Two Levels of Anxiety Unwellness Recovery - Part 2
Anxiety unwellness occurs when we behave in an overly apprehensive manner. And behaving overly apprehensively is the result of learned behavior - we learned to behave in an overly apprehensive manner due to how we were raised and by the behaviors of those who raised us (Chapter 5 in the Recovery Support area of our website explains how and why this occurs).
But because the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that occur as a result of being anxious - and the feelings and sensations associated with that - 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, many anxious personalities may also become anxious about these changes – fear that they are being caused by an undiagnosed and serious medical or mental health illness. It’s this fear (which is an example of apprehensive behavior) that not only 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 into a more entrenched condition.
Moreover, up until a few years ago, anxiety unwellness wasn’t well understood, which is why it seemed hard to treat. Consequently, some people from both the medical and mental health communities made some incorrect assumptions about the cause and treatment of anxiety unwellness (which is commonly referred to as anxiety disorder by many medical and mental health care professionals).
For example, some people assumed that anxiety unwellness was caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain that required medication to correct. Others assumed that anxiety unwellness was caused by a genetic predisposition. Unfortunately, these incorrect assumptions and their treatments weren’t helpful to sufferers. As a result, many anxiety unwellness 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 worry and fear are examples of apprehensive behavior that is a driving force behind anxiety unwellness, you can see why these false assumptions about anxiety could cause the persistence of anxiety unwellness, therefore, making it hard to treat.
Fortunately, anxiety unwellness is better understood today. But the battle to overturn these incorrect assumptions continues. For more information about the ‘chemical imbalance’ or a genetic causes of anxiety theories, see our Anxiety Myths section.
Level One recovery, then, involves learning the truth about anxiety unwellness, learning that you don’t have to fear anxiety unwellness 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 treat the many sensations and symptoms commonly associated with anxiety unwellness.
The adage, “knowledge is power” is true and especially as it pertains to overcoming anxiety unwellness. The more you know about anxiety, 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 treat anxiety-caused sensations and symptoms. Knowing what to do can make all the difference. Knowing recovery expectations can be helpful, too. 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 problematic anxiety, and this misinformation can cause more harm than good. So accessing the right information is vital 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, which can result in the cessation of anxiety-caused sensations and symptoms.
The self-help information in the Recovery Support 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 unwellness. This information is often pivotal for a successful recovery.
Moreover, the Recovery Support area contains a Discussion Forum where members can talk about their experiences with anxiety unwellness, which provides a community environment where people can help themselves better understand and overcome problematic anxiety. 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 unwellness recovery. And while it is an important step, Level Two recovery is the MOST important step of recovery if long-term results are desired.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder coach, counselor, or therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
For more information about our Anxiety Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Anxiety Signs and Symptoms; common Anxiety Attack Symptoms; the symptoms of panic attack disorder; anxiety Recovery Support area; information about Anxiety; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate link or graphic below:
Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions page.
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated June 26, 2018.