5 thoughts on “Anxiety and Avoidance

  • March 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    As a Highly Sensitive Person since early childhood, each traumatic experience was therefore magnified. Anxiety manifested by the age of 20. Many of the trauma’s were violent in nature, multiple and various forms (ie; bullied, abuse by nuns or teachers, later on was mugged, raped, beaten, domestic violence or abuse on every level endured)then abuses by the systems meant to protect victims unfortunately occurred.

    Personal losses unexpected or created, perceptually speaking is a process that is an individualized enigma. DBT was the most beneficial therapy ever received, with mindfulness, talk therapy and other self regulating skills such as meditation, have also been helpful in dealing with such losses.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a real condition though diagnosed, it was not treated. Questions are these:
    1- When real time factual based situations that provoke or induce anxiety are prevalent on a daily basis, could Avoidance of those (people, places, things, entities etc)be indeed a Healthy Response?

    2-Is not the gift of fear also an important element of Healthy Boundaries or Self preservation?

    3-Where avoidance is replaced by new or healthy activities, does that not re-train the emotional response (anxiety/fear) to one that is detrimental in recovery of re-learning and re-establishing overall emotional wiring?

  • March 3, 2013 at 4:47 am

    I think that therapists can’t believe the experience of shy/anxious/avoidant people. In CBT we are told that we fear the self inflicted pain that a bad experience will cause. If people just called me ‘loser’, said they despise me, pointed and laughed, then yes it is on me if I let words hurt. What I usually experienced was seemingly normal, adjusted people becoming vicious once they identified me as ‘victim’. Before teen years it was mostly real violence, later it was sabotage of my efforts in school or work or community. I’m not surprised that therapists are sceptical.
    Hopefully, wider awareness of the frequency of school bullying will seep into the therapy community. Workplaces too are educating about harassment and bullying, so it’s not a rare occurrence.

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:39 am

      I think it depends on whether or not the mental health industry thinks it can make money off of the wider awareness you mention. Then again, I don’t think they have a clue as to how to treat shyness and avoidance, so even the “treatment” will probably consist of nothing more than stringing people along.

  • March 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I nodded my head through the article as avoidance is often a compulsion in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Avoidance narrows our world and prevents us from living full lives. Good post.

  • March 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Karyn: Interesting article!

    I began to think about another reason for not avoiding anxiety. We all have a tendency to stay within the bounds of our competence and comfort. We rarely reach out, even in our daily lives to give to others,show kindness, help a needy person, or do something beyond the scope of our “expertise.” for fear of stepping out of the typical mold.

    But I’ve learned, also in my own life, that avoidance of anxiety keeps you back from realizing your full potential.
    I place limits on my ability to exist in the world as a unique individual. Stepping out is facing your anxiety and offering the world what it may be lacking.

    Another issue is the act of facing your anxiety in order to heal from it.
    Fear and anxiety was a stumbling block for me at one time. As I grew courage and spiritual stamina to face my anxiety, I was able to heal and develop more courage to face the next anxiety provoking event.
    Each time you face your anxiety, the easier it gets to heal from it.

    Good article! All the best


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