We all worry from time to time. The Bible encourages us not to worry – it doesn’t change anything and God cares for us and knows what we really need before we even ask. But some people worry more than others.
There are several people in our household who struggle with anxiety. Some have a more generalised anxiety. Some cruise along fairly easily then have a big anxious meltdown when something just doesn’t make sense to them or they have irrational concerns in response to a minor stimuli (usually involving the word “never”).
An anxiety disorder is not something you just need to “snap out of”. An anxiety disorder is more than just the anxiety you might feel before a job interview or big exam. It’s more than wedding day butterflies or even cold feet. It is a disorder when it has a negative impact on your day to day life, and can be debilitating.
Treatment that gives lasting results is long term. It’s not something a few quick sessions with a counsellor or a prescription from your GP can fix. Not even if you do both. Anxiety is often a life long habit and habits that ingrained don’t go away in a few weeks. It’s more than just a habit, too, it’s a way of thinking and a way of perceiving the world. Treatment is long term and often expensive. A GP Mental Health Care Plan can entitle the holder to subsidised visits to a psychologist or Occupational Therapist (trained in relevant psychological techniques) but there is a cap on how many visits in the year, and many practitioners charge over and above the Medicare fee.
Living with anxiety can be quite difficult. Often made worse by the anxiety of others. So a few anxious people under the same roof can be a recipe for a great deal of tension! Lifestyle changes are a part of the treatment for anxiety and these can be met with resistence from other family members or those outside the family. Especially those who aren’t aware of the issues that reside in your household.
Anxiety is challenging to deal with – as a sufferer or a spouse, parent or child of someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder. Compassion is needed and prayers!