Q: I’ve had high anxiety for over three years, which includes panic attacks and OCD. I’ve seen my mum go through anxiety ever since I was a child, and she’s always had it as far as I can remember. I’m desperate to overcome it, but I can’t help thinking I won’t be able to like my Mum, and that trying is just a waste a time. Does anxiety run in families, and if so, can you overcome it?
A: If you have a look online you’ll notice the answer to this question is yes – anxiety can run in families. But, that’s exactly the reason I don’t want you to look online and research it (like I did, and lots of other anxiety sufferers do).
When you give high anxiety a reason to exist (like saying you have anxiety because your Mum has it), it will continue to be as big a part of your life as you let it. There are people in my family that have suffered with anxiety, but if I chose to focus on that rather than overcoming my high anxiety, changing my life would have been much more difficult (if possible at all). There is no way I’d have been able to make the significant changes I made in my life.
If you focus on any reason or excuse, it’s only going to cause more anxiety, because you’re giving it purpose. Instead, focus on what you want (to overcome your high anxiety) and give that purpose. When your focus is on overcoming anxiety, it doesn’t matter if your Mum has anxiety (or anybody related to you). Ultimately, you are you – and you can change if you want to.
Action for Change
Stop linking your Mum’s anxiety with yours, and focus on what’s important – the fact that you are you, and you can change, no matter your circumstance.
ARE YOU DEALING WITH ANXIETY?
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