Statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health
the #1 mental health problem among American Women
the #2 mental health problem among American men, second only to alcohol and drug abuse
17% of the population of the United States have suffered from panic attacks, phobias, or other anxiety disorders in the past year
(That's 50 million people)
Nearly 25% of the adult population will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some time during their life
Only a small proportion of these people receive treatment despite panic and anxiety having reached an epidemic proportion
According to Dr. Edmund J. Bourne,"Anxiety Disorders are an outcome of cumulative stress acting over time..." Everyone creates their own story but stress over time plays a key role and the society in which we live impacts us and affects us deeply. Dr. Bourne goes on further to discuss the rapidly changing digital age of the past 30 years, and increasing uncertainty of the future of the planet as causes for extreme stress which humans as a biological species has not necessarily yet learned how to adapt and cope with said drastic changes.
What can we do?
The first thing is to become aware of your issues and seek diagnoses, which is something that will be discussed as this blog develops. Personally, I sporadically sought treatment for depressions all my life. Later on, I needed medical help with addiction issues, that had come up as a result of depression and anxiety, though I didn't necessarily know it at the time. I just knew I wasn't happy and that I needed help.
It wasn't until years later that I realized that my anxiety was the root of my depression and addiction. I didn't even know that anxiety disorders were categorized as such or specific treatment for each condition existed. I just thought I was very shy and self-conscious and knew that I always carried guilt and shame with me and had very low self-esteem. As I began to stumble upon, and seek help, I realized that these were actually discernible medical conditions that I could explore treatment for. I am now trying to overcome my Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and bouts of Panic Disorder. I will go into detail about these conditions in later posts in case readers are curious about them or just don't know if they are suffering from these conditions.
Once we realize what specifically medical issues we are dealing with we can take specific takes to begin to mitigate the effects of these conditions, and slowly start to approach life with a more holistic and balanced view that will strengthen our minds and emotions leading us to more joy and completion and esteem in ourselves. Of course there are many levels to consider when adopting this holistic approach, including our physical body, our feelings, our minds and mental health, our relationships, self-esteem and relationship with self, and spirituality.
Where are you?
If you are aware of your mental health issues or anxiety disorders, I encourage you to track and document your progress with me. This blog is a great way for me to be accountable to my readers, in hopes that it will force me to take action and heal, aside from the therapeutic act of writing.
And if you're not sure if you are suffering with any anxiety disorders, I encourage you to explore the subject and ask questions and talk to medical experts, for it may open your eyes, raise your awareness and slowly lead you down a happier more fulfilling path.
I really just feel that my healing, although I've made great progress, is long overdue. And in saying so, I am speaking on behalf of anxiety sufferers, and people with mental health issues that it is time, to bring this subject to the mainstream and open up paths to the knowledge that will help us. To raise awareness, and eliminate stigma, and heal as one entity and one brotherhood. I am you and you are me. Let's help each other.