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Anxiety Support
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Labelling mental health problems

Just wondering everyone’s opinions on labelling anxiety and depression as “anxiety” and “depression” and whether it helps or hinders coping with it. I personally feel like the label/diagnosis helps me justify my anxiety and depression, however my therapist avoids using the terms as she believes it creates negative ideas in my head rather than just accepting that my head has particular thought processes. What do you all think about this? Just asking through curiosity.

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That's an interesting concept Sophie. It makes sense in that once diagnosed

with anxiety that label stays with you forever. It loses it's strength by falling

into a general category of "everyone gets nervous or anxious at times"

Your therapist sounds like she is on top in thinking differently about mental

health issues. I kind of agree with her.

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Thank you for your opinion, it’s a tough debate isn’t it? I would like to agree as I don’t like the idea of making it something that Is so awful and horrible to have, but instead just a part of life and a part of me, without it having a huge definition.

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This is going to be very interesting in what others think. Respecting everyone's

opinion has helped me in the past. I take with me what I believe in and leave

the rest behind.

I swear ANXIETY is written in big letters across every medical chart I have.

I'm doomed before I even get in the examining room. I hope your therapist

relays more about where it goes from here. "Having a different thought process"

might work when in therapy but what would she call it when it happens outside

her office? I'm going to sit back and see where this goes on the forum.

Certainly something to thing about and discuss. xx

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Hi Sophie your therapist isn't helping you by doing this anxiety and depression are not labels but the name of a condition where a lot of people suffer from I bet most therapists disagree with her! In my mind she is not helping you by doing this instead of helping you understand these conditions they are confusing you so it's not a good for you! Take care and I wish you all the best david

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I think the labels would only make you feel worse if you believe "anxiety" and "depression" are bad or shameful to suffer with, or if the words make you fearful. If you feel neutral about the diagnoses then I think it doesn't really make a difference what you call it as long as your symptoms and issues are being recognized and dealt with. Because I work in a hospital I do know that SEEING the diagnosis of either in a patient's medical history CAN affect a healthcare provider's attitude towards that patient but it depends on the individual provider. Some will be dismissive of you and prematurely chalk your symptoms up to anxiety/depression while others will not let it colour their judgment and will proceed with all the necessary testing. I know if I'm ever in the ER or admitted to hospital I'm not saying peep about my anxiety unless it's absolutely necessary because I don't know which of the two types of doctors I'll be dealing with 😉

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Miniwheats, that's a good approach to take. There's a fine

line between anxiety and health issues at times. x

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Hi Sophie,

I actually agree with your therapist. In general, I am of the opinion that anxiety and depression are not disorders at all. I believe that these are the result of normal parts of the brain doing things that they are supposed to do, but without the understanding of the person experiencing it. Understanding how the mind works and reacting correctly to thoughts the mind is generating (which takes much, much practice) is where recovery lies. So in general, we suffer not from anxiety/depression. We suffer, rather, as a result of how we react to some (sometimes many) of our thoughts.

I think it's important to give the situation a name to start - Anxiety and/or depression- so we can be steered in the right direction in terms of good care, the right meds, the right therapists, and the right psycho-neuroeducation. But soon after, I think it's more recovery-oriented to move away from those terms and think of ourselves as being as normal as the next guy, just with some special superpowers in our minds that need some big-time understanding. Yes, I said superpowers - I now think of my anxiety (which has led to depression for me at times) as quite amazing. This might sound nuts, but I honestly wouldn't trade in my mind for a calm one. I like this one.

This way of thinking about anxiety and depression is quite helpful as a component of recovery IMO and I believe your therapist is taking you in a good direction...

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Brilliant. It’s ONLY anxiety Sophie. And I prefer to call it depletion instead of depression because that is all it is. Emotional reserves have been depleted, just like a car battery which has been run flat because the lights were left on overnight. And just like a car battery, emotional reserves can return to their normal level when sufferers understand what is happening to their mind and bodies and why and stop trying to make themselves feel better. When you understand what I mean by this, you are on the road to recovery. Check out any book published by Dr Claire Weekes and follow the advice. In full. It works. Not overnight but all in good time. In short, it means giving up the fight to prevent yourself feeling the symptoms of anxiety and feeling it all, without resistance. This is how to recover.

When I understood that the root cause of all anxiety based disorders is fear or fearing the feelings of fear, labels didn’t matter to me because it is all the same thing. Just anxiety which is a natural human emotion. It is designed to make you feel uncomfortable but when your sympathetic nervous system has been sensitised through constant stress or severe trauma, those emotions become hugely exaggerated which frightens people because they don’t understand what is happening to them. This fear of the unusual symptoms keeps the nerves sensitised, producing yet more frightening symptoms and so it goes, just like a not so “merry” go round which they struggle to get off. This is where Dr Claire Weekes’ publications will prove invaluable. Like I said earlier, she will show you how to break that cycle and for your emotional responses to return to normal and no longer frighten you.

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Quite Interesting Approach. All Of Our Labels Of Anxiety & Depression Are Everyday Human Feelings & Thoughts. People Have Anxiety To A Certain Level Everyday And Their Train Of Thought Is Just Part Of Living. Depression Also Comes Upon People From Time To Time During Their Lives & Some People's Train Of Thinking Is, " I'm A Little Down". But ? I'll Get Over It. & They Do. To Us That Have The Same Anxieties & Depressions As They Do, Our Train Of Thinking Really Only Comes To One Label That May Stick, "DISORDER". Simply Meaning, We Have Higher Levels Of Those Normal Emotions, Making Us More Highly Sensitive In Our Reactionary Desire, Maintaining What "Seems To Be" The Normalcy Of Others. But ? That May Very Well Be Our Normalcy ? Who Knows ? When Maybe It's Just Our Way Of Thinking & It Is Normal To Us ?

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