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From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a crutch is “a source or means of support or assistance that is relied on heavily or excessively.” As someone with anxiety, I have had my fair share of crutches, from relying on family to take care of me to always carrying a few Clonazepam in my purse. When you are anxious, all you want to do is not feel anxious. You might go exercise or anxiously try to distract your brain by watching TV all day. Sometimes it will work, but when it doesn’t, the search to bury the anxiety becomes a source of anxiety itself.

This thought came about after watching one of my favourite Youtubers talk about how she deals with travel anxiety. She made a 20 minute video dealing with this topic since she also suffered from anxiety. In the video, she gives some solid advice about how she deals with travel anxiety. This included bringing books to read on the plane for distraction and downloading some relaxation apps. It was all good advice, but I couldn’t get through the whole video because I actually got more anxious watching it.

It made me reflect on why I felt this way. It is healing and helpful to have a list of strategies to deal with your anxiety. However, can these anxiety-combating strategies become a crutch sometimes? I remember that a part of my treatment for anxiety was to slowly face my fears. I think it is good, and even necessary to use these crutches initially to face the anxiety, but it is important to think of ways to slowly diminish your reliance on them slowly. I know it is hard, and I still carry a few Clonazepam in my purse. What are your thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “16. Anxiety Crutches

  1. I so appreciate what you’re saying, and I really value your honesty. To me, learning more how to be present, love myself and forgive, have been a balm for feelings that felt overwhelming. I still catch myself wanting to escape, and it’s a step by step process to see that I am love no matter what, and to experience the support available to me. Anyway, my two cents. Blessings to you!!! Debbie

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  2. There are times when such support is necessary to get you through difficult situations, but as you say it may not be helpful to develop a reliance on these. Again I have blogged about similar – when I was in therapy last year, I was told that what I thought of as my coping mechanisms were actually avoidant behaviours and I was inadvertently keeping my anxiety/distress levels high in relying on these behaviours.
    It’s hard to identify for yourself though because it’s just something that you feel is the right thing to do to help.

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