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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5467
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Anxiety

Customer Question

While in therapy today to gain tips to combat anxiety, I realized something. Maybe for some people (like me) who have lived off anxiety rushes thier whole life, could it be possible that anxiety could in fact be more friend than enemy? I thrive off adrenaline, I need it to function. I'm at my best, XXXXX XXXXX out of my comfort zone, I strive to do better in my day to day life when I'm high on flight or fight. My anxiety stems from trauma and PTSD which happened a long time ago. I don't recall when I wasn't like this. Sure, it's uncomfortable, and yes, I hate it sometimes. But is it worth fighting what I feel is a no win battle? Is it ok to just live an anxiety ridden life? What's the worst that can happen? Instead of spending my energy fighting it, maybe I should just wallow in it instead. Thoughts?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

What you describe sometimes happens with people who have anxiety. They can get so used to the feeling of adrenaline that they adjust to it psychologically and feel that it is normal. Living with anxiety can create that kind of feeling because you do not recall what "normal" feels like. And the additional adrenaline can help boost your mood and your energy.

You describe a very interesting conflict. Do you treat the anxiety and get rid of it, possibly eliminating the increase in energy and mood, or do you just accept the situation and enjoy the benefits?

There are many things to consider before you decide. One important factor is that your body is not meant to be constantly exposed to adrenaline. It creates an increase in something called cortisol, which can harm your body. Here is a link to help you understand cortisol:

http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/cortisol.htm

But on the other hand, accepting your anxiety has a good side effect. It helps you actually get rid of the anxiety. One of the methods of treatment in therapy is helping a person with anxiety learn to accept that anxiety will not hurt them. By doing that, they stop fighting the anxiety and as a consequence, they feel calmer and more under control. So your idea is a very good one.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5467
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ha! So I'm on to something here! I've already made up my mind, I'm accepting it. Trying to fight it is stupid, doesn't work and will make me more frustrated and defeated. The more I try to stop my anxiety, the more I think about it, and the more anxious I get. I'm hoping that by just letting it be whatever it will be, will make me a more calmer, balanced person. I plan to discuss this with my therapist next Wed. because trying the tips he gave me to combat it were my homework, that I will not be doing. He'll probably say (or more like think) that I'm resisting. ;)
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

I think that is a good idea. Accepting it will help you feel calmer and better. But talk with your therapist to see what he thinks. It is worth trying!

.

Kate

.

May I please request that if you find the answers helpful at all that you rate me with three or more stars? Anything lower results in a negative against my record (ratings are confusing, sorry!). Thank you so much!

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