Having a close relationship with anxiety
One of the things that moves me the most at the counter (and even out of it), is anxiety. To see a person drowning in his/her own circumstances is always painful to watch and complicated to deal with, even by outsiders.
I’d like to say there’s a simple answer. That the culprit for anxiety is the frenzy in which we live, the world that asks us for everything and returns nothing. It is tempting to say that we are educated to reject anxiety as a weakness, and that growing up with easy solutions – namely, medicines – we have never learned to deal with it in a natural way.
Generalizing does not help.
It is easy to blame the world and society, education and technology. But reality is often more complex than that. Each case has to be analyzed individually.
Certain situations merit intervention with medicines, sporadically or ironically.
Others deserve a different approach, researching and eliminating the causes.
Other cases of anxiety present themselves as symptoms of a deeper pathology and require intervention at various levels, including resorting to antidepressants or mood stabilizers.
Some people end up dealing with their own anxiety. Others rely on family and friends. Others resort to professionals, such as psychologists and psychiatrists. Some occasionally resort to simple medication to help them deal with the situation, and others require more potent medicines.
It seems tempting to say that those who need the more potent medicines should try other approaches or even stop taking them. But as I said, the reality is more complex. Anxiety generates a “downward spiral” sometimes, in which the anxious state itself causes more anxiety, and this makes many treatment approaches fruitless; other times, anxiety is transient, linked to a life situation, a routine change, or even some hormonal imbalance.
Forgive me the more serious tone of this reflection.
When I say that it is a subject that moves me, I say it sincerely. It touches me because I feel powerless about it. I can lend an ear, but it’s never enough. I can offer advice, but it will never be enough, and sometimes it can even make things worse. I can dispense medicines and contribute to short-term relief, but the solution cannot be just that. I do not think so.
Well, here is the best advice I can give to those who suffer from anxiety. To anyone who feels that he/she is climbing a mountain against an avalanche of worries.
A professional is ideal, but not all cases require it. A friend, a confidant, an attentive ear is sometimes enough.
Organizing the thoughts into speech gives them body. Give us something to fight.
Do not belittle your worries. Recognize them exactly for what they are.
There are no easy solutions, but I do not think they are all difficult as well. And easy solutions also exist to be used. Use the medicines you need, but think of them not as a chair, but as a crutch. It’s not to sit and let the chair support you… It’s to walk by your own feet.
And lastly, be patient.
I realize now that I have just been giving advice in these last lines. Cursed be my refusal to accept my own impotence on the subject…! If you have to take something to heart, just take the first advice:
In case of doubt talk to your pharmacist or family pharmacist.