Despite being one of the biggest mental health issues around today, anxiety is still widely misunderstood. Every year, the medical issue is filled with misconceptions and is therefore neglected all around the world. Today, we will be looking at the problem from the point of view of a psychoanalyst to try and gain an insight into what we can do to resolve the problem.
On a psychological level, everybody in the world suffers from anxiety. Whether it is sitting in the waiting room for a job interview or wondering if we will get through the traffic lights before they turn red. However, the real problem occurs when we don’t have the resources to deal with high levels of anxiety over a prolonged period of time. Suddenly, it overwhelms us and there are three famous responses; flight, fight or freeze.
All things considered, there are different ways that this problem can manifest and many aren't even recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistically Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). When trying to cope with worry or nerves, we all have unique ways of dealing with it whether it is biting fingers, cracking knuckles, or tapping the feet on the floor. When anxiety levels push too high, we struggle to deal with it and even the normal coping techniques stop working. When this happens, we can experience the following symptoms;
Loss of Focus
When you feel as though you can’t concentrate on anything at work, school, or home, this could be a sign of anxiety. Often, people can’t help but fall for distractions and this leads to decreased performance in these arenas.
When this occurs, your heart will begin to pound and you feel as though there is no air in the room. As you struggle to breathe, your body starts to sweat and the hands can also shake. In the mind, it feels as though there is a dark hole that you will never climb from. Also, there will be panicking thoughts that you’re having a heart attack and that you could die.
Sadly, this is a big problem and it is one that leads to many others. Not only do we struggle to fall asleep, we also can’t stay asleep for long periods of time. Whether it is money concerns, relationship issues, work deadlines, or anything else, we struggle to switch off the brain and it goes into overdrive.
Physically, symptoms can come in the shape of fatigue, headaches, stomach troubles, gastrointestinal complaints, and similar issues. Also, it could manifest into behavioral problems and this is especially true for children and adolescents in school. Similarly, it could also do the opposite and force someone into their shell.
Ultimately, we know that the problem is unique and some people feel the urge to do desperate things like pull out hair or eyelashes. In others, it gives weird phobias such as objects or even people in addition to obsessive compulsive disorder which is something our minds do to cope (unsuccessfully) with the anxiety.
Within psychoanalysis, the question of anxiety is pivotal and Freud once gave two definitions to the problem; neurotic anxiety and realistic anxiety where the latter comes from danger rather than internal psychic conflicts. To this day, there are various schools of thought regarding anxiety but they all share one common feature in that there is an unconscious meaning behind it all and this is utterly unique to the person in question.
When undergoing psychoanalytic psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, this gives an opportunity to talk about anxiety and work with experts about how it manifests itself. After you begin to understand yourself better, you start to realize your own meaning of anxiety. Then, the right steps can be taken to overcome what is now a serious issue.