The most prominent of anxiety disorders is that which is accompanied by fear. Some of those who have anxiety are aware that their fears are unreasonable while others are oblivious about them.
Here are some examples of people’s fears that might be linked with anxiety disorders and the corresponding consequences:
My husband looks sick. I’m afraid he’s dying (generalized anxiety).
Result: She will force her husband to have himself checked until she finds something wrong, including having him go through tests and procedures despite finding concrete evidence that her husband is well. This might eventually cause conflict, and ironically, she will be the one suffering from anxiety and depression.
If I go to the party, people might laugh at me, and I’ll be more embarrassed than ever (social anxiety).
“If you find yourself avoiding parties, work gatherings, or even your own friends and family, there may be a fear of judgment or underlying feelings of inadequacy.” – Dr. Marisa Alter, PsyD, a clinical psychologist
Result: If he doesn’t overcome this, he will never be able to socialize and keep in touch with friends and a possible partner in life, and will end up being insecure, anxious, and alone for the rest of his life.
I might have a panic attack if I drive and go straight for the other cars (agoraphobia).
Result: He’ll end up not driving at all, which may mean that he won’t be able to continue working and seeing other people, causing major depression.
Unreasonable or irrational fears are dangerous and deceitful. Fortunately, there is a way of facing these fears so they won’t take over your life, though it’s not very easy. It is by challenging these fears mentally and behaviorally.
How To Challenge Your Fears
When you begin the process of challenging your fears mentally, you will initially need to think about the result of these thoughts coming to reality, as well as evaluating the actual outcome of his fears.
Considering the first example, an anxious wife who is so scared that her husband is dying. With the help of a therapist, it is beneficial for her to think about her husband’s feelings when she pushes her to do tests because of her fears. What’s worse is if he is just all tired from work, but there’s nothing wrong with him but his wife insists that he’s dying! The therapist will need to guide the wife through the process of controlling her fears and focusing on what’s in front of her – a husband who needs more of her care rather than her negativity.
“Fear is our internal alarm bell for danger,” says Dr. Orma. “Without the ability to feel fear, we wouldn’t live very long because we wouldn’t be aware of, or care about, the threats around us.” – Steve Orma, PsyD, a clinical psychologist
Confronting Your Fears Head-On
Challenging your fears behaviorally entails an attempt to face the fear head-on and find out what happens. This is more difficult to do than just mentally challenging your fear. With the third example in mind, the person will attempt to get into a car and drive. If he experiences a panic attack, he is asked to stay calm, pull over, and wait until his attack subsides. When it does, he is to resume driving. This can be pretty stressful for him, but it is a very effective method of overcoming his irrational fear. Eventually, he will learn to control that fear and become more confident that he can master the technique. He will then look forward to driving and confronting his phobia head-on, leading to the mastery of the technique.
Taking The Challenge Of Therapy
“Therapy is intended to be a place to carefully and safely start to turn toward whatever it is you’ve got.” – Molly Bowman, MS, LPC
If you or a loved one are suffering from anxiety with irrational fears, or fears that you think are just reasonable, but others may not have, you have only to seek the help of a therapist and go through cognitive behavioral therapy, a specific method that teaches the principles mentioned above. Do not be hindered by the fears that limit you from achieving the life you want. Challenge your fears, confront them, and learn to get rid of them mentally and behaviorally, and have the life you deserve.