The Anxiety Epidemic


What is an Epidemic? The rapid spread or increase in the occurrence of something. With almost 7 million people being affected by Generalized Anxiety Disorder in the U.S. alone, and 40 million people suffering from some type of mental health issue, we have ourselves a problem that is growing at lightning speed – an epidemic – that doesn’t get the attention it truly deserves. As someone who suffered from anxiety, I was often told by multiple ‘professionals’ that anxiety is treatable, and that the vast majority of people with an anxiety disorder can be helped with professional care. I am forced to call slight bull… – let me explain why. The ‘professional’ options for you are:

Therapy – Therapy has limited success written all over it. Why? Reason #1 – because eliminating anxiety depends completely on one word, CONSISTENCY. With an average of $175 per session to visit a therapist, and the gaps that exist in between visits (if your therapist sees you once a week, which is rare) there is more than enough time for your anxiety symptoms to creep back in, and the cycle of panic attacks to keep returning. This can be a long and hard fought battle between you and well, yourself. Structure is key to overcoming an anxiety disorder and the symptoms that accompany it. Reason #2 – to overcome anxiety once and for all, one must completely FORGET about the anxiety. How can you do that if you’re constantly being reminded of it with every visit? I’ve concluded that over my 6 years of struggle and recovery from anxiety and panic disorder, that I can go as far to say that therapy for anxiety is actually counter-productive UNLESS you have a boat load of money to blow on therapy sessions, or have a therapist that has actually gone through what you have, and succeeded themselves in the end.

That Being Cared For Feeling – The way I look at therapy is it’s comfortable. It’s a stranger holding you in their arms comforting you as you wallow in self victimization. It is kind of similar to the endless posting I used to do on forums asking others if they’ve gone through a certain symptom, have tried this new drug my doctor prescribed, or just needed a boost. It’s all good at the time, but this doesn’t end your anxiety disorder. I just wish I realized this quicker than I did.

Medication – Anxiety disorders and depression are not caused by a chemical problem in the brain. Wow, when I figured that one out I was stunned as well, and quickly stopped my daily search on DR GOOGLE to find out what drug would ‘fix’ my chemical imbalance the quickest. Anxiety Disorders cost the U.S. over 42 BILLION dollars a year, you heard that right – 42 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, you’d think with those kinds of numbers drugs like Effexor, Lexapro and Zoloft (popular antidepressants) would be lessening the numbers of people suffering from mental health problems, not adding to them.

The Chemical Imbalance Theory lacks Evidence! I want to share with you one of many recent headlines that refutes the chemical imbalance theory:

“Ads for SSRI antidepressants are misleading”, say researchers. Consumer ads for a class of antidepressants called SSRIs often claim that depression is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, and that SSRIs correct this imbalance, but these claims are not supported by scientific evidence, say researchers in PLoS Medicine. Medical News Today – November 12, 2005 <a target=”_new” rel=”nofollow” href=””></a&gt; ”

Simply put, independent investigations have concluded that there never was any “true” evidence that supports the chemical imbalance theory, even at the outset.

In a nutshell, what you and I were led to believe is not completely accurate, and the first line of treatment for symptoms of anxiety and ultimately an anxiety disorder, should really NOT be the first line of treatment at all. This epidemic is growing by the day with no real light at the end of the tunnel for the majority of people. But that doesn’t have to be you. You can take control over your anxiety related issues once and for all by recognizing how others like me have overcome their struggles naturally, and for good. That is by looking internally within yourself for answers, rather than looking for an answer from something external in your outside world. An anxiety disorder has been consistently ‘programmed’ into you, and can be easily programmed out of you.

Understanding what you’ve read here is the first step…

What do you think about this epidemic? Follow the anxious athlete blog for the very best anxiety support online, as well as a daily dose of inspiration for your life.

5 comments on “The Anxiety Epidemic

  1. Pingback: Having Anxiety is My Favorite Thing in the World | Mental Health Specialist 411

  2. Hi.
    I could not agree with you more. My own experience in recovery resulted in my discovering that I am the most important person in my own recovery. My recovery will not depend on medication, doctors or talk therapies. Good self-care including exercise, healthy eating, omega 3 oils, rest, mindfulness, a grateful attitude, distraction in the form of work or hobbies, interaction with other people making me feel connected, probiotics, being happy when I do my best and not always having to be perfect, having someone to love and to be loved by someone, taking in nature and allowing my inner child to play and not always be responsible for the things in life.
    Thanks for sharing all you unique experience of recover and on how you maintain it daily. Oh for those joyful moments when you feel it’s great to be alive.
    Best wishes.

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