When you hear about people who suffer from anxiety, you usually find out that it was triggered by certain life events. Maybe a divorce, death in the family, job loss, too much work, pet dying, drugs etc.
However, sometimes there isn’t an identifiable trigger that throws us into the disorder. This can be extremely troubling because people believe that they might being going insane as they cannot seem to pinpoint what has caused them to feel anxious.
With the people who have had certain things happen, they know that these events conspired to the creation of the disorder. I’m not saying these things are the cause because the cause is self-created.
I’m saying these things will usually act as triggers. Even though they might not be in the stage of getting the “correct” help, they are not so thrown off as to why they’re experiencing anxiety because they associate it with certain periods in their life that were “traumatic.”
Unfortunately, for the people who can’t find any reason to feel anxiety, they just assume that they must be crazy. I was one of them people. I didn’t have any reason to experience an anxiety attack at the time and that thought scared me to death.
There wasn’t any identifiable trigger. This made me terrified because everyone else that I’d read about online or heard about in real life, all had identifiable triggers. I felt both embarrassed and even more worried because I thought that I must of had some psychotic illness. “Nothing has caused me to be this way, so I must really be crazy.” “What if I end up in a mental institution?”
I was so afraid of telling people that it happened for no reason. I had the thought I’d be locked up in a mental home and this scared the living hell out of me.
Here’s the truth that’s rarely spoken about. Anything can activate anxiety. Nothing is excluded. This means that even a thought has the power to throw us into the deepest depths of a disorder. This might seem crazy, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.
I can vouch for this because this is exactly what happened to me. I’ve mentioned my story a couple of times before. but I’ll mention it again because it’s important.
I was laying in bed one morning about 10 years ago and I had a sudden thought about how anxious I used to be as a child. By this point (I was 16 at the time), I managed to have my anxiety under some sort of control. I knew it was still there in the background, but it wasn’t severe.
Anyway, I perceived this thought as not nice, problematic and as something that I shouldn’t be thinking about. So, I did the thing that starts us down the path to disorder. I panicked about it. Because I panicked about this thought, it sent a message to my nervous system that I was under some kind of threat.
This is when I experienced an adrenaline rush that scared me senseless. Because I was so fearful of the adrenaline rush, I experienced even more panic and anxiety.
Can you understand why I thought I was going mad? And how this perception of me going mad fuelled the anxiety? After all, I was lying comfortably in bed and I was reacting to a thought the same way I would react to a bear which was standing over me about to tear my head off.
From this moment on, I was constantly giving my energy and power to my anxiety because I really thought I was experiencing some kind of psychotic illness. I would spend time researching and trying to work out why I was experiencing anxiety; if it even was anxiety and not anything more severe.
All this focus on anxiety just made me more emotionally and mentally disturbed.
My message to you is this: Don’t feel like there is something wrong with you because you cannot identify a trigger. In fact, the trigger was a thought. More specifically, it was how you responded to that wave of adrenaline that was tied to the thought.
If you panic about panic, you experience more panic because our body and mind are designed to keep us protected from anything we perceive to be dangerous. Even a thought.
Remember, the brain cannot tell the difference between a real and imagined threat, so if we perceive even something as innocuous as a thought and we fear that thought, it will activate the fight/flight to keep us on guard.
This is the gift and curse of anxiety. Our over-active imagination can do us wonders and it can also create a nightmare for us. Anxiety is the nightmare it creates. This is why it’s extremely important that we find the “correct” understanding of anxiety.
If you’re currently spending your time trying to figure out why you had an anxiety/panic attack when there wasn’t any problems going on in your life, then please drop this behaviour.
You don’t need to work anything out about anxiety. You don’t need to think anything about anything. All that’s important is understanding how anxiety works and how you change your relationship towards it in order for you to heal/recover.
Here are a list of articles that can help you do just that:
Until next time 🙂