By: Stan Popovich
When I first started dealing with my fear and anxieties, I thought that it was just a phase and that it would go away. I was wrong. My fears and anxieties would come and go on a semi-regular basis and it started to be a major factor in my life.
I knew of people who had similar issues of fear, anxiety, depression, and addiction who didn’t get help for their mental health issues and their fears made their life a living hell.
Some people I knew cried a lot, couldn’t hold a job and became homeless, became very distant and unresponsive, had their marriages and careers ruined, and families destroyed. Many of them ended their lives because the pain was so unbearable.
I was determined to get help and educate myself on how to deal with my fears and anxieties.
This helped a lot but I still struggled. The worst part of dealing with fear is waking up every day and having to go through your mental health issues every waking moment. Your fears and anxiety are with you every single minute of every single day.
A person can only sleep so much, however, the fear is so overpowering that a person just becomes a total wreck and can’t function at all. See our post on How to cure anxiety attacks.
It was also very heart-wrenching to go to support groups and see the despair of family members as they watch their loved one suffer this pain and are totally powerless to do anything about it. Some family members talked about the grief they suffer to this day because their loved ones ended their life.
There were times I felt like giving up, but I knew in my heart that the answers to my fears were out there but I had to make the effort to find those answers. Nobody was going to do it for me. I realised that denying I had a problem or using drugs and alcohol to take away my fears and anxieties would only make things worse in the long run. I had to make a choice.
I was determined to find those techniques that would help manage my fears.
I took advantage of the professional help that was available, I read many books, and I learned what worked, what didn’t work, and what I needed to do to improve my issues. I made it a habit to learn from each stressful situation that I encountered and I would write down what I learned in my notebook so I wouldn’t forget what I learned.
I refused to give up and realised that the more I learned the better I would be in the long run. I had to help myself and nobody could do it for me. This was my life and I had to make a choice.
To this day I still know of people who ended their life because they didn’t get the help they needed or were too afraid to get help. I see the grief of family members who lost loved ones or who have loved ones who are caught up in the vicious cycle of fear, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health issues.
I know this pain all too well as someone who has dealt with these issues on a personal level. Do not make excuses and don’t let fear stop you from getting better. Most importantly, do not wait until it’s too late.
As a result of my twenty-year struggle, I learned a lot of things that helped me get through the tough times. Here are some important things I would advocate for others.
1. Listen To The Professionals And Not Your Friends:
Your friends may mean well, but when it comes down to it, the professionals know your situation more than anyone. They know what you are going through and are trained to deal with your situation. Consult with a counsellor when you have questions about your mental health issues.
2. Distance Yourself From People Who Give You A Hard Time:
Distance yourself from those people who won’t make an effort to help understand what you are going through. You need to surround yourself with positive and supportive people. I felt better when I avoided those people who would constantly argue with me regarding my anxieties and stresses.
3. Focus On The Facts Of Your Situation And Not Your Thoughts:
When people are depressed they rely on their fearful and negative thoughts. Your fearful thoughts are exaggerated and are not based on reality. When you are depressed, focus on the facts of your current situation and not on what you think.
4. Learn From Your Experiences:
In every anxiety-related situation I experienced, I learned what worked, what did not work, and what I needed to improve on as I managed my fears and anxieties. For example, you have a lot of anxiety and you decide to take a walk to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk.
5. You Can’t Predict The Future Regardless of What Your Thoughts May Tell You:
No one can predict the future with one hundred per cent certainty. Even if the thing that you are afraid of does happen, there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage.
For instance, you miss the deadline for a project at work. Suddenly, your boss comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything.
6. Things Change Over Time:
Regardless of your current situation, things do not stay the same. You may feel very bad today, but it won’t last forever. Everything changes over time and this includes your current mental health issues.
7. Take Advantage of the Help That is Available Around You:
If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxiety. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem.
By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non-Resistant Methods”. For more information about Stan and to get some more free mental health advice, please visit Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com/
If you are suffering from an addiction or mental health issues and need expert help, call 0203 955 7700 and speak to one of the Help4Addiction teams.