is there a cure for anxiety

Is there a cure for anxiety?: Separating fact from fiction

Can you fix anxiety?

“No need to hurry.  No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” Virginia Woolf

I’m gonna lay down a sad little truth bomb.  There is nothing currently that I’m aware of that will cure your anxiety.

“Life is pain, Highness.  Anyone who says differently is selling something.” (The Princess Bride)

If they tell you they have that magical cure for your anxiety, I can give maybe 97% odds that they are trying to sell you something.  Makes me sound like a hater, but I am just trying to give you real and accurate information.

With the technology available today, anxiety cannot be cured.  You can definitely find things that help you enter a long period of stability.  But there is always the potential for it to come back. Especially in such a tense political and religious climate.

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Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.

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Taking control

Depending on your point of view, that can sound really really awful.  For those that live with anxiety, it’s sad and scary to think that it will probably not be cured in this generation.  (Just a prediction on my part. I’m no doctor or scientist.)

But how about if you thought of it this way? There is no cure for anxiety.  I can treat the symptoms, but it is outside of my control to get rid of it completely.

What if we gave up a little control?  I know I blogged recently about taking control of your health, and you should.  You should seek treatment and do what you can to feel better. But I strongly believe that once you accept that you can live a fulfilling life as someone with anxiety, you can separate yourself from it as a form of identity, and begin to move on. 

The long lasting nature of anxiety is the seventh and final fact that I wanted to talk about in this series.  The series is based off of a post about anxiety that I wrote several months ago.

It affects millions of people every year, and many do not speak up until it gets to be more than they can handle.

Is there a cure for anxiety?

As I said, no. There is no clinic you can go to and receive an anxiety shot. Wouldn’t that be nice? Some kind of annual booster that would keep you covered for an entire year? Hell, I would be first in line.

I hope that in my children’s lifetime, something like that exists, but there would need to be a few things that took place before it was possible.

For one, we need to break the stigma around anxiety disorders. We’ve certainly come a long way. Things are much better than they were even a few years ago. But I think there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding anxious behaviors. (Ex. Karen won’t call me back, so she must be rude. Or, Greg’s been slacking off at work. They ought to fire him.)

We are a very reactive society, and that is damaging for those that live with mental health conditions. For whatever reason, we are hit with some sort of stimuli and we are conditioned to react immediately rather than take a step back and react with empathy. Especially when people are different from us, we tend to default to judgment rather than kindness.

To find a cure, we also need more funding. We need more people with the resources to do so to step up and donate to reputable research organizations. Alongside of that, we need people who are passionate enough to do good things with the money.

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How to spot it in a friend

Maybe you’re not the anxious one.  Maybe your loved one is suffering from anxiety.  As I mentioned in my previous post about anxiety, it is incredibly common.  40 million adults live in the United States live with anxiety per year, and approximately 4-5 million children.

Here are some common symptoms of long-lasting anxiety, according to Healthline:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Feeling agitated
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Tense muscles
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Panic attacks
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Irrational fears (For me, long car rides!)

I know that personally, I can pretty much check off all of these boxes.

If your loved one has even one or more of these symptoms, they are possibly living with some form of anxiety.  Speaking from experience, these are awful feelings to live with, and they can be the reason that many anxious people find themselves not speaking up.

What you can do to manage anxiety

Nope, sorry. There is not a cure for anxiety. But there are many things you can do to manage your condition and start feeling more like yourself again. Here are some things that have been really helpful to me in my journey to wellness.

Planning.

So much of anxiety for me is about unknowns. What will happen if…? The more I can structure my day and cut out a lot of questions about things that might happen the better I feel. You sacrifice a lot of spontaneity, but it really is helpful.

Exercise.

Fitness has a lot of benefits for everyone, but especially those with mental illness. When you work out, it releases feel good chemicals in your brain that your natural biochemistry is missing (dopamine, etc.) It can be hard to get back into it if you’ve taken time off, but so worth it.

Less caffeine.

I know, this one is super hard. I definitely rely on caffeine to help with my fatigue. But ultimately, it can just make your anxiety worse. So to the extent that you can avoid it, the better.

Less alcohol.

Alcohol is a cocktail (see what I did there?) of emotional turmoil. Yes, when you’ve had a bad day, it feels good temporarily to unwind with a Vodka cranberry. But it doesn’t technically fix any of your problems. And for those with mental illness, too much alcohol consumption can be a slippery slope into other negative behaviors.

Being open about it.

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Talking about it really does help. I am lucky to have a spouse that is patient in listening to my fears and anxieties. For instance, I am nervous about a car ride we are taking tomorrow. I was open about it, and he took the time to talk with me about how the day is gonna be laid out, and how we will be able to take our time driving in case we need to stop. It was very helpful that he was willing to listen. All I had to do was speak up!

Talking about it really does help. I am lucky to have a spouse that is patient in listening to my fears and anxieties. For instance, I am nervous about a car ride we are taking tomorrow. I was open about it, and he took the time to talk with me about how the day is gonna be laid out, and how we will be able to take our time driving in case we need to stop. It was very helpful that he was willing to listen. All I had to do was speak up!

Better sleep.

Sleep is a nice little bandaid. It’s not going to cure your anxiety, but getting regular quality sleep will help you to feel physically better, and little bit more clear-headed when dealing with stressful situations. I take melatonin gummies at night to help me get a deeper sleep.

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Journaling.

I’ve just started this again each night, and I’ve been getting a lot out of it. I’m one of those that, despite being a writer, I never really know what to write about when I’m journaling. So I started doing three things: I list 3 things I’m grateful for that day, write 1 goal for the following day, and 1 positive affirmation. It’s nothing major but it’s a start!

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Go ahead: Be well.

It is likely that in your lifetime, there might not be a cure for anxiety. I think that’s okay. In the meantime, it’s important to step away from wishing we could be different and more complete.

We are complete in our incompleteness. We are strong. Full of resilience. While we might never be cured, we can certainly take steps to be well, and that is a very huge thing.

Do you live with anxiety? Tell me your story in the comments, and don’t forget to share the article!

Remember: You cannot cure anxiety. No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but yourself.


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72 thoughts on “Is there a cure for anxiety?: Separating fact from fiction”

  1. These are some great ways to help manage anxiety. A person I love takes medication for anxiety and it has helped her tremendously.

    I also think that therapy can help some people take control of their anxiety. It is not a quick solution by any means, but it has helped people that I know.

  2. I do agree that our society is very reactive lately and it’s getting worse which is HORRIBLE for someone with anxiety. Thankfully I have learned to distance myself from the social media world so I do not witness as much of the reactiveness in society. I love your tips on how to manage anxiety, because that’s really all we can do for now.

    1. Hey Brandy, it’s so sad. I’m taking a bit of a break from social media scrolling the rest of the year just to decompress. Take care, and thanks for reading!

  3. Since becoming a mom my anxiety has really increased. I am working to control it because I know it’s not good for me or my kids. Love all these helpful tips to help with the anxiety.

    1. Hey Heather, mom anxiety is for real! There are so many more plates to juggle and so much to worry about. Glad you found the advice helpful. Thanks for reading!

  4. This is another great one. I have learned so much about anxiety from reading your posts. That’s good for me because I have terrible anxiety, and it’s always popping up.

  5. Love your advice. I had several years where my anxiety was bad. I was going through a divorce and would have panic attacks riding in cars. I also found out my B12 was really low and once that was back to normal and I stopped drinking tea and coffee, my attacks went away.

  6. You are going to be the master on anxiety! I’m believing for the cure for bipolar for 20 years from now. Anxiety is different though for sure. Keep going and who knows…anything is possible!

  7. I agree, there is no cure for Anxiety… and I doubt it is something that can ever be cured. I’ve lived with an anxiety disorder my entire life and I have gotten to be at a good place with managing my anxiety, but I will always have my triggers because this is just how I’m wired. Finding what makes you tick and discovering personal coping mechanisms is the best I can hope for, and it works for me. There was a point in my life when I had troubles leaving the house and I missed out on events because social events gave me panic attacks. (I talk about my own journey with Anxiety in this post ( https://etherealempathy.com/coping-with-anxiety/ ) if you’re interested. 🙂

    I learned to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and certain foods that my body was sensitive to. I started yoga and spending more time out in nature, as well as writing more. In time I did find my balance. I can shop at the mall, have the occasional glass of wine, attend events, and actually embrace life. I’m not always 100% comfortable, but I breath through it and keep at it. I still don’t drive, but from the outside people can’t see that I suffer with a disorder.

    No, it’s not something that can be cured, but it can be managed in a healthy way. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much for sharing some of your strategies! It can be hard to identify your triggers and find a balance, but as you said, definitely possible 🙂

  8. You’ve left some great tips and advice on how to cope with anxiety. I like how you’ve outlined some of the key signs of having anxiety, and I totally agree that we need this to be a spoken about thing. The more we talk and understand anxiety the easier it will be for people to manage it. Great Blog, thank you.

    1. I can imagine! My oldest is a little anxious as well. Hopefully by them watching us go through it, it normalizes it, and shows them that there is strength in the journey. Thanks for reading!

  9. Thank you so much for another wonderful post. I too suffer from anxiety, which has been going nuts since COVID-19 started. I usually deal with my anxiety by being a planner (which you mentioned above). My real struggles come with having any flexibility when it comes to planning, or conflicts that disrupt my plans. But you’re right, while there’s no cure for anxiety right now, it’s great to talk it out, journal about it, and get some sleep (not doing great on that front right now). Thanks!

    1. I think a lot of people have probably been having the same issue. It’s so hard right now. Hopefully you can start sleeping better soon. Thanks for reading!

  10. THere are so many conditions out there (mine included) that are pervasive and yet have no cure and/or little funds are dedicated to finding a cure. It seems shameful to me that people are living in pain when there are so many great minds out there that could potentially greatly help us if given the funding. (Yes, I’m very passionate about this!)

  11. What great post, sometimes I like to think I’ve been cured from my anxiety and then it hits me again! I have come to the realization that I will suffer for some time to come! Thank you for highlighting this topic!!!

  12. This is an extremely helpful blog post-:-) I have recently started struggling with my mental health due to situational depression, so these tips come in handy. Thank you ^^ xx Manon | Bondi to Basic

  13. This is an extremely helpful blog post and I love your honesty! I have anxiety since my childhood but I always thought I’m just weird and never found out until recently. Thanks for raising awareness around this topic.!

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