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anxiety is not a mental illness
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anxiety is not a mental illness

hi can i just let everyone know that for all u suffers in here that if u think ur mentally ill plz dont as i was told by a mental health doctor that ppl with anxiety will always asume they r crazy and suffering some kind of breakdown.well he told me us anxiety sufferers are not mental because we think something is wrong with us,were as someone with a mental illness will always say nothing is wrong with them.i found this reasuring and hope it helps a little.
takecare all
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349780_tn?1309637558
Did your doctor say what exactly anxiety was then? If it's not an illness of the mind. To be honest I don't run around the streets telling people what I suffer from. The less that people know about me the better. This is just a forum were people come for help. On here I can talk openly because I won't ever have to look any of the other users in the eye. So as I don't tell people anything about me, and I suffer from anxiety, have I or have I not got a mental illness? I would love to hear your doctors answer to such a question. Not been bad to you. I assure you that most of the forum users don't tell people much about themselves in the real world. And why don't we tell them anything? Because of the stigma surrounding simple mental issues. Depression, anxiety and the likes. They are deemed as mental health problems. People hear mental and they think you are mad. Maybe they would be right with me. ( LOL ) That's why people avoid telling people. I don't for one moment think I am mad. The voices in my head reassure me so.
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480448_tn?1403547723
Actually....anxiety disorders, depression, etc absolutely are categorized as mental illnesses.  Problem is...just the "term" mental illness sends a lot of us spiraling out of control thinking for sure we are, or will be "crazy"(considering for a lot of us that is our biggest fear...ending up in a pretty white jacket with lots of buckles).

Just remember that there are a LOT of different mental illness diagnoses....and unfortunately, the ones who most get stuck with the stigma...and the ones where peope would be inclined to think "they are crazy" are the illnesses with psychotic tendencies.  Psychosis is present in illnesses such as schizoprenia, personality disorders, etc.  (Just for example sake).  

So, even though having an anxiety disorder may be "classified" as a mental illness...you cannot lump it in with illnesses that commonly cause institutionalization, etc.  All of the mental disorders vary greatly.

So, no....none of us anxious people are "crazy" in the sense of what we would generally think of...but we DO have issues with the way we are wired.  Great thing is...it is very fixable...and pretty much anyone with an anxiety disorder has the capability of living completely normal lives.

Don't get yourself stuck worrying about "labels" and what they mean.  And also...if you are worried about any stigma associated with it...then just choose carefully who you confide in.  Although, with as HUGELY common as anxiety disorders are.....I'd have to say that people are becoming pretty accepting of it.  Same with depression.  

Sorry...but I'm LMAO....I just have to repeat this from Mr.Green....

**That's why people avoid telling people. I don't for one moment think I am mad. The voices in my head reassure me so. **


LOL!
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349780_tn?1309637558
But I want to be mad. LMAO.
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384099_tn?1226447029
i understand were u guys r comming from but yea il lmao also as to what u say cause we do get labeled and if u hear voices lol then u must be crazy of some sort.


and as for going around telling folk how i feel ,that i never do just to the ones i trust.
i just wanna state that 90 per cent of anxiety ppl i spoke to all said they assume anxiety is a mental illness,so to me thats a hell of alot of ppl,

ok maybe im being too anxious now,but i dont think u should make fun of what ive been told by a professional,take it up with them
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480448_tn?1403547723
**90 per cent of anxiety ppl i spoke to all said they assume anxiety is a mental illness,so to me thats a hell of alot of ppl, **

Well, that is because it is.  The term "mental illness" is not synonymous with the word "crazy", or "insane", etc.  But, anxiety most definitey IS classified as a mental illness.  

I'm not sure...and you'd have to ask him, but it sounds like perhaps your doc was trying to reassure you that an anxiety disorder does not involve psychosis (where a person would not know that their thoughts were irrational/inappropriate...that they were out of touch with reality).  

Like I said....please do not get hung up on labels.  So WHAT if it is a mental illness?  Anxiety disorders are very common..all kinds of people suffer with chronic anxiety.  The fact that it is classified in that way is only important for the insurance people who are paying the claims!!!  :0)
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree that anxiety/depression is a mental illness but that's a million miles from the terms "mental" and "crazy". I don't think anyone with a mental illness needs those terms thrown around (apart from calling yourself crazy which I often do).

I think it is a blessing to be able to identify with others that are struggling with their thoughts and minds whether they have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or any other illness. And one of the great things is that anxiety is one of the ones that can be completely cured either through meds or self-help. How fantastic is that. that's the bit I find reassuring.

I'd call what I went through a few years ago fitted the desciption of a "breakdown" pretty well.

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349780_tn?1309637558
There will always be a stigma attached to the word ' mental '. Just as much as the word Disability has the same stigma. On anxiety I can claim disability payments. But that doesn't mean I consider myself disabled in the sense that I am abled bodied. But it does hinder me in other aspects of my life. Thus disabling me from been able to partake in those things. So we can use both terms if we were to go around and label everybody who had an illness of the mind. But to imagine youself as disabled would be wrong when you look at the likes of wheelchair bound people and the likes. You assume that is what the word disabled means. So really is a big stigmafied area. ( Think I just made that word up ) Words that people don't want associated with them. Why? Because it would make you feel a lot worse about yourself. It's like having a big shelf with loads of layers on it. We all might be on one layer. But you might have others far worse than us on the higher layers as far as both the words disabled and mental are concerned.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi there hows it goin  well i really think that we are labelled and there is stigma towards anyone suffering or have suffered anxiety ,anxiety affects people from all walks off life and once uve suffered this horrible debilatating health related problem the medical proffesion think ur mad, ive approached my doc and our a/e dept several well more than several times past few mths i dont feel anxious but im still getting headaches heaviness in arms/legs and strange feeling off lightheadedness but know one even checks me over go away its anxiety, lets get real not everything is anxiety related they can get it wrong then were does that leave us what iff somthing is wrong  scres me really does i would give anything to get my life bk on track but i cant because of this awfull fear there misdiagnosis
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480448_tn?1403547723
If you honestly feel that there is some missed diagnosis out there...then why not try totally new docs, hospitals?  Start fresh and get a new opinion.

You're right that not "everything" can anxiety...but a lot of things CAN be also.  If you continue feeling this way and you are told after testing, labwork, etc that it is anxiety....why not try to accept that and deal with it and see what happens?  Worst case scenario is that you won't improve with anxiety help.  A lot of people are VERY reluctant to believe that their symptoms are anxiety...b/c they are so very real.  Well, anxiety DOES cause very REAL physical symptoms.

Just something to think about.
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585223_tn?1219973894
Hi!

Am new to this site, but in reading the posts, so many of them are only too familiar to me.

Many years ago on the birth of my third son the anaesthetist injected too much epidural anaesthetic and I could feel nothing below my head  and could move nothing.  It was a terrifying experience (fortunately my little son suffered no ill effects) and I had severe stress symptoms for a long time afterwards.  It was at this point that tests were suggested.

Tests were done which were negative, but the neurologist who saw me recommended a wonderful little self-help book.  I have kept it through the years.  It is called 'Hope and Help for your Nerves' written by an Australian doctor by the name of 'Claire Weekes'.  

Although this book was written many years before a lot of the modern self help books, it has remained a classic and is still being recommended.  It is written just as if she is talking to you and is the simplest, most straight forward book I have ever read about nervous problems.  In fact, she was almost awarded the Nobel prize for her efforts.  She wrote several books, all very comforting and easy to read.

She maintained that anxiety is not a mental problem in the sense that there is something wrong inside your head.
She maintained that the only problem keeping people from being well is their 'fear of fear' (fear triggers an adrenaline rush, the adrenaline rush triggers more fear with resulting alarming physical symptoms) and she shows in the simplest form four steps in order to overcome this bogie.  

1) Facing
2) Accepting
3) Floating
4) Letting time pass


The website is listed below if anyone would like to follow up further on her life, books, CD's, etc.  

http://www.claireweekes.com.au/

My eldest son went through a very stressful time a few years ago with all kinds of anxiety symptoms and he recovered fairly quickly after reading this great little book  and understanding what was happening to him.  

I highly recommend her books for anyone suffering from anxiety and hope that this post helps someone.

Cheers,
Christine  
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480448_tn?1403547723
Claire Weekes is an excellent author....great resource!  

You may want to start a new thread with the info in your post...I think a LOT of people would benefit from it...and some people may not see it in this thread.

Nozmeg.....please look into the book...it would help you so much.

Also...take note of the steps that Christine listed above:


1) Facing
2) Accepting
3) Floating
4) Letting time pass



The first two are sometimes the hardest....and in MY opinion the most important.  We've seen countless people on this forum who could just NOT accept that they were suffering from anxiety...depsite tons of ER visits, medical work-ups...visits to many specialists, all telling them the same thing.  Despite many people here explaining that INDEED anxiety causes very real physical symptoms.  Some of them finally started accepting...and others continued to refuse to believe that the way they felt could be *only* anxiety...and continued to suffer....even when soooo many people here shared almost identical stories as their own.  :0(

At first...it *IS* hard to accept, b/c of the symptoms...but after a while....you just have to bite the bullet and start accepting that it COULD be anxiety..and if it is...start addressing it, or the cycle continues.  

I cannot even tell you how many people I have met thru various anxiety groups thru the years who tell almost the same story....they had very very clear physical symptoms...they spend YEARS searching for a diagnosis...every doc, every specialist imaginable.  The more they searched.....it seemed the worse they felt physically.

After finally ACCEPTING (even reluctantly) that perhaps they needed to try to treat it as anxiety....ya know what the outcome was?  After some time...and some hard work on their part.....complete relief....all the "symptoms" gone....along with a new understanding of just how anxiety works.  People really have a hard time grasping that :anxiety" can cause such REAL and SEVERE physical sensations.

The best thing ANYone new to anxiety can do is to keep an OPEN mind about everything.  Never say "never".


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384099_tn?1226447029
just want to say thanks for your well taken in opinions.

i hope ur all well and i think this forum is wonderful.
takecare all
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349780_tn?1309637558
What a wonderful topic you started. It's great to debate and in a adult like fashion too. Here's hoping your next post is as good. Go back to your doctor and ask him for more of his intelligent thinking and we will have endless debates. ( LOL )
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384099_tn?1226447029
well im glad thers the funny side of things lol.
and who said the irish were slow,haha.lol
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Avatar_f_tn
Found this thread very interesting.  I have to say that I prefer the term "mental illness" to being referred to as neurotic or unstable, which is what my mother tells me I am.  When I was younger I was referred to as fragile!!!!  This is no longer appropriate as I no longer have the right physique lol!

I have anxiety along with a host of other stuff and refer to myself as "mad" amongst close friends.  I am not ashamed to tell folks I have bipolar or anxiety or whatever but I do understand the "fear" of the term "mental illness" because of society still being so narrow minded and ignorant the stigma is still there and people still think if you are mentally ill then you are going to be a knife wielding psycho - .

As the others have said though don't worry too much about labels, you have anxiety and you are dealing with it and that is really all that matters.
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366811_tn?1217426272
Literally, it is JUST THAT -a mental illness. But that is literal, referring to a conditon which resides in our brain, and makes us feel "unwell": a mental illness. But that's different from what we think about when we hear the term, "mental illness." What we have is in the same category as diabetes, or a broken arm or food poisoning. That is, we don't think of ourselves as "sick" people. Rather, we think of ourselves as "well" people who have a problem.

And that's right. And that's why we recover.That, more than anything else, distinquishes us from all others: we can get better. We can actually "get rid" of the problem. Figuring out how to do so? Wellllll .... that's why we are here. We know we are OK, we are well, we are healthy -so why the hell are we so plagued with this?

Why, indeed? The answer, of course, is within us. Find it -or get close enough- and you will get the monkey off your back. Meanwhile, until you do, you are expected to function and act normally in society.

And THAT ... is our private hell.
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349780_tn?1309637558
No, Cathy, we just act slow and dumb so the English understand us. LOL.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Cathy--I completely understand the horror of panic attacks and chronic anxiety. My episodes started after living through 9.11 in NYC, and gradually broadened to infiltrate my  whole life. At a certain the anxiety and panic dominates your thinking about the world; you end up constantly being anxious that you'll breakdown into a full blown panic attack.

So I know this isn't easy, but I have a few suggestions (forgive me if other people have already posted this). First, I would rule out physical problems that are intensified by the stress you are under. I've learned a lot about adrenal issues on this forum, and eventually had a 24 hour adrenal/hormone panel done. The results were pretty conclusive that I had adrenal stress, perhaps kindled by 9.11 and other stressors--or contributing to my strong reactions to them. I just started treatment for this.

I guess my point is that in my view many, many "mental disorders" are organic in origin, resulting from undiagnosed problems in your body. I can tell you first hand, and from talking to many others, that problems like yours are frequently misdiagnosed, so you end up treating just the symptoms--the manifestations of the underlying problem.

Maybe have your thyroid checked (not just TSH levels). Mine has been a real problem, and a low functioning thyroid can certainly contribute to  problems like yours.

You might want to consider seeing an "integrated medicine" MD who can diagnose you more systemically--and develop comprehensive treatments. I started seeing one recently as a skeptic, but after a few weeks of incredible progress in my diagnosis and treatment I am a convert. The man leaves ALL my previous doctors in the dust!

Finally, I was greatly helped by taking propropranol, which is a beta blocker. It is much more benign than other medications, because basically it just shuts of the adrenaline. So it won't necessarily stop you from being anxious, but it can help you feel less a victim of those horrible adrenaline rushes that bring us to our knees.

I hope that helps in some small way. Hang in there! I'll continue to read your posts.

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Avatar_f_tn
that s an interetsing topic.. i like to reasuusre mysef by saying that anxiety is not really a 'disease'. and i dont like to say it is a mental illness either...there s no point in lableing these things really. its nicer to believe that  anxiety stems from certain unresloved issues, childhood influences, environement etc etc serotonin levels, and a whole combination of things. all in all,  each body has a certain threshold, some have a high anxiety threshold (could be genetic, and thats just the way one's body is)and therefore react to situations a lot and have issues with dealing with anxeity while some others have a much less threshold. its just like other problems... some people have a very high pain threshold, some have something else.. so we all have something or the other at some point of time in life, but the intensity varies. anxiety umlike serious mental illnesses is curable, doable and can be worked through. we are able to think and go about our routine, and most importnatly are able to think through and work at things, which makes anxiety different from seriosu mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. anxiety arises from a hidden reason, or becuase the body over reacts, but ultimately we are able to work through it.
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Avatar_f_tn
i agree with nursegirl in the sense that we may be weird because of our fears, worries etc, but then there is a way to fix it and most of us have the ability to have normal lives. ....and hey there are lots of people out there who may not have an anxiety disorder,  but could have other problems, . so in a way, we  all have something to worry about,  just that we worry abt different things! :) how s that to feel good (wink)
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