Using Force To Overcome Anxiety Disorder Can Backfire
One of the common theories relating to the curing of anxiety disorder is to force the person suffering from anxiety to get into the situation that he or she normally avoids. This in turn, will help the patient become familiar with the adverse situation and as more and more familiarity takes place, the situation becomes less and less intimidating.
This article discusses this theory and examines how it works, what may be the pitfall to using it and what alternative method exists.
One of the mainstays of anxiety disorder is agoraphobia . Agoraphobia is literally, fear of the market place. Actually, this term applies to anybody who is fearful of leaving the home or going to one or more particular places. The old standby force theory would tell the anxiety sufferer to go out of the home or to these places using any means to do so!
With the force method, the anxiety sufferer will have to realize the cure to the anxiety disorder is to force yourself and if you don't you will not conquer this fear. Therefor, there will be no chance for recovery. This method though it is simple, can complicate matters, because while the patient is forcing his or her way toward conquering fear, there must a moment, or perhaps quite a long period of time while he or she is operating in a petrified state.
On top of that, the person who is advising or helping the patient must act ruthlessly and use such axioms as; “You must do this! You have to, it is for your own good.”
I have to agree, conquering ones fear by force will work in many cases. The problem is, it can develop a lot of deep seated anguish in other cases. This is why:
Forcing is Fighting
Any kind of anxiety, from common nervousness to acute anxiety is a form of the flight or fight response. What causes us to feel nervous, whether it be somewhat nervous or a total state of panic, is adrenaline flowing through our veins. This adrenaline flow is caused when we are trying to run away from something, (flight) or when we are fighting something or some situation. (fight)
So, when we try to force ourselves to do something, we are really just trying to fight our way to our goal. Though a good percentage of the time we will be successful in winning this fight to our goal, we are doing nothing to desensitize our nerves. Because of this, other fears are bound to pop up.
Probably the foremost authority of all time on anxiety disorders was Dr. Clair Weeks. She taught her anxiety patients how to mentally float . Instead of having the mindset you must do something, learn how to float into the fearful situation. Once this attitude of floating toward your goal is developed, you will be conquering fears but you will be doing so without adding any more anxiety.
Also, it is helpful to try to do away with a deadline as when you will be floating outside, or floating into the super mart, for instance. Replace these deadlines with visualizations of your floating into the situations that previously brought you anxiety. Relaxation combined with visualizations of floating toward your gaol will get a better end result than forcing will. Furthermore, no more anxiety will be developed as you float your way to your goal of being cured of anxiety disorder.