If you’ve ever suffered frogman, you probably know that it takes a long time to get over it. But once it is overcome, you can breathe normally again, deeply, and you can once again enjoy your day to day, see the world more objectively, and face problems with reason and not despair. What a relief! However, it is also common to suffer a relapse in anxiety and at that moment you think: Here again? Will I be able to heal completely? Let’s settle accounts with anxiety.
What is anxiety?
We are so afraid of anxiety that we forget that we really need it. This much maligned emotion is an adaptation mechanism that allows us to be alert and react to a danger or threat. It seems helpful to have anxiety, right? And it is.
What is not so helpful is that anxiety occurs when there is actually no threat around us. That’s when we want to get rid of it and the more we think about anxiety, the more strength we give it. While anxiety gains strength, we lose it and enter that circle of despair that not infrequently leads.
SW what Anxiety is a useful resource that makes us react and we will need it throughout our lives. What we do NOT need is for it to be always present, at every moment of our day to day, as that inseparable companion who takes us by the hand, oppresses our chests and steals our breath and illusions.
Is anxiety cured?
If you are already clear about what anxiety is and that we need it in our lives, perhaps the question of whether anxiety is cured loses a bit of importance. Anxiety will accompany you throughout your life and it had better be so, but surely what you want to cure is the problem or the anxiety disorder. Is this cured?
There is no moment of therapy or a magical medicine that tells you that you have come this far, you are cured, you no longer have anxiety. But you will be able to stop being afraid of anxiety. The moment you stop fearing it, anxiety loses its force that force that keeps you trapped in painful and uncertain life situations.
More than a cure, what you can do is learn to live with it, take away the leading role that it now has as an inseparable companion and leave it in the background, like that neighbor from the neighborhood that you greet from afar when you meet from time to time. You don’t like her, you don’t have to let her control your life, but you will make it clear to her the place she occupies in your life. A secondary place.
Why have you suffered a relapse in anxiety?
We are aware that it is very desperate to suffer a relapse in anxiety. With how close you were or maybe you had already overcome it. Once you felt strong and sure of yourself again, anxiety reappears and you think that all the effort you have made has been for nothing. It is here again, controlling your thoughts, your emotions and your actions, controlling your life. Is he never going to leave you alone?
Relapses in anxiety are frequent. Sometimes, they are caused by leaving psychological therapy early, when you already look better and think that you can go on without help. Other times it happens because an important event has shaken your life. And most of the time the anxiety reappears because you have forgotten some things that you learned.
We insist that anxiety is not cured and it is not controlled either. What you have to try is that she does not control you. Anxiety is managed, managed and you learn to live with it. And if you don’t learn to have it in the background that we have talked about, the most common thing is that it reappears once showing you the worst face of it. Remember everything you have learned so far and try not to get overwhelmed when the anxiety problem comes back into your life.
Because now, believe it or not, you are stronger than her. And because now, believe it or not, you know more than her.
How to prevent a relapse in anxiety?
It is very important to treat anxiety through psychological therapy, precisely to have the necessary tools to deal with it in the future. Those tools are the learning that you sometimes forget, but don’t worry because we remind you.
Acceptance is the key to overcoming anxiety problems. But you have to accept so many things, right? that sometimes it is very difficult. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can help you remember all the strategies you learned in therapy and it is always very helpful to keep in mind that anxiety comes and goes and you don’t have to resist it.
Learning to live in uncertainty is essential if you don’t want anxiety to dominate your life. There are obstacles, there are unforeseen events and there are things that you cannot control no matter how much you would like to. You are not a seer either and you cannot know what will happen in the future, but that does not prevent you from taking control of your life. And taking control of your life does not mean that you have everything under control. Can you with that? You can.
Anxiety or anguish crises scare you but you know they pass, they don’t kill you. Neither does a panic attack . They are specific moments that are not going to stay; they are not going to be there forever.
If we are talking about relapses in anxiety it is because you are already at an expert level. So it wouldn’t hurt if you learned to recognize the symptoms that a relapse is about to occur. Stop for a second and reflect if perhaps you are having too many negative thoughts again, if you are going through a period of great stress or if you are avoiding recognizing some emotions that bother you.
If you can’t control anxiety, you can keep all those things that feed it at bay, such as excessive perfectionism or that high level of self-demand.
It’s tempting to stop doing all those things that worked great for you when anxiety hit hard now that you’re better. The exercise of introspection, honest and objective, is not something you can abandon. And neither should you put aside all those relaxation techniques and breathing exercises that you learned one day.
It is not necessary to be on your guard all your life fearing a relapse into anxiety, but take it as something natural that in life there are downturns, relapses, stumbling blocks and even falls. That is also part of that happy life you seek.
Review your mental schemes about happiness again. Today we live under suffocating pressure to be and appear happy, strong and powerful. And the truth is that you cannot feel like this every day, there will be days when you see everything in black and absolutely nothing happens for it. Because being happy doesn’t mean being perfect.
As we evolve in life, it may be that the strategies that one day you learned to overcome anxiety are no longer helpful, because you are in another vital moment or because you are no longer the same. Don’t hesitate to ask for help again. The psychologist or therapist can get you to learn to deal with the problem again.
Remember that a relapse into anxiety does not put you at the starting point. You’ve fallen again, but now you know how to get up. Much encouragement!