Anxiety disorder often occurs when we become overly afraid. And being overly afraid is the result of learned unhealthy behaviors—we have learned to think and behave more fearfully than those people who don’t develop anxiety as a disorder.
But because the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that occur as a result of being afraid—and the feelings and sensations associated with them—can seem powerful, many people become afraid of them. And since these changes, including their associated feelings and sensations, can affect many parts of the body and in unexpected and odd ways, anxious personalities may also fear that these changes (including their feelings and sensations) are being caused by an undiagnosed and serious medical or mental health illness. It’s this fear that only not often sends many anxious personalities to the emergency room or to their doctors thinking they are having a medical emergency but also often scares them in a more advanced condition.
Moreover, up until a few years ago, anxiety disorder wasn’t well understood, which is why it seemed hard to treat. And as a result, some people from both the medical and mental health communities made some incorrect assumptions about the cause and treatment of anxiety disorder.
For example, some people assumed that anxiety disorder was caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain that required medication to correct. Others assumed that anxiety disorder was caused by a genetic predisposition. Unfortunately, these incorrect assumptions and their treatments weren’t helpful to sufferers. As a result, many anxiety disorder sufferers believed that they had succumbed to a condition that was outside of their control with little chance to overcome it and live a normal life again. Since fear is the driving force behind anxiety disorder, you can see why these false assumptions, once they became “socially acceptable,” could cause the persistence of anxiety disorder, therefore, making it hard to treat.
Fortunately, anxiety disorder is better understood today. But the battle to overturn these incorrect assumptions continues.
Level One recovery, then, involves learning the truth about anxiety disorder, learning that you don’t have to fear anxiety disorder or its consequences (the physiological, psychological and emotional changes and their associated sensations and symptoms), and learning and applying recovery strategies that work. This can be accomplished with the help of good self-help information and support.
Good self-help information can help you understand what anxiety is, how your body responds to it, what your body can do when you are anxious too much or too often, how stress plays a role, and more importantly, what you can do to resolve the many sensations and symptoms commonly associated with anxiety disorder.
The adage, “knowledge is power” is true and especially as it pertains to overcoming anxiety disorder. The more you know, the better off you’ll be. That’s because there are a number of natural and practical things you can do on your own to eliminate anxiety-caused sensations and symptoms when you know WHAT to do. Knowing recovery expectations can be helpful too. And this is the role that good self-help information can play.
Also, having the ability to talk with others is helpful. And especially when people are discussing the right information.
Unfortunately, there still is a lot of misinformation about anxiety disorder, and this misinformation can cause more harm than good. So accessing the right information is important to expedient recovery.
So again, Level One recovery is learning about anxiety, learning how to help the body recover, and applying proven recovery strategies so that your body can recover and eliminate anxiety-caused sensations and symptoms.
The self-help information in the member’s area of our website was developed for Level One recovery. For example, the information in chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 is “must know” information for anyone struggling with an anxiety disorder. This information is often pivotal for a successful and long-term recovery. Moreover, the members area contains a Discussion Forum where members can talk about their experiences with anxiety disorder, which provides a community environment where people can help themselves better understand and overcome anxiety disorder. The combination of this self-help information and community discussion forum can play an important role in Level One recovery.
But this is just the FIRST step in anxiety disorder resolution. And while it is an important step, Level Two recovery is the MOST important step of recovery if long-term results are desired. We’ll address that next.