Anxiety and shame: I've been exploring many... - Anxiety Support

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Anxiety and shame

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I've been exploring many emotions and issues with my therapist. I'm coming to realize that I have a significant amount of shame regarding my anxiety and panic attacks. Outwardly I give the appearance of a person who has his shi* together and is highly effective in the workplace and with friends. This isn't altogether an act, but when I asked for help with something at work, I took a chance and said to the person that I was experiencing anxiety, her response was, "But you're so strong and confident!". This pushed me down a few more notches into shame-hell and I'm finally beginning to understand how a journey of recovery can be made a bit more challenging with commentary like this.

I realize there is a great emphasis on the Claire Weekes method (along with DARE), but even Dr. Weekes advises that the anxious person get help for specific problems (as she says, guilt, sorrow, disgrace). I still believe in the face it, accept it, let time pass...but those efforts are galvanized when I can see my relationship with myself in need of strengthening as well.


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Beevee profile image

Dr Weekes’ reference to guilt, sorrow and disgrace are reasons why somebody may have developed anxiety in the first place. For example, constant brooding over something they felt guilty about, sorrowful or ashamed of, instead of just letting it go. When anxiety is in the frame, those feelings are magnified tenfold so something that might have made you feel a little guilty about ( e.g. forgetting a birthday) can now feel overwhelming so the anxiety sufferer broods over the issue that they forgot about the birthday because they felt really bad about it. They only felt really bad because of the presence of anxiety. Without anxiety, you could have just brushed the thought away and decided to send a better late than never card and thought nothing more about it!

The key thing is, as you say, is to just accept the fact that it is anxiety making you think and feel that way and not do anything about it, such as trying to figure it all out or dwell upon the matter. Just let it go. Anxiety is the absolute master of conjuring up “problems” that only exist because the person has anxiety. Buying into or believing all that mumbo jumbo is why people stay stuck instead of letting it go. By letting go and just going with the ebb and flow, peace of mind and body eventually returns and inappropriate anxiety dies.

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