They are calling it the Age of Anxiety.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), generalized anxiety disorder affects nearly 6.8 million adults annually. What’s even more shocking is only 43.2% of these individuals receive treatment.
In addition, if you want to look at the prevalence of teenagers suffering with generalized anxiety disorder this number is a staggering 25.1% of children between the ages of 13 to 18 years of age.
Since becoming a nurse practitioner, I have watched these numbers come to life. I would go on to say, based on experience, 60% of patients are either on an antidepressant or antianxiety medication. What was once an uncommon factor has become an increasingly normal finding.
I hear things like, “I’ve never had this before” and “I’m not sure what I’m feeling.” These words have become new, undeniably truthful language.
There’s no hidden finding here—stress has become a normal feeling that generates a multitude of problems. Problems like: trouble concentrating, unable to finish tasks, isolation, all common ground emotions where we lose the true meaning to happiness of life. Depression and anxiety may go hand-and-hand.
In fact, nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety disorder, according to the ADAA. They are two diagnoses that have built an unhealthy, however, symbiotic relationship.
We think of depression as sadness, but it’s so much more than that. Depression shows symptoms like fatigue, lack of interest, and inability to concentrate. I like to think of anxiety as just icing on the cake that echoes overwhelming thoughts, isolation, paranoia, and the like.
How do we combat a monster that seemingly shows up out of nowhere and feeds on itself? We change the pattern of our thoughts.
Understand this: you have the power to overcome thoughts. That’s right, you have the capacity and forthcoming ability to take negative thoughts and push them out. Thoughts are real. When they are brought to the front of our consciousness, we have the opportunity to abort toxic thoughts from our mindset. You can do this daily by rethinking, or rewiring your mind.
There is no doubt that life situations will arise, and I’m not negating mental illness. Mental illness is a real diagnosis. What I’m imposing here is concentrating more on being positive and living a well-balanced, or well-managed thought processed life. Sometimes anxiety is self-imposed where we entertain thoughts for too long.
Think of your thoughts as inventory. Each morning you have a checklist of things that have to be handled for the day. On this list are consuming negative and positive thoughts that have to be managed.
Negative thoughts will happen. Bad situations will happen. But if you can be confident in the fact that you are a well-managed individual who can push away bad thoughts, the anxiety and depression can and will diminish.
This is not an easy task. We are individuals who systematically focus on the negative. We see it in the news, on our social media feed, and, unfortunately, in our work environments.
It is easy to get caught up in complaining, being ungrateful, and blaming others for our toxic thinking and lifestyle. But when you make a decision to trash toxic thoughts, your life will elevate to new heights—without anxiety and depression.
Learn to push out negative thoughts. Enhance your mindset to new levels. Enjoy this thing we call life by making it worry-free, toxic-free, and joyful once again. Don’t just to get through your day, but pursue good thoughts and experience less anxiety.
Let this year be the year of transformation! Start by waking up daily, rewiring your mind, and believing you have the power over your thoughts. After all, your mind is meant to think.
Reference: “Facts & Statistics.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. Accessed October 22, 2018. https://adaa.org/.