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What Causes Anxiety?

August 5, 2016 / The Healthy Mind
What Causes Anxiety?

To the extent that a person suffers from poor self-esteem, his or her consciousness is ruled by fear: fear of other people, fear of the real or imagined facts about the self that have been evaded or repressed. There is fear of the external world and fear of the internal world.

Feelings of anxiety, insecurity, and self-doubt, the nameless sense of being unfit for reality, inappropriate to the challenges of life, arise inevitably when and if a person fails to attain a reasonably satisfying level of self-confidence and self respect.

Fear thus becomes the central motivating force within the personality.

A man of low self-esteem, for example, becomes a husband and father. He rules his home by evoking fear in his wife and children, using the same fear that motivates him as his chief source of energy and action. He avoids the expressions of pain and unhappiness in their eyes; he avoids their efforts to communicate with him; he becomes sullen and withdrawn when they refuse to obey him. The years go by, and he sees whatever love or respect they once felt for him vanishing. His spirits drop lower and lower. At the age of fifty, he is worn out, depressed, occasionally suicidal in his fantasies.

He is the casualty fear induced by anxiety caused by his reality due to uncorrected low self-esteem.

Fear sabotages mind, clarity and efficacy. Fear undermines the sense of personal worth. Actions motivated by fear rather than by confidence are generally the kind of actions that leave an individual feeling diminished in stature.

When a person who suffers from low self-esteem institutes various defenses, or reality-avoiding strategies, to escape facing the feeling of deficiency, distortions are inevitably introduced into thinking. The person’s mental processes are regulated, not by the goal of apprehending reality clearly, but, at best, by the goal of gaining only such knowledge as is compatible with the maintenance of the defenses.

This ‘not enough for reality’ mindset and avoidance strategies as a result makes the individual perceive their reality as the danger. Hence, the individual is at constant battle with their reality which in turn deduces anxiety every time they are forced to face it.

Strategies to overcome anxiety can be found in my article on how to overcome anxiety.

Hope this article was of help to you!

Wilfred Paul

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