Too many people focus on their anxiety symptoms as if the symptoms themselves are the problem. But anxiety symptoms are just an indication (symptom) of the problem, and not the cause of the problem itself. And unless the cause of the problem itself is dealt with—our unhealthy underlying factors—it’s unrealistic to expect the symptoms of the problem to diminish, or remain diminished if they do diminish or subside on occasion (it is common for symptoms to ebb and flow over the course of time).
Dealing with the cause of the problem eliminates the problem AND its symptoms. This is the way to lasting recovery. Any other approach is simply treating the symptoms, and not the problem itself.
This is the reason why people can struggle with their symptoms and anxiety disorder for years. If their focus has solely been on trying to eliminate their symptoms and not on addressing their underlying factors, you can see why their symptoms can remain in spite of their best efforts to eliminate them. Again, as long as the cause of the problem remains unaddressed, it’s unrealistic to expect the symptoms of the problem to be permanently eliminated.
And this is a common barrier to overcoming anxiety disorder: a focus on symptoms and eliminating them, and not on addressing the problem.
And this is just one of many reasons why people can struggle with anxiety disorder and symptoms for years (it’s not that anxiety disorder is incurable, but that people don’t get or follow through on the right help). We’re going to be addressing other barriers to overcoming anxiety disorder and its symptoms in upcoming articles.