I totally understand that when we suffer high levels of anxiety on a daily basis for seemingly no reason it can be important that those feelings are recognised and validated rather than just being dismissed as “well we all feel anxious at times you know”.
I get that.
I’ve been there.
The problem occurs when a well-meaning #anxietyawareness channel puts up a helpful infographic describing the symptoms of an anxiety disorder and then fails to explain the realities of what that means.
Suddenly the diagnosis of Dr Instagram has become our new major concern.
But let’s put a little less emphasis on diagnosis (which lets face it creates and amplifies any anxiety) and a bit more emphasis on understanding.
A disorder is not a genetic flaw, or a cognitive malfunction or a chemical imbalance.
Disorder is not a permanent state.
Disorder means a state of confusion.
Disorder means your mind has started to offer up muddled, exaggerated or inappropriate emotional responses.
You weren’t born with them. Something happened and your mind started to respond in a way you now regard as unhelpful.
The good news is that you’re not locked in to this.
The good news is that we continue to learn our entire life.
The good news is that once we clear up the confusion in our mind we get to put things back in order.
So it really doesn’t matter whether you choose to label your emotional responses as disordered or not... because these feelings and responses are transient, and will continue to change as your understanding grows.
Please don’t fear anxiety, and don’t fear a label that somebody else has defined for you.
Keep doing your best, because your best gets better every day.
The Control System | Master
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