Monday, February 24, 2014 1 Comment
Chronic Anxiety & PTSD
Understanding Fear & Anxiety – Part 2
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Self-Health Series
When what happened leaves marks
Whether it was a little break or something catastrophic that required an operation and pins, you would feel “entitled” to go for professional help and would have no doubt that you needed it, right?
While you were in a cast, you’d probably have the good sense not to try to walk on that broken leg. Most of the people around you would be able to understand without explanation that you needed crutches to get around. Right? It would go without saying that you had to take it easy while you healed.
EVEN if you broke your leg doing something stupid that was entirely your own fault, you would probably feel very little shame about having a broken leg – a little embarrassed, perhaps, but you’d still allow yourself to get what you needed to heal.
YET, when the problem is mental, we tend to try to soldier on alone.
- Maybe we think things are not “bad enough” that we are entitled to professional help.
- Maybe the stigma still associated with the term “mental illness” stops us cold.
- We probably find ourselves struggling with the concern that others might believe we are weak or over-reacting if we can’t seem to pull things back together alone.
- Perhaps we have collapsed psychological difficulties with “crazy,” and we certainly don’t want to believe we are crazy!
The only thing that is CRAZY is denying ourselves the help it would take to manage whatever it is that we are struggling with so that we can get back to being our own best selves - and most of us are a little bit crazy in that way. I know I am, in any case.
In one masterful stroke of unconscious black and white thinking, we label ourselves powerless when we are unable to continue on without help, struggling against impossible situations sometimes, as things continue to worsen – if we’re lucky.
- Because when things continue to get worse, it will eventually become obvious that we are clearly not okay.
- We’ll eventually reach a place where it will be impossible to deny ourselves the help we need to heal.
- If we’re not lucky, we are able to continue living life at half mast: limp-along lives that could be SO much healthier and happier.
- If we’re not lucky, our mental reserves will be worn out by limping along, and we are likely to reach a place where it seems as if our dominant emotion is anger, or we will slide into chronic, low-level depression – or worse.