Do you spend late nights wide-eyed staring at every conversation that spins out of your mind like unravelling yarn? Do you pick them apart as you find the smallest of details that suggests a hint of potential conflict with a work colleague, a neighbor, a friend, or family member? Do you peer into that future uncertain and see overwhelming threats just waiting to topple onto you?
Sounds a bit like anxiety.
Anxiety is a disproportionate and inappropriate response, so it needs to be distinguished from proportionate and appropriate fear. When your dog snarls at you, it is proportionate to be afraid, and it is appropriate to withdraw from it. Like a cloud of malcontent, anxiety can hang over a whole range of seemingly innocuous situations; you end up avoiding making that telephone call, or you fear seeing your friends at the shop, or you avoid collecting your trash cans from the front of your house.
Anxiety is serious mental health issue, and it affects millions of people throughout this country. Anxiety can be debilitating, and it can impact your physical, not just mental, health, and this can all sound very gloom and doom until you realize that you have tools that can help you survive anxiety. In fact, you can use these tools to improve your life.
Beyond the Blue is a survival guide to help you navigate the challenges of anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, and trauma.
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Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist, writer, educator, and LGBTQ+ advocate