Anxiety?

GENERALIZED ANXIETY?

Is the constant stress you are feeling generalized anxiety?

Mental illness, sometimes it plays by its own rules; making you feel dreadful in a moment and inexplicably sad in the next. I don’t know about you but I think it’s fair to call it mother nature’s roller coaster. While it can feel this way at times, there are ways to combat its impact. Exercise being one of the best ones.

Anyone with a mental health condition can tell you all about certain emotional experiences, such as dread or fear but what about the impact mental illness has on us that we may be less aware of? Or even worse, no awareness what’s so ever?

So, what do I mean when I say less aware? Well, lets use my own life’s experience as an example. Rather disappointingly, I find myself almost chronically worried that I have done something to make people upset with me. This sad way to live isn’t new to me. However, relating it to mental illness is.

Like what you are reading? Try, Anxiety in the New Age

Generalized anxiety disorder, a mental illness that makes one ruminate and worry over anything and everything is the likely culprit. Whist I have always known that GAD made me a worst-case scenario thinker, I never thought that it would make me obsess over making everyone around me upset. But honestly, when I think about it, it makes sense. It is after all, a form of obsessive worry which; obsessive worry can be driven by an anxiety disorder.

Why DO I suspect that it is part of my anxiety disorder?

To start with, it was the frequency in which I was feeling worried. Sadly, I was worried over each and ever interaction. No matter who it was or in what way we were interacting. From social media to meeting in person, the chronic feeling that somehow I was making someone upset with me was and still is overwhelming.

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

If that weren’t enough, I would and still do, build an entire mythical future in my head as to why I “Thought” my friends and family were made at me. adding layers. “Maybe I message them too often, do I not talk to them enough?” My biggest fear? Well, that the person I’m communicating with doesn’t really like me and thus I am seen as a bother.

GENERALIZED ANXIETY?

As time went on, I began to notice that I became anxious interacting with, not one person, but everyone; the everyone part is key here becasue:

  1. It was everyone. Best friends, family, co-workers, firefighter colleagues etc.
  2. And it was constant. In fact, it was so prevalent that It began to scream at me like a giant electronic billboard. “NO ONE LIKES YOU, YOU’RE BOTHERING EVERYONE!”

Generalized anxiety was the culprit?

To reach an ultimate conclusion on the cause, I had to use mindfulness to bring myself into the here and now. By doing this, I was able to let the logic centres of my brain and ask the right questions:

  1. Is it really possible that everyone you interact with dislikes you? Similarly, can everyone you know view you as an inconvenience? Of course not.
  2. So, since it’s not very likely that no one wants to interact with you, what’s really going on? Does it this feeling lay within you?
  3. If, so, what’s going on?

Want to hear people tell their stories? Go to The Depression Files Podcast.

Since I had been diagnosed with GAD years ago, I rightfully concluded that I generalized anxiety was the culprit. With that said, having a diagnosis made it easier for me to conclude but you don’t have to be.

So, if you recognize similarities, perhaps what I have laid out here can help you uncover some underlying mental health condition you did know you had. Through the process of mindfulness, you can quell the emotions and negative self-talk and clear your mind so you can discern what’s really going on and move towards healing.

Note: If you think you may have a mental health disorder, contact your doctor, psychiatrist or a psychologist; they are all able to diagnose you and thereby help move you forward.

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

Critical Incident

A Critical Incident, yours?

Anyone can face a critical incident or more, not just emergency service workers.

You know what just occurred to me? Men hide from every ounce of mental pain they endure. Ok, That’s not really all that surprising. After all, this is a fact that many of us, including myself are well aware of.

While this may be true, I’d like to delve into this notion a little more. For one reason or another, our society has associated emotional suppression in men a sign of strength. During my morning coffee, I came to the conclusion that pushing things out of the way, can be both right and wrong. Essentially, I think there’s a yes and no answer.

When I was a firefighter, It was essential to push your emotional response to a critical incident out of the way. If not, how would we make order out of chaos? Being locked into a tragic scene, is no time to explore how you are feeling about what lies before you.

With that said, some of us are overcome by the carnage and the incredible amount of stress placed on our fight, flight or fight mode. This is a natural biological phenomenon; for those impacted, they go into the ultimate survival mode. Nothing to be ashamed of, we are after all, only human. The reality is, some of us can give no more and it becomes about self-preservation.

Critical Incident.
Photo by Download a pic Donate a buck! ^ on Pexels.com

Like what you are reading? Try, Carbon Monoxide And PTSD.

Therefore, emotional avoidance is a necessary but should only be seen as a temporary coping tool. Thank the gods for the adrenaline rush. This hormone overrides our emotions by putting us in autopilot mode. Very, very useful.

Beyond the incident, what happens? Do we need to keep pushing it down like we are smashing leaves with our foot into a garbage bag, packing it in tighter and tighter? From my experience, the answer to this question is no. We are a vessel and as such, we can only hold so much. Remember, mental illnesses are nervous system disorders. This means our psychological well-being has its roots in our biology.

The dangers of suppressing your emotions.

Looking at avoidance post incident though, how helpful is this? Moreover, if we ignore the accumulative pain that is fighting for supremacy within us, will we win? Maybe. Truthfully, many lose.

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Perhaps the most important question here is; Why do we men move mental mountains to avoid the pain boiling below the surface? I believe the answer is fear, right? Well, if that’s the case, we don’t normally associate running from things as strong, rather I feel like being strong means we have the strength to deal with whatever lies in front of us. this includes confronting our inner demons.

I’m by no means suggesting that people avoid their feelings are cowards, far from it; been in their shoes my friends. But pretending I was invincible was exhausting and may have almost got me in the end. If I didn’t man up and face reality I was going to be my own critical incident. I am calling my fight to save myself firefighter self-rescue.

Saving yourself from your own critical incident.

What I am saying is this; It takes a strong person to overcome their fear and admit, “I have had enough.” or to reach out and say, “I need help.” For me personally, it took an incredible amount of psychological effort to admit that I needed help and evermore difficult to reach out. I fail to see the weakness.

Sadly, I was being “brave” for far too long. It wasn’t until the thoughts of ending my life were so dominating that I admitted I was running, that I was scared.

You’ve spent your whole life holding it in, letting it fester, it’s time my friends. For my colleagues in the emergency services, men, women and other identities, it’s time for you to save yourself; you’ve earned it. After risking your own health, mental health included to save others, you own crisis is the next critical incident that needs your needs you to respond.

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

Damage our mental well-being.

Damage to our well-being

Part 3. What are the factors that cause damage to our well-being?

The first time I took leave from work because of my mental health, I went into solution mode. I needed A fix that would see me making a comeback. But I was determined to this it right. I needed to be more than just functional, I needed to be even more mentally robust than ever.

How was I going to pull that off? After much research and a strong desire to move forward, I found the magic pill; I like to call it mother nature’s medication.

Natural ways to ease mental illness.

So, what is this smoking gun? Exercise; accompanied by a clean diet. When I start to apply what I had learned, I found that my mental illness, an anxiety disorder, was so much more manageable. In fact, adopting a healthy lifestyle was so effective at alleviating my symptoms that I was able to return to work.

While this was no doubt effective, what it wasn’t was a cure. All I needed to do to find this out was to go back to what exacerbated my metal illness in the first place; a lifestyle of sitting and eating the Western diet. Fast food and sugar can be considered stables in this diet.

What I learned from my obsessive research was surprising. My weight, it turns out, was a major factor in, not only my mental health decline but also to my overall health in general.

This fact was nothing short of a revelation for me. Never before had I given my excess weight any thought, much less seeing it as a clinical health condition. This perspective changed everything.

Being overweight was a health condition? Learning this fact changed the way I saw my weight, my mental health and my physical health. The only thoughts I did have about my weight, was a sense of self-conciseness.

Damage to our well-being
Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

Checkout men are nuts podcast.

Thankfully for me, science took the shame associated with my weight and made it seem like it was fixable; fortunately, it is indeed something one can fix. In my mind, I began to see that getting into shape was merely the treatment plan.

Like what you are reading? Try Hang in, there is hope.

With the majority of the shame out of the way, I was free to tackle my generalized anxiety disorder head on. I was motivated by this notion that I had a medical problem, not a social one. With that, I set out to improve my health not lose to weight. Looking at it as “improving my health rather than “losing weight” alleviated all the stress and social pressures that come with self-improvement.

How a good diet and exercise help the brain.

So, was my weight all my fault? I think my answer to this question is a yes and a no. I am a firm believer that self-improvement is ultimately our responsibility. However, science tells us that the Western diet is full of addictive properties. Substances like sugar are but one of many. Some studies indicate that sugar is more addictive than cocaine; an illegal street drug.

Is sugar addictive?

What does this mean? It means that I had an addiction and like that other addictions, comes dire consequences. With that said, I don’t believe in using the old, “I can’t help it, I have an addiction.” line. In my view, this statement is more damaging than the actual disease. Why? Well, because it gives us license to continue to do major damage to our well-being. It’s a slow burn that eats away at our mind, body and soul.

As someone with a background in addictions, I know that addictions are among some of the toughest challenges a person can face. I also understand that because they are so hard to overcome, it can be perceived as easier to continue on that path. However, as we age and continue to live a lifestyle that feeds our addition, we are often faced with an ever-increasing amount of health problems. Diabetes, hypertension and heart disease to name a few. And you guessed it, higher rates of mental illness.

Thanks for stopping by. My goal is to help as many people as I can through my blog and other projects. Your donation would be wonderful as it would help me continue to help others. Thank you — Jonathan. (About Me).

Sure, we may have an addiction, but we have no excuse not to try, not when this lifestyle is causing so much damage to our well-being. Additionally, I firmly believe that the only way we truly fail is if we give up. Even then, we can get back on that horse and try again. You may find it helpful to ask yourself:

  • What are the consequences of continuing this way of life? Write down as many as you can think of.
  • What if I looked at my unhealthy lifestyle as a medical condition instead of seeing it as socially shameful? (change your perspective).
  • What will the positive outcomes look like as I make my way to wellness.
  • What are my end goals? Realize that this journey is incremental, incremental is another word for progress.
  • Lastly, who else will benefit from my journey?

Please, be kind to yourself, your battle is hard enough. While it’s not a simple task, go slow and with purpose, never lose sight of why you are doing this; you don’t only want to lose weight, you, more importantly, want to be well.

This adventure in re-discover we are on will definitely help minimize the damage to our well-being. And as we go down the road to mental wellness, we will start to notice that we are stronger; not only physically, but mentally too. You can do this!

Checkout the book I helped to write — Available for pre-order

Lemonade Stand Vol. III

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness