Am I going to have anxiety disorder for my whole life?
by Sarah L.
I’ve suffered from anxiety ever since I was about 16 and now I’m 28 and it really hasn’t got any better even though I’ve tried lots of different things. It might go away for a day or two but it always comes back.
Thank you for your question – you were the very first to submit one! As a thank you I have sent you a free copy of the Anxiety Unravelled ebook. Hope it’s useful.
Back to answering this question…
First and foremost, I want to say that you definitely can recover. Life can feel normal again, just as you have experienced - even though it’s only been for a day or two at a time. The fact that you can experience ‘normal’ days is a very encouraging sign and suggests that you will be able to get on top of your anxiety very quickly once you really understand what it is that’s causing it and then making a few simple changes to tackle those causes. It’s almost always one or more of the factors listed on the Anxiety Unravelled Causes pages.
Secondly, I don’t know of any health condition that can actually be cured, in the sense of there being no risk of it ever recurring. So whilst you can recover from anxiety disorders, you will need to be mindful of when your body/mind is going out of balance and take the steps you need to get back in balance again (this is nothing too drastic really, it’s all about looking after yourself – see Tips).
The mistake we all make is in thinking that we should be able to live our lives in just the same way as everyone else.
We are all different. For example, eating mainly salads will make some feel great - energetic and full of life, whilst others will feel weak, low in energy, cold and jittery.
Some will get a real kick out of the thrill of skiing or sky diving, others may feel agitated, sleepless and anxious for some time afterwards.
The sensitive can’t understand why others can’t feel things the way they do and the insensitive think they should toughen up.
Likewise, when our stress levels get too high, some people are prone to anxiety problems, others are more prone to anger issues or heart attacks and others are more likely to suffer depression and inertia.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that there is always a cause behind episodes of anxiety even though it might not be immediately obvious what it is. This is often because it’s after a stressful period that anxiety problems arise, not necessarily during the stressful period. So it’s hard to make the connection. Once you become familiar with the kind of things that will tend to throw your nervous system out of balance (for example lots of studying into the night or partying) rather than cutting those things out of your life altogether you can just reduce them and pay special attention to some of the things that will be soothing to your system – for example, some extra meditation or yoga nidra, settling foods, oil massage etc.
There is lots that you can do to speed up your recovery and prevent you from ever being overwhelmed by anxiety again. But, it’s important to accept that this is a weak point for you, make some appropriate changes and stick with it!
I wish you the very best for a speedy recovery.
Fear of anxiety lasting the rest of my life.
I have been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for the last 11 years. Currently I'm 33 years old. Please help me to get out of fearing that it will continue for rest of the life :(
I feel anxious most of the time daily despite doing regular exercises, meditation. Please suggest to me how to stop thinking anxious thoughts all the time.
I know that it’s really hard feeling anxious all the time and I really sympathise. It can feel like you have no control over what’s happening and the fear of it lasting forever, never really knowing why it’s happening, is very real.
It’s great that you’re meditating and doing some ‘exercises’ and I encourage you to keep doing that everyday. My experience though is that for many people meditation alone isn’t enough (although it is very important). This is why I recommend approaching the problem from lots of different angles and this is what anxietyunravelled.com is all about.
Anxiety isn’t just about your thoughts – the whole body is involved. So, you need to look at your lifestyle and diet, teach your nervous system to relax with yoga nidra deep relaxation and really understand how everyday things affect how you feel. Then look at the ‘Unwanted Thoughts’ page.
You definitely can feel better A., and I think if you look back over the last 11 years, although you may remember it as feeling really terrible all the time, there will have been some days that were not quite as terrible as others. You may not know why that was at the moment but take a look at the Causes page of the website and you’ll see that there are lots of fairly common experiences that will tend to aggravate a sensitised, anxious nervous system.
Be sure to check out the Tips and start bit by bit practising some of them, especially the ‘Five Step Process’, which you can use many times a day to start teaching your body that it’s OK to relax. As your body starts to relax, your mind will begin to relax too.
Keep up the meditation because it really helps us to see how our minds work and increases our ability to let go of troublesome thoughts.
Tackle your anxiety from lots of different angles if you can. Little by little you should see some improvement. But remember that for most people it can be very up and down, as even non-anxious people can have good days and bad. Just keep going with your routine.
It can feel a bit overwhelming and confusing when you’ve been given lots of ideas about how to tackle anxiety. In the Anxiety Unravelled ebook there is an Action Guide which will take you through a step by step approach to recovery. If you don’t want to purchase the whole book, I hope to have the Action Guide available separately with the next few months.
I really encourage you to have a good read of the website and not to despair. Start doing the things that will start to settle your body and mind and stick with it. You will get there, I’m sure. Good luck. ~ Jude