therapy (which I'm still continuing) and the medicines I needed, I was the most disciplined person you'd ever met. It was one of the most difficult times in my life. I was constantly tired, constantly frustrated, and found little joy in life. Everything I had was going into that discipline in order to do what I thought I needed to do to be an adult in life. It left very little to nothing to myself to actually enjoy much of anything. And I still ran out of spoons/energy/will only to be pounced by Anxiety again anyways. I later realized that it's better to work WITH my problems than fight against them (usually)

If this sounds familiar to you, please go get professional help if you have the ability. It took me years of my partner poking me and then wanting to go myself to finally get the nerve to go. And I actually went in for ADHD instead of anxiety and depression. I think it was an excuse to work around that anxiety response. But I gotta say my life is worlds better with therapy and medication. I was passively suicidal a little over a year ago. Now those thoughts are very very rare and fleeting. There's no shame in seeking help and you deserve to get to live the happiest life you are able.

ok Kitten is up and I don't have the time to re-read this so I hope it makes sense :D I welcome any questions here or PM about this or anything really :)
Last edit: 25 Feb 2018 16:30 by Kit.
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25 Feb 2018 16:39 #316618 by User22414
It makes great sense to me Kit , your hard work and discipline to get better humbles me , and we are very lucky that there are medicines to help you. I am very happy that your endurance and therapy have worked for you and i hope that people will see your example and find help and stop hiding , because that is what i did , untill i got help , and that is what many of us do.

Thank you for your beautiful example Kit :)

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25 Feb 2018 17:13 #316622 by Rosalyn J

I dont find it a mental illness so much as a lack of restraint and discipline , the notion that this planet is a dangerous place where anything can happen , from walking under a bus to crashing down is one that developes into your maturity , not being able to handle these facts of life is a sign one has not mastered reality as much as one would like.


The fullness of this quote is indeed important. Your suggestion that anxiety and panic attacks come from lack of restraint and discipline is similar to a sort of "get over it" attitude. I realize you may not have meant it as such and though you may have overcome your anxiety using those coping tools, what you have just said to others is that their experience and their coping tools are not valid. Again, I realize you may not have meant it as such.

I understand, Serenity, that you were engaging in a discussion in a discussion forum. I value your opinion of mental illness. I value the tools you have used to overcome and we could all take a page from your book, but your opinion is pathologizing and brings up strong feelings for individuals that experience anxiety and panic every day. You’ve begun a good discussion I hope we can all participate in as a part of learning.
Here is my experience:
I work with a lot of people with a lot of invisible disabilities. It’s easy for people who have the control of their care or income to dismiss their legitimate symptoms as something that can just be "dealt with" and when they come to me, they are at the end of their rope. I spend 3 hours listening to just one person, validating them, reminding them that they are valued and listened to. Teaching them about coping tools, etc. I can count the times i have had a panic attack. I'm no expert. I listen. Whatever they say they need, I believe them. People who come to me often tell me it was the last place they hoped they'd end up. Mental Illness generally, and anxiety and panic specifically, have absolutely nothing to do with the people who experience them. Its not their fault they are there any more than its someone's fault they tripped and broke their arm. We think about it as such and we create policies with that narrative in mind
What the author is trying to do is remove the pathology of anxiety and panic attacks so that we people who do not experience them can create a more accepting world by permitting anxiety and panic, by allowing people to say "no" without belittling their answer, by giving them a chance to choose to do something little by little or not at all and not faulting them in the least

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25 Feb 2018 17:21 #316625 by User22414
I value your opinion as ever Rosalyn and i want to say i already learned a lot from what i have read here , if i gave anyone the impression that all they had to do was practise discipline and restraint i sincerly regret that , all i wanted to do is point out these tools that others have confirmed they use and they are effective. I am not jugging mental illness , i am not judging medicines , i encourage people getting help. I sincerly hope people go out and find the help they need , i merely express how i think about it and also stressed to correct me when i am wrong or overstepping. I also think provoking strong feelings is not a bad thing.

*bows*

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25 Feb 2018 17:34 #316629 by Rosalyn J

I also think provoking strong feelings is not a bad thing.


Your last point here is quite a good thing to have a discussion over. Can I create another thread?

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