Are We Looking at Anxiety Disorders the Wrong Way?
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), irrational fears and phobias
(particularly social phobia), severe depression...
Current beliefs about these problems and treatments based on these beliefs are failing millions of people
looking for a cure.
They're based on the medical model of illness which sees anxiety disorders (and depression) as something going wrong
in the brain and the answer lies in 'fixing' the thing that has gone wrong – usually with medication.
However, there is a very different way to understand these problems. When we look at them closely and the evidence
that exists, we can see that they are not:-
Illness or Diseases That We Somehow
Anxiety disorders follow a logical psychological progression based on our life experiences and we can map exactly what
happens every step of the way. From initial nervousness and anxiety problems through to severe 'disorders' (including chronic
depression) each stage can be predicted and explained in relation to negative life experiences and how they make us
Most people with these problems are actually above average intelligence and are fully aware of what is happening, yet feel
powerless to stop it. Their brains are functioning correctly given the information they have received.
Due to Imbalance of Chemicals in Our Brain
Synapses are connections between the neurons in our brain (there are around 10,000 for each neuron). They are tiny spaces that are occupied by
chemical messengers called neurotransmitters that carry information between neurons.
Serotonin and Dopamine are the two main neurotransmitters regularly mentioned with regard to anxiety and depression problems.
And a chemical imbalance, usually referring to deficiencies of these neurotransmitters, is often proffered as a reason for anxiety disorders and
Well, anxiety and depression deplete our body of many resources, including such things as energy, vitamins, minerals,
electrolytes and no doubt neurotransmitters. Surely, any chemical imbalance is the result of these problems not the cause.
Balancing chemicals in the brain through the action of drugs may alleviate some symptoms to a degree temporarily but never
touches the actual cause.
Curable with drugs
Medication works on a physical level. Anxiety disorders are psychological and the answer is psychological. Whilst short-term
medication may be beneficial for symptom relief (and in many cases very necessary), drugs never touch the underlying reason
for these problems. Indeed, long-term medication often makes the underlying problem worse.
Due to Genes
Evolution and our genes provide us with predispositions not fixed behaviours. These are ways in which we are predisposed to
behave given the right environment; that is, our life experiences. We cannot be programmed with fixed behaviours like
obsessive thinking or worrying, compulsive behaviours, irrational fears and phobias for we don't know the environment we
will be born into ... it would not be adaptive to react with extreme anxiety to unconditional love.
And most importantly...
These Problems are not Irrational
Our mind and body are perfectly ordered in what they are trying to do, and we get these problems for the most rational reason
there will ever be ... for our survival. Given their life experiences, the minds of most people with anxiety disorders are
working perfectly ... but they are not working appropriately.
We can spend a lifetime looking for the right cure for our 'illness'... if only we can find the right pill
or method. Unfortunately, in doing this, we are looking at these problems in totally the wrong way.
GAD, OCD, panic disorder, social phobia, severe depression – they aren't the real problem. They are symptoms.
More accurately, they are the outward expression of an underlying problem. And when we understand this, it is possible to
cure them completely.
What is Anxiety? – Understanding Anxiety and How it Works
How to deal with Anxiety (Problems)
Anxiety Self Help