Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Avoiding Situations

Avoiding Situations

When you feel stressed and anxious, it is common to put things off and avoid going to certain places – particularly if you have had a bad experience/felt panicky or anxious there before. Later on, though, it becomes more difficult to revisit that place in case you then feel anxious there again and become overwhelmed.

An example of anxiety leading to avoidance is:
feeling physical symptoms of anxiety (for example; heart racing, feeling dizzy) in a busy shop which then leads to feeling ill/wobbly. You then feel like you need to leave that place so you abandon your shopping and get out into the fresh air as soon as possible. You then return, say a week, later but the same feelings start to stir so you leave before you get to the till again. After that, you don’t feel like going back as every time you have so far has made you feel really bad so you think of other ways to get your shopping. This may include getting someone else to do your shopping for you or even doing it online. You may even end up going to smaller shops with less choice that are more expensive just to avoid the one where you felt anxious. Soon you end up avoiding going shopping altogether as you end up associating shopping with feeling anxious.
This may also occur with public transport, making phone calls etc.

You may find yourself avoiding certain situations in case you end up feeling anxious/physical symptoms of anxiety. This is referred to as “fear of fear” as it means you are frightened of doing something in case it leads to you feeling physical symptoms of anxiety.

Not everyone feels this way. Many associate this feeling with having to “get a grip” of themselves. Sometimes, though, it is not that easy and you still find yourself feeling bad. 

It is important to remember that the more you avoid a situation, the worse you will feel. It is also important to gradually expose yourself back into said situations as the more often you do it, the less anxious you will feel.

*Note: Pieces about Mental Health Information are based off of what I have been taught and the "homework" books that were given are used as a guideline for these posts. Whilst I may have been taught these things by health care professionals, I am not one and information may change or be inaccurate. If you feel at risk by your thoughts and feelings or have concerns about you health; please seek help from loved ones and health care professionals. This information is not to be used to self-diagnose. If you know you have hypochondriac tendencies, are sensitive to subjects like bullying, depression and anxiety, and are easily triggered then information and experiences shared in this blog may cause distress. I have tried my best to provide trigger warnings and warnings about sensitive subjects but please read at your own discretion.

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