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We all feel worried or anxious at times; that's what makes us human. Anxiety can be a healthy internal warning system for us to pay attention to something important. It's our body's way of signalling to us that something matters and needs to be done.
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In mental illness, we are constantly mixing apples and oranges. The causes are not the same and neither are the treatments. When we lump them together we create more confusion. And when there is lack of clarity, we tend to fill the gaps in knowledge with myths, superstitions, and mistaken attributions. That's when the quacks come out.
"It's a feeling I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy."
When I was nine, I had a bad experience while in the hospital with scarlet fever. A nurse restrained me and abruptly poked a needle into my arm, inflicting a pain that felt worse than a bee sting. I avoided having blood taken for the next 20 years, even if it meant risking my health.
My fear of flying grew into a phobia and this phobia became an obstacle to living the kind of life I wanted for myself. I couldn't get on a plane without taking my anti-anxiety medication. My fear of flying no longer belonged in the "quirk" category -- it made me feel anxious and out-of-control. Those feelings of blind panic took over my whole mind and body and I was unable to override them with conscious thought or reason.
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