Maybe you can’t afford a psychiatrist but there may be resources in your community of which you are unaware. What about a therapist? Therapists focus on thoughts, feelings and behaviors. A therapist would be in a good position to treat your anxiety.
Try calling your community mental health center or other community center and asking about what services might be available to you. There might be free or low-cost mental health services.
Another idea is contacting local universities to determine if they have a counseling center for people in the community.
You might also try reading self-help books about anxiety. Your local library might have some good options. I would recommend self-help books by David Burns.
In the absence of available mental health treatment, you should try your best to focus on reality. Just because you feel a particular way doesn’t mean that your feelings are accurate. You shouldn’t just blindly follow them.
For instance, let’s say you have an argument with your mother. She said some things that hurt your feelings. Now you’re upset. Just because your feelings are hurt doesn’t mean that you’re justified in feeling the way you do. Maybe your hurt feelings are legitimate but hurt feelings alone are not, in and of themselves, the most accurate indicators of truth.
In another example, consider agoraphobia. People with agoraphobia are highly anxious in social situations. Their fear can lead to panic attacks. In severe cases, they are so overwhelmed with fear that they refuse to leave their homes and become trapped.
People with agoraphobia feel that social situations are dangerous. In reality they are not, but their feelings trump their judgment. And thus they are ruled by their feelings. If they perceived reality as it was, rather than how they felt it to be, they might not be agoraphobic.
That is the power of truth and reality.
Those examples might be overly simplistic, but they highlight the fact that feelings are not facts. The more you can train yourself to believe in what is real, the less you will be impacted by irrational feelings. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle