I wanted to create a list of the common anxiety myths that I am asked about again and again.
There is too much bad information out there, often given out by people who don’t know much or who have a vested interest in pushing their own theory or therapy.
Please add your own myths or questions using the comments section below!
1. Anxiety is caused by childhood trauma.
This theory is loved by psychologists but there is no evidence whatsoever that it is true. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can cause anxiety, amongst many other symptoms, but it has a specific cause, like a war or a car crash.
2. Anxiety is incurable
Lots of anxiety sufferers believe that they are incurable however that is not the case. Lots of people get over anxiety every day and lead normal lives. What people forget is that anxiety is a natural emotion, so when you get over it you don’t never feel anxious again. You just feel anxious when it is more appropriate and to a more manageable degree.
3. Drugs cure anxiety
The normal anti-anxiety drugs such as SSRI’s and Benzodiazepines (and indeed the illegal ones) do not cure anxiety. They treat the symptoms but not the problem and many people (arguably a large majority) in the end feel that the side-effects are not worth the benefits. They are nearly all habit forming and if you can do without them that is a bonus.
4. Anxiety is caused by negative thinking
CBT revolves around the idea that anxiety and panic starts with a negative thought. They say that sometimes it is so fast you miss it. I say you miss it because often it doesn’t happen. The CBT theory is unproven and many people think that negative thinking is the result of anxiety and not the cause. CBT can be great for anxiety, but it doesn’t identify the cause. Identifying the cause is not always essential to getting over anxiety, as sometimes the cause disappeared long ago and only the habit is left.
5. Hypnotic regression can cure anxiety
Regression based therapies such as hypnoanalysis are a waste of time and money. They are expensive and they don’t work. And in my experience the “therapists” are nasty characters who are out for a quick buck and don’t care that they really hurt people in the process. Please don’t get sucked in by the hype and marketing!
If you can think of any more myths please add them below in the comments section 🙂