Anxiety and Fear

Anxiety and Fear

Is Anxiety a Disease?

If It Isn’t, Can You Overcome It?

There are those who want to label anxiety as a disease, primarily because the symptoms have measurable physiological responses. That’s an interesting take, as it assumes having measurable physiological responses makes something a medical condition. It also assumes a condition almost every human being has experienced in one form or another since the beginning of time is an illness.

For decades science has been able to track certain neurological processes when parts of the nervous system perceive danger, regardless of whether they be real or imagined. Yet perceptions and awareness of neurological signals does not constitute something to be a disease.

They can indicate imbalances within the nervous system, hypersensitivity, misaligned awareness between the conscious and subconscious. They can indicate parts of the human psyche believe / feel somethings needs to change, but does that make it a disease? 

Labeling anxiety as a medical condition may be a comfort for those who feel they are different. It may be a convenience for those who wanting an easy way to talk about their symptoms. It also forces treatment to heavily rely on medications and while medication are a blessing for many, numerous studies (*) find anxiety medications to be no more effective than placebo’s.

If the process of Anxiety is to stop, what needs to change?

What needs to occur is a means of being able to actually address and work through real and perceived stresses, sensitivities, and placement of awareness. It also includes changing ineffective life style choices and other underlining issues supporting anxiety. Medications may be needed to begin the process of restoring balance, however, this should be a short term approach

Those with chronic anxiety often try using distractions, will power or plain out ignoring discomfort. They typically have no idea of underlining issues or life style choices playing a role in their discomfort. They’ll change everything but them self. They want change to happen under their control and within their comfort zone. If only changed worked that way.

Another approach is changing how one processes life challenges. It begins with how we deal with adversity and the things we dislike, our self identity, our beliefs, what we are overly attached to and what we avoid. It deals with seeing and processing experiences in other ways. You can’t hold on to how you want things to be and expect that you will be different.

It’s a well known fact that how one perceives danger is for the most part a subconscious process. How our neurology interprets stress and danger is also outside conscious awareness. But that doesn’t mean these things can’t be changed.

Those born with certain sensitivities are particularly prone to misinterpret neurological signals. There is no universal manual on how to experience or process events. Most stress comes from our own interpretations of events, not from the events themselves. Because our perceptions feel real to us, we blur the distinctions between external events and how we process the events. It is not that is just in our mind, its that our subconscious process aren’t finding more supportive perspectives

Misconceptions many do not want to hear

  • You can’t hide from fear. It’s a neurology process. Trying to avoid, ignore, push away or run from emotional responses created from within will eventually produce unwanted consequences
  • Will power on it’s own is an ineffective means to deal with intense irrational or unwarranted fears. The minds frontal cortex region will not overpower the rest of the nervous system after a certain thresholds of discomfort have been met.
  • Doing nothing, changes nothing. Waiting prolongs the fear.
  • While medications can minimize symptoms, even help a person overwhelmed in stress, they do not remove imbalances, unresolved issues or help a person to better cope with life situations.

Those fighting these concepts too often get trapped on an emotional roller coaster ride. They get into a life style rut of reacting and feeling helpless.

Not all anxieties or fears are alike.

FearAnxiety and Fears cover a broad spectrum of cognitive, emotional and neurological signals and symptoms. Phobias are fears revolving around a particular object or subject matter. Panic attacks are sudden neurological reaction to a known or unknown source. Anxieties are anticipations of perceived consequences to life interactions, such as fear of ridicule, of making mistakes, of being misunderstood or taken advantage of. These processes can erode or create self esteem issues. They can also keep those needing assistance from reaching out for help. The fears stops them from taking the first step leading to the process of change.

Find Solutions to Overcome Anxiety

Work with someone who knows how the mind and body interact, how neurological processes support or diminish the quality of life. This is particularly true for more challenging anxiety disorders such as OCD. Find a counseling service that fully respects your personal sensitivities and desires.

At Designed Thinking, we help our client’s comfortably address the real issues creating their fears and anxieties. In the end, they are more able to effectively process their thoughts and emotions. They feel a greater capability to cope with situations that in the past might have created anxiety

It is not just about changing your mind, it’s about changing the way your mind processes and associates fear. At Designed Thinking, our client’s experience a shift of focus, a restructuring of priorities, releasing old stuck patterns, allowing them the means of creating effective choice to better respond to situations and relationships. Call our toll free number 866-718-9995 and see how you can change.



  1. Anxiety attacks are uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unhealthy. Some natural ways of dealing with your excessive emotion without subjecting the body to different negative side effects are exercise. It improves the health of the body and mind. Good sleep and a healthy diet can also help.

  2. Interesting take, but most doctors think anxiety is an illness, so maybe this is all bullshit and hopeful thinking on your part. Fact, there are studies that conclude anxiety is a disease, you can’t refute that

    • Denise you have the perception many people have come to believe and we all know that majority opinions can’t be wrong. Fact: there are studies that conclude anxiety is an illness. Fact: conclusions are not scientific fact, just an educated opinions from a certain perspective. Fact: there are studies that conclude anxiety is not a disease. Fact: the majority of doctors believe anxiety is psychological reaction, not a physical illness. Fact: people will believe what they want to believe, regardless of the facts.
      The article is meant to give alternative solutions to a common misconception and I am glad it provoked your thoughts and got you to respond

    • Melissa Stephens

      I totally agree with you Denise. Obviously these people DO NOT have anxiety or panic attacks

  3. Unwanted child

    My mom beat me all through my early childhood. She would use whips, shoes, sandals or would send me out to find a thin branch to use as a whip. I was not a “bad” child, I was actually an A student. Teachers loved me for my extraordinary well behave manner and my kindness. My younger sister started beating me too, of course that used to upset mom and we both would get it for “fighting”. My dad was a wife beater, never around, having affairs left and right. When we moved to the US, she stopped beating me and my sisters and became more of a psychological abuser. Of course we had to hear in details of my dad’s affairs and how we were responsible for my mom having to stay in such crappy marriage. If it wasn’t for us she would have been happy, if it wasn’t for us my dad would not have cheated on her, if it wasn’t because I was born a girl instead of a boy , he would not have impregnated someone else. Now I live with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, no relationship with my sisters ( according to mom, you can’t trust another female). I only became aware the all that abuse is responsible for all my symptoms a few months ago. I feel a lot of anger, sadness….I feel like an unwanted child.

    • It would be hard for anyone to feel wanted in that type of upbringing. It sounds as if your mom has difficulty interacting with the world and you got the brunt of her unhappiness.
      Unfortunately our nervous system learns how to respond, react and adapt early on and everyone does the best they can. You were not given any choices growing up and had no effective role model, You learned to retreat, your sisters learned to attack.
      The anger you feel should not be surprizing, there is a lot of unexpressed pain that is trying to to find a way out. Again you have not learned to effectively express and resolve these past events, so they keep getting triggered whenever part of your subconscious senses hurt or lack of fairness.
      You have not mentioned what you have done to help yourself get past these dramas. Are you working with someone. With the type of scars you carry, it would be helpful to give your emotions alternative ways of processing discomfort and giving yourself some different perspectives to see the world. Also your self esteem and self support could use a lift.
      The alternative is you stay medicated or in constant anxiety for the rest of your life. Find someone in your area who you feel understands your situation. If you can’t find anyone, call Designed Thinking after the new year – 866-718-9995
      Good luck

  4. I struggle badly with social anxiety. I would like a little insight into what happened to me… My father took me away from my mother when I was 2. His landlady was my caregiver from ages 2 to 7. She only spoke to me to give me instructions (take a bath, go to bed, come and eat). Her husband NEVER spoke a word to me. I can count on one hand the number of nights my father came home. I am 45 and still extremely nervous and uncomfortable around people. People, in turn, seem to take me very personally because I do not speak and they ostracize me. Also, my caregiver only called my Dad if I had an illness she was unable to nurse. I think that taught me only to bother people when something is serious. I am tired of being socially awkward and having no friends except my husband. Any thoughts?

  5. I don’t have a job and I can’t afford an therapyst, how can I overcome my emotional issues on my own?

    • Always a tough situation to be in, since the heart and mind you are trying to make changes in are the same heart and mind being resistant to change. First, don’t try to get it right and get out of the idea you are going to out think your issues as many of these can be rooted in your emotional states. Also there are numerous approaches, all of which could work with the right person.
      My personal preference is to stay away from step by step approaches, though if you feel you need structure to work through things, give it a try.
      Your choices are books and group seminars, the later will not be available everywhere and will still cost you something, but much more affordable. If you go the book route, I would suggest some books dealing with unconscious responses. Unfortunately there are endless books on self help. You can also check out Youtube
      Another approach you can try is tapping. You can look it up on the internet.
      Whatever approach you take, you will have to be diligent in doing the recommended exercises, otherwise you will just know about how to deal with it without putting it into practice

  6. Dori Mc

    Can anger be the driving force behind OCD? I can feel it boiling underneath, just the simpliest things can set me off and then I my obsessions just go into overdrive

    • Dori
      OCD is a complex issue with many moving parts. Can emotions such as anger be part of the structure holding your obsessions in place? Yes. Many people have a hard time identifying these emotions as the OCD distracts them so severely. Hopefully whomever you are working with will explore ways to help you work through this

  7. My anxiety is destroying everything around me, when something good happens to me I get worried because I may lose it or something bad may happen to it, and then I can’t enjoy it anymore.

    When I try to do something that catches my interest, like art, I start to compare myself to others and resent them, and just like that I stop enjoying it.

    This is really tearing me apart and I don’t know what to do, please help.

    • Kevin, thanks for you question
      Unfortunately there are no quick and easy answers for this. It is not like there is an on and off switch for things you enjoy. My guess is the emotional responses you get when you feel “interest”, gets hijacked by uncertainty, that leads to comparisons and then resentment. But how you do this, would need to be explored and there could be numerous steps that need to be addressed, depending on how your nervous system puts this together.
      Doing this on your own would probably be challenging to navigate. I am assuming you have not worked with any therapist or counselor and if not, why not. If this pattern has been going on for a while, it probably will not just get up a go away on its own.
      I know you would like a specific how to approach to fixing this, but every person functions their thoughts and emotions in their own way. Hope this helps

  8. my sister needs help. I don’t know for sure that she has ocd but I think it’s the closest we have gotten to what is wrong with her. She has been this way for 26 yrs. aqnd I hope you can help her.
    she has a cancer fear and you can’t convince her that she is ok.
    She has had both breast taken off because she would get breast cancer.
    If anyone mentions a cancer she starts getting the symtoms and is sure she has it.
    She is constantly asking you questions on if you think things that are happening to her are normal over & over.
    The latest was colon cancer.
    she had a small amount of rectal blood and had a colonoscapy done that was normal and still wasn’t convinced that she didn’t have it.
    I am about the only one left that will listen to her and she hates being like this but doesn’t know how to change.
    Can you help me?

    • The first step in receiving help is having the awareness that there is a problem and then the desire to get help. Not sure your sister has the awareness or desire. Seems she knows there is a problem, but the problem is with cancer and not her.
      If this is the case, change can be difficult. I can’t tell how open she is to data outside her current thinking patterns. This is often the case with those suffering from OCD, they are running their thinking based on feelings and not factual information. Ask her if she thinks she might be wrong in her assessment. If she says no, ask her how she knows. You are looking to get her to get an opening in her thinking pattern, just enough to take one step towards finding other ways, in this case towards at least talking with a health professional


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