Pathological anxiety is defined by its intensity, disproportionality, and functional impact.
When it comes to anxiety, doing what feels most self-protective often just reinforces our fears.
Exposing ourselves to our fears and learning how to tolerate anxiety is the key to its extinction.
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When anxiety becomes pathological, it's often because of its intensity, disproportionality, and functional impact. When anxiety and fear intensify to panic and when worries blossom into disproportional mental ruminations about imagined rather than actual threats, the result is that we often freez...
Because excessive anxiety is so visceral, including not only mental panic but physical symptoms including a "nervous stomach," chest discomfort, or trouble breathing, it's often experienced as intolerable. As a result, our natural response isn't to problem-solve, but to avoid—we tend to be more f...
The paradox of anxiety is that what feels most instinctual and self-protective—escaping from the source of our fears or trying to ablate intolerable anxiety with a drink or a pill—often just reinforces it by teaching us that our fears are too powerful to face. It also primes us to monitor for its...
Treating pathological anxiety often requires allowing ourselves to feel anxious. That doesn't mean "white-knuckling" it or subjecting ourselves to terror; it's more about engaging with and confronting our fears "one step at a time" in a safe and therapeutic setting with someone at your side. Thro...
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