Am I Losing My Mind?
Your heart is racing, your mind is spinning, you can’t focus, and you’re feeling like you will lose control at any moment. This feeling is called anxiety and it’s one shared by millions of people every day. When you have an Anxiety Disorder you might feel like you’re losing control, that you can’t stay ahead of your own thoughts, that your own mind is working against you to create the worst outcomes of the worst scenarios.
Constant worry and stress make your mind constantly on alert for anything that might trigger an attack of fear or dread; you fall down a spiral of worry and bad feelings. You might even move from worrying about whatever you’re concerned about (money, health, etc.) to worrying about feeling anxious.
It might seem completely unique to you, and it might seem insurmountable, but neither of those is true. Understanding what anxiety is and how it is treated can help you see that you’re not losing your mind at all.
What is Anxiety?
What we refer to as anxiety is actually a cluster of processes that all have one thing in common: fear or worry about things that are not threatening or dangerous. The mental and emotional symptoms of anxiety include many of the following.
Mental Symptoms Of Anxiety
Along with these feelings come the physical.
Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
Because the symptoms we commonly associate with life-threatening illnesses (like a heart attack or stroke) can overlap with symptoms of anxiety, the anxious mind is already primed to jump at the hint of actual danger. That’s one of the insidious aspects of anxiety that people seeking help for anxiety might overlook at first–anxiety is not an actual health problem, but it sure feels like one.
What Anxiety Isn’t
It can be helpful to think about anxiety with the definition used above, as an overactive alarm in situations or experiences that are not actually dangerous or threatening. Anxiety only feels like being chased by a hungry tiger or jumping out of a plane without a parachute–you are experiencing neither of these situations, but your body and your brain acting as if you were.
While your situation in life might feel dire, and you might feel like you’re hanging by a string, these reactions are based on false alarms.
Not Just Anxiety–Depression, Too
Not only does the feeling of losing your mind come from anxiety, it can also come from depression. While related and often discussed together, depression and anxiety are often treated differently from each other. Symptoms of depression can include feelings of losing control, but instead of worry it typically manifests as the opposite: resignation and sadness.
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