By Tim Hoopmann
Everyone feels anxious from time to time. When anxious feelings don’t go away, happen without any particular reason or make it hard to cope with daily life it may be the sign of an anxiety condition.
There are lots of myths about anxiety, which have led to stereotypes about those with the condition. Debunking these myths is a key step in fighting stigma towards anxiety.
Anxiety is not a real illness
Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. Stress and anxious feelings are a common response When we feel under pressure.
Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don’t go away. If you’re living with anxiety, the anxious feelings may not be easily managed. Anxiety is a serious condition that makes it hard for a person to cope with daily life.
Anxiety can only be treated with medication
Although medications are commonly recommended for the treatment of anxiety, they may only provide a temporary solution and do not address the cause of the issue.
Other effective methods of treatment include:
Regular physical exercise – exercising regularly can reduce stress, help you sleep better, and aid recovery from mental illness
Psychological Therapy – such as cognitive behaviour therapy which is based around changing thinking, attitudes, behaviours and beliefs, and problem solving. Anxiety management/relaxation techniques including visualisation, meditation, Mindfulness, counselling and breathing exercises.
Saying “this will pass” helps sufferers
There are certain phrases you should avoid when speaking to an anxiety sufferer – “this will pass” is one of them.
Other unhelpful phrases include: “Just get on with it” “Stop worrying” “Why don’t you just think differently about it” and “Remain calm”.
A helpful phrase can be – “I don’t know what to say, but I am here for you”.
Support is available if you think you may be experiencing anxiety, or if you know someone that is. Seek help early. Beyond Blue Support Service 1800 22 4636