Psychology | Anxiety
I used to go to the park when I was a child and remember my uncle playing in the band. They played in that bandstand in the picture; those are happy memories. We can also have bad memories from our childhood though and we acquire beliefs as children and they can make us anxious and depressed.
If a parent says negative things about you as a child, it can make you believe you are ugly or there is something wrong with you. Parents often don’t mean what they say but it can have a profound effect. We pick up all kinds of beliefs from parents and some pass down the generations. The fears of the parents often become the fears of the children. Mum is scared of spiders and so the child learns to be afraid of spiders too. A parent doesn’t even have to say anything to instil fear, if they are afraid of hypodermic needles, just the expression on their face can be enough to make their child afraid too. Parents who have a deeply profound effect on their children are often called ‘toxic parents’; they literally poison the minds of their children.
Parents can be very unreliable and the child often adjusts by ignoring them but they can transfer this attitude to everyone and distrust the older generation. When you feel you can’t rely on anyone for support, not even your parents; you feel like you have to distrust everyone. This can make for a very lonely and insecure existence.
It isn’t just childhood experiences that cause anxiety, it’s all past experiences. Post traumatic stress disorder is anxiety and depression caused by a traumatic event like a car crash. Other events that can be perceived as normal can also be traumatic such as illness or losing a loved one. It happens to all of us but these things are quite traumatic and if we have no support and have to face the traumatic event alone, this can cause severe anxiety and depression.
We can also become anxious about anxiety and then it’s a vicious circle as we become anxious and then worry that we feel panicky or have a racing pulse. The symptoms of acute anxiety can be quite disturbing and we tend to make too much stomach acid and get shaky; all of which adds to the anxiety.
Becoming introspective also causes anxiety, we become too aware of our symptoms and need to be distracted. We can also become very isolated and feel that no one cares. The answer quite often is to keep busy and look for things that will give us something positive to think about rather than thinking about the way we feel. It is also a good idea to reach out to other people, especially the people who care about us. We can also set goals and decide what we want to do with our lives; this will give us hope for the future. We all need hope. We have to improve our lives one small step at a time when we feel at a low. We all want thing to happen instantly and life to be instantly great, but it doesn’t work that way. Everything need to be gradual and we can adjust to feeling less anxious and worried tomorrow than we are today; then even less anxious the day after that and so on.
Depression, a feeling of hopelessness is often felt with anxiety and then we have to look at the positive things in our lives, in our community and in general. Everything can look negative, especially if we watch the news and weather forecast! There are lots of positive things and we can feel quite positive when we listen to good music, appreciate art or are at one with nature. The one thing that is psychologically very good for us is to become very good at something or even expert. Then we have something that other people will admire and comment on. It can be anything like gardening, fashion, art or music but it is better if you are good at something that others can appreciate. If you are good at gardening and have a garden that friends and family will marvel at or you grow fresh vegetables and give them away to friends and family; this makes you appreciated.