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Anxiety Myths and their Impact on Mental Health

Anxiety is an extremely common mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Unfortunately, many people who struggle with anxiety also believe in myths surrounding the disorder, which can lead to increased shame and self-judgment. In this post, we'll discuss some of the most common myths surrounding anxiety and how believing or acting on them can make people feel worse.

Myth #1: Anxiety Is Not a Real Health Condition

One of the most harmful myths surrounding anxiety is that is not a real health condition. People who believe this myth may think that those with anxiety are just being dramatic or that they could easily overcome their anxiety if they tried. The truth is that anxiety is a very real condition that affects both physical and psychological health. Those struggling with anxiety deserve compassion and support, not judgment or invalidation.

Myth #2: People with Anxiety Should Just “Calm Down”

Another common myth surrounding anxiety is that people with the disorder should just “calm down” or “get over it.” Unfortunately, this attitude can make those with anxiety feel unsupported and invalidated. Anxiety is not a choice, and people cannot simply decide to stop worrying or feeling anxious. This myth increases shame and self-judgment and can prevent people from seeking the help they need.

Myth #3: Anxiety Is a Sign of Weakness

Some people mistakenly believe that anxiety is a sign of weakness or a lack of willpower. This couldn't be further from the truth. Anxiety is a complex disorder that affects people regardless of their strength and willpower. People who struggle with anxiety are not weak or flawed; they are simply dealing with an anxiously wired brain.

Myth #4: Anxiety Is Always Caused by Stress

While stress can certainly be a trigger for anxiety, anxiety is not always caused by stressful events or experiences. Some people may have a genetic predisposition towards anxiety or may struggle with the disorder for reasons that are not fully understood. Believing that anxiety is always caused by stressful situations can increase shame and self-judgment, as people may feel like they are somehow responsible for causing their anxiety.

If you find yourself struggling with challenging these myths, a mental health therapist can help you with that and work with you to identify coping skills to reduce anxiety symptoms.

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