Did you know....Over 40 million people experience "anxiety" which is now claimed as the most common mental illness in the US. Seriously, if you have ever been diagnosed with anxiety, how does it feel knowing you have a diagnosis of a "mental illness"? If you are like me, it didn't feel good at all. If you haven't read my book, I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and placed on a pretty powerful psychotropic drug called PAXIL. I wanted to share this part of my life with you only because it adds to the credibility of what I am about to share with you; it’s not mainstream.
First and foremost, regardless to what the doctors will tell you. Anxiety is not truly a mental illness and does not stem from any disease. The medical industry wants you to believe they are though. AND...What we do know is that mental illnesses are alarmingly more expensive than other illnesses; the medication for these diagnosis are literally.. Cash Cows!
"Overall, patients bear 16% of the total costs of mental-health treatments, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the highest portion of any common illness studied, including high blood pressure and diabetes. “This is an area where people have been bankrupted,” says Colleen L. Barry, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “The expenses associated with treatment can be very high, even catastrophic.” (link)
Americans have been in a life long struggle with many "diagnosis" such as anxiety and depression to the point that they take their diagnosis highly personal. " I have anxiety". This is the statement of identity. I "identify" as having anxiety and... if you debate me on my anxiety or tell me how yours is worse than mine (happens all the time), you are debating me on my identity thus I will take it very personal.
I mean, after all, my doctor told me "I have it!" so it must be true! right? Not necessarily.. In fact, the medical industry is over diagnosing (misdiagnosis) and over medicating at an alarming rate!
When we are questioned about our identity, we fall into the trap of an identity crisis where we become insecure of our being and the only way to combat this, is by being defensive. I've been here, I know it first hand.. can you relate? The problem with being defensive though, especially in my situation, Is that I blocked out any possibility of there being another better way to think of anxiety and even depression. It wasn't until I was willing to allow my "truths" about what was being told to me to become in the spotlight of "questioning" that the world opened up to me...
So here are some truths.
- Truth #1 - You don't HAVE anxiety.
It is not like the chicken pox, a broken bone or even the flu. Anxiety and even depression are merely experiences. While I will not go into detail here I am going to share a link below to a significant chapter of my book The High Performance Mindset below that I would ask that you read, with an open mind.
- Truth #2 - Anxiety is a product of the the way we think
There is plenty of research to back this up and even well known Psychologist Albert Ellis stated "What disturbs men's minds is not events but their judgments on events." Said differently, It is not the situation that causes us to be anxious or depressed, it is our judgement of the situation that leads us to be anxious or depressed. Situations and events do not hold any value, it is our thinking about the events that then creates meaning of the situation. With this said, you can change, with intentional practice, the way you react to situations.
- Truth #3 - 95% of our thoughts are repetitive and 80% of them are negative
With 80% of our thoughts being negative, its easy to understand how so many people are depressed and anxious.
- Truth #4 - YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY.
I am here, as proof, to show you that you don't have to live with depression and/or anxiety. I’ve documented everything in my latest book however I want to offer you a free chapter that I feel will help you begin to see that the clouds can part ways to the greatest level of sunshine in your life.
As I have referenced, I want to give you Chapter 3 of my book The High Performance Mindset that breaks your mindset down a bit. I really hope you find this as incredibily valuble as those who have read my book. I am also here to help you and I would love your feedback.. You can reach out to me at Craig@CraigWillard.com
**note - I am not suggesting anyone taking meds should stop. Quite the contrary.. I only want to educate you and offer a different perspective.