23. Read psychological literature and case studies: Q:
"True of me too?"
Now you are prepared to plan your attack on tension and fears that
hold you back. Based on what you know, select the best two or three
methods and give them an honest try. If they don't work, try
something else. Good luck.
Treatment of Specific Anxiety-Based Problems
Anxiety, worry and shyness
Anxiety is the most common symptom of patients seeing a
psychiatrist or a psychologist. About 5% to 8% of Americans each year
are believed to have an anxiety disorder; about the same percentage
have depression which often accompanies anxiety. Indeed, learning to
cope with stress reduces the risk of depression. The major anxiety
disorders are generalized anxiety, panic disorders, agoraphobia, and
other specific phobias. Women are two or three times more likely to be
diagnosed as being anxious than men are. We don't know why,
perhaps because they admit fears more, see doctors more, get
therapy more, have fewer rights and opportunities, are more abused
and deserted, have to care for children alone and often work outside
the home too, etc. Girls are also more prone to anxiety than boys,
Blacks more than Whites, and the poor more than middle class.
You might think it is the busy executive who is most affected by
stress. You'd be wrong. More likely to suffer from stress is the ordinary
worker who is under heavy pressure to perform and has little control
over decisions. Thus, the most influenced by stress is the factory
worker, waiter, clerk-typist, data entry type who has fixed hours,
limited breaks, rigid procedures, and little to say about conditions,
solutions to problems, time off, lay offs, etc. Executives, business
owners, managers, professionals may feel stressed but they are less
affected by it. They are more motivated, more flexible, more
challenged, and they can make decisions and run their own lives; this
seems to be related to their being 2 to 4 times less likely (than the
clerk) to become sick from the stress of their job. Still, in any job
there are ways to relax (breaks, exercise at lunch, support from peers,
calming fantasies, deep muscle relaxation, having hopeful positive
thoughts, keeping a journal of your feelings, etc.).
An anxious person usually also has a history of associating with
stress-related disorders, i.e. older relatives have been tense or fearful,
poor social adjustment in the past, poor school adjustment (especially
refusing to go to school after age 10), and general over-reactions to
pressure or threats.