How to Know When to Seek Help (Anxiety Edition)

I know that your anxiety makes you feel out of control. I know what you’re going through right now is not planned, uncalled for, and has crushed everything you thought you knew. You’re beginning to question if you’re going to actually be okay, or you’re trying to handle it all yourself, and neither option is going to get you anywhere helpful. 

But don’t feel bad! It took 3 of my closest friends to finally convince me I needed to go to counseling. 🙂 

I want to clear something up before I go any further: This is not a post on how to tell if you’re crazy or not. This is not a post forcing you to get help. This is not a post written by a professional counselor, pastor, or even writer. This is me trying to help you set a boundary and help yourself get better. 

Most of the time mental disorders are not easily diagnosed; but most of the time we don’t even realize something is wrong with us until someone else points it out. Here are a few of the most unnoticeable side effects my anxiety gave me that confirmed I actually had GAD: irritability, loss/gain in appetite, muscle tension, head/stomach aches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and fidgeting (which for me was picking my fingernails, skin, facial hair, etc. Sorry that’s gross but maybe that one person out there can relate to me.) 

If you have 2 of these symptoms and side affects, you might not need to go get a professional diagnosis. I would say if you have more than obvious side affects plus a couple of these, go get some professional help. Obvious symptoms of anxiety are panic attacks, trouble breathing, sweating, and numbness. If you’re like me, and all of these affects sound familiar to you, and you’re not already on medication or have not sought out professional help, it’s time, my friend. I say that in all of the love possible. 

babytreeinhandsSo why should you seek professional help for anxiety instead of trying to work through it on your own? I believe that anxiety has roots. It grows from something you’ve experienced in your life at some point that was probably either really traumatic or has occurred over and over. For example, I have had both instances happen to me. My father passed away when I was 16 or 17. I also went through a couple boyfriends and got dumped a couple times which convinced me that something was wrong with me. You could have been in a car accident, or you could have been in an abusive relationship. You could have anxiety from something as small as the way your parents disciplined you growing up. I don’t know, but that’s why there are counselors to talk you through it and figure that part out, and psychiatrists to do the same thing and prescribe you the right medication to aide your brain chemicals. You are a smart person (Proverbs 2:6), you are a loved person (Romans 5:8), and you owe it to yourself to feel better (1 Corinthians 6:19). 

If you feel uncomfortable going to counseling on your own, ask someone close to you to come with you. I remember my first session sitting in the waiting room feeling like I was just 1 out of the 10 other “crazy” people sitting there. You are not crazy, and those people are not crazy. In fact, those people should be an encouragement. You are not alone in your fight against anxiety. I am here for you, I am praying for you, and you are the smart ones; you who sit in the counselor’s office. 

P.S. Always remember that the Utmost Counselor is Christ. His medicine and guide to overcome anxiety is found probably on your nearest end table. I understand this is not what some of you want to hear, and if that’s the case you can skip this part, but if you do not know Christ and don’t have a Bible, please e-mail me. I’d love to talk to you about one of the most important things that has been healing me. I love you all!

Stay tuned for how to know when to seek help for grief and depression!

-xoxo, Jennifer

 Luke 12:22 “And he said to his disciples,’Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.’”

 

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