By: Stan Popovich
As a person who has dealt with fear, anxiety, and stress for over 20 years, the number one thing I learned was to not take my mental health issues for granted and to get help.
When I first started dealing with my fear and anxieties, I thought that it was just a phase and that it would go away. I was wrong. My fears and anxieties would come and go on a semi-regular basis and it started to be a major factor in my life.
I knew of people who had similar issues of fear, anxiety, depression, and addiction who didn’t get help for their mental health issues and their fears made their life a living hell. Some people I knew cried a lot, couldn’t hold a job and became homeless, became very distant and unresponsive, had their marriages and careers ruined, and families destroyed. Many of them ended their lives because the pain was so unbearable.
I was determined to get help and educate myself on how to deal with my fears and anxieties.
This helped a lot but I still struggled. The worst part of dealing with fear is waking up every day and having to go through your mental health issues every waking moment. Your fears and anxiety are with you every single minute of every single day. A person can only sleep so much, however the fear is so overpowering that a person just becomes a total wreck and can’t function at all.
It was also very heart wrenching to go to support groups and see the despair of family members as they watch their loved one suffer this pain and are totally powerless to do anything about it. Some family members talked about the grief they suffer to this day because their loved ones ended their life.
There were times I felt like giving up, but I knew in my heart that the answers to my fears were out their but I had to make the effort to find those answers. Nobody was going to do it for me. I realized that denying I had a problem or using drugs and alcohol to take away my fears and anxieties would only make things worse in the long run. I had to make a choice.
I was determined to find those techniques that would help manage my fears.
I took advantage of the professional help that was available, I read many books, and I Learned what worked, what didn’t work, and what I needed to do to improve my issues. I made it a habit to learn from each stressful situation that I encountered and I would write down what I learned in my notebook so I wouldn’t forget what I learned. I refused to give up and realized that the more I learned the better of I would be in the long run. I had to help myself and nobody could do it for me. This was my life and I had to make a choice.
To this day I still know of people who ended their life because they didn’t get the help they needed or were too afraid to get help. I see the grief of family members who lost loved ones or who have loved one who are caught up in the vicious cycle of fear, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health issues.
I know this pain all too well as someone who has dealt with these issues on a personal level. Do not make excuses and don’t let fear stop you from getting better. Most importantly, do not wait until it’s too late.
Stan Popovich is the author of A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear which is located at http://www.managingfear.com