What a paradox – The people assigned to make you better, can make you feel worse. Safety seeking behaviours are often encouraged by commonly used treatments and ‘advisers’ often exacerbate anxiety through lack of knowledge and unsure answers.
We constantly have clients tell us how, over years of treatment, they have aksed every concievable question with regard to explanations of symptoms, explanations of thoughts experienced and many more aspects of anxiety suffering; but that they have never received answers that have ‘helped’.
The kind of questions asked include:
- What is a panic attack?
- What is the lump in my throat and why does it happen?
- Why do I have thoughts about harming people I love?
- Why do I keep having ‘gay’ thoughts?
- Why have I become obsessed with my health?
- Why do I suddenly only think about dying?
- Why does I have IBS?
These are just a few of the hundreds of questions which go unanswered or get the standard ‘Because you are anxious’ response.
Anxious people don’t want to be told that anxiety causes it all, they just need to understand the underlying mechanism that generates these notions and sensations ONCE… it’s really not too much to ask.
We once had a high profile client attend the Anxiety Recovery Retreat and during a conversation in one of my sessions, he stated that he was going home to have investigative surgery on the lump in his throat and that despite several Harley Street consultations, scans and superficial examinations over a number of years, no one could get to the bottom of his problem. ENT specialists, GPs, psychologist… none had provided even a hint that it could be anxiety related let alone that it is caused by the anxiety repsonse. This had caused a number of years of intense concern about his health which had resulted in even more heightened anxiety and a number of very public breakdowns, alcoholism and substance abuse but no one had ever mentioned Globus Hystericus to him and no one had ever explained the neurological mechanism that causes it, its reason for activating, its genetic source or its place in evolution.
This is symptomatic of a system in which many well meaning people simply don’t have the knowledge required to reassure, educate, structure and deliver during the recovery process. It’s not their fault and many of these same people refer clients to us every day, for which we are eternally grateful.
Anxiety disorder sufferers need to be:
- Quickly reassured in detail about every aspect of their condition without leaving a stone unturned.
- Quickly educated about every symptom and thought, with precise scientific explanations that reinforce the curative pathway.
- Given curative structure that is simple to implement but which produces noticable immediate change.
- Support – Not support of the anxiety but support of the curative process and compliance.
By moving anxious people into this simple Method, by fine tuning their compliance and by making absolutely certain that each individual receives what it is THEY need to become anxiety disorder free, in their life and in their external and psychological environment, recovery happens quickly.
Suffering from an anxiety condition is pointless and time wasting at best and destructive and life changing at worst. If we catch children before they suffer, suffering can be avoided and if we catch it at its onset, it is short-lived. Instead of troubleshooting, we need to get what we do into schools and universities, modifying those behaviours that feed into the anxiety trap and preventing anyone from ever suffering again.
The safety seeking behaviours of anxious people are often reinforced, supported and cemented by mental health professionals and CBT is one treatment method that certainly has a lot to answer for in terms of supporting the anxiety disorder and undermining any possible recovery.