We strive to be strong
However, what we achieve in many cases is to further intensify the anxiety until it leads to chronic states of suffering. We analyze it.
Chronic anxiety affects thousands of people around the world. Excessive worry over time, sleep disturbances, constant pressure on the chest, fears, anticipating fatalities every two by three ... Life in such a mental universe is not easy, but still weeks, months and even years. There are better times and worse times, it is true, but the wear and tear is immense.
To the question of how can someone live with this reality for so long, the answer may attract our attention. You get used to suffering. It does so because these conditions appear already in adolescence or early youth. We "get used" to that style of thinking, to a body and mind that overreact to problems, to the daily complications of life.
"I am like that, what can you do, I have an anxious personality" is the justification that many people make. However, they are also aware when comparing themselves with others that there is something wrong . Because there is a pattern of thought that damages and weakens, that extinguishes illusions and hopes every day.
Let's know a little more about this topic.
Chronic anxiety: definition, symptoms and treatment
Going from an anxious mind to a calm mind is not easy. Especially when we suffer from chronic anxiety, that is, when we live for months and years with a psychological state in which worry, fear and anguish are disproportionate. The most complicated part of all this is that whoever suffers it makes an effort to hide it, to conceal it, to pretend to others that everything is going well.
Thus, in this eagerness to demonstrate high competence and normality, not only energy is consumed even more . In addition, anxiety is fed back, making it even more chronic.
From psychology we are aware of the high complexity of these realities. In fact, studies such as those carried out at the University of California by Dr. Alexander Bystrisky point us to something important.
Although anxiety may not be as striking to the naked eye as schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder are just as disabling . What's more, something quite common is having people who carry that anxiety for years, to the point of leading to more serious conditions, such as major depression. It is a priority, therefore, to give an early response and avoid that anguish is prolonged in time.
What are the symptoms of chronic anxiety?
Anxiety has many forms, many faces and each person can experience it in a particular way. Works by prominent authors such as Aaron T. Beck, Albert Ellis , Paul Watzlawick or MH Erickson have delved into this area and have given us valuable strategies to understand and address these situations a little better.
To speak of chronic anxiety is to define a psychological state that lasts beyond 6 months. It is not a simple time of worry or a losing streak. Let's see what are the most common symptoms and signs:
- Excessive worry.
- Fears and tendency to anticipate negative events.
- Concentration problems.
- Difficulty solving problems since the mind always anticipates the worst and becomes blocked.
- Feeling of anguish and guilt . The person with chronic anxiety does not understand why they feel that way and blames themselves for it.
- Restlessness and agitation due to elevated levels of adrenaline.
- Phobias may appear.
- Sleep disturbances .
- Tachycardia, chest pressure.
- Hot flashes or chills
- Lightheadedness or tingling sensations
- Muscle aches or pains.
- Feeling of being on edge or under pressure.
- Having a feeling of a lump in your throat or difficulty swallowing.
What could be behind chronic anxiety?
Chronic anxiety is not a clinical condition as such, it defines a state in which discomfort and anguish go beyond 6 months. Thus, in most cases, what we have behind these situations is a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This psychological entity is more common than we think, so much so that we can sometimes have patients who have been dragging this situation since adolescence.
If we ask ourselves about the triggers, in many cases there are usually the following facts:
- Factors associated with personality . Having a tendency to feed negative thinking, not having strategies to deal with worries, low self-esteem or insecurity can be associated factors.
- Having experienced a traumatic situation is another trigger.
- On the other hand, we cannot rule out genetic factors and a greater tendency to experience stress.
What kinds of treatments are there?
Anxiety has a treatment. Any type of mood disorder can be tackled thanks to psychological therapy. In some cases, the strategy can be combined with psychotropic drugs, but the most effective resource to treat the root of the problem and enable the person to manage chronic anxiety is psychotherapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as acceptance and commitment therapy can be of great help . The most important thing is that the patient learns to develop more rational, reflective thoughts aimed at obtaining greater control and well-being of their day to day. Anxiety will not disappear from your life, it will always be present, but if you know how to handle it, it will no longer be a burden and an impediment to obtaining well-being.
On the other hand, the systematic desensitization technique, such as Jacobson's progressive relaxation techniques, are very useful therapeutic approaches. Let us therefore not hesitate to ask for expert help when we need it. Going from an anxious mind to a calm mind is within our reach.
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