Anxiety Mental Health

Can Naming Your Anxiety Help You Control It?

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Can Naming Your Anxiety Help You Control It?

Anxiety sucks.

I’m sure I’ve talked about this before. In fact, I’ve talked about the things anxiety has made me miss out on about a hundred times. Anxiety sucks and there’s no way around that. My anxiety has been kicking my butt lately. And it’s brought it’s pal, Depression, along for funsies. They tend to work in pairs. They just switch up which one does the driving. It’s anxiety’s turn at the moment.

When my anxiety is in charge, I can’t sleep. I struggle with my diet. I want to do things…. but I can’t.

I’ve got plans. Things I’ve really been looking forward to doing and now feel like I can’t do. Or, at least, I feel like I can’t enjoy those things anymore. Because there’s a hundred different things going around my head. A hundred different things that I’ve convinced myself could go wrong. Anxiety really has a way of sucking all the fun out of everything.

Can naming your anxiety help you control it?

A very good friend of mine took it up on herself to name my anxiety “Melvin”. She said it would be easier to tell it to jog on, if I personalised it – gave it a name. She said that Melvin sounded like a bit of a dick and I shouldn’t listen to him anymore. Is it that simple, though?

On the face of it, it seems like sound advice. Melvin does sound like a bit of a dick. And my life would be easier if I didn’t listen to him anymore. But does naming your anxiety really change anything? Melvin may be a bit of a dick, but sometimes (most of the time), it feels like he’s stronger than I am. Giving my anxiety a name and telling it to jog on, doesn’t mean it actually will… does it?

Maybe not. But it’s a start.

Last week, I booked a ticket for a karaoke meet and greet with Nicholas Brendon. It’s part of his Happiness Runs Amok! tour and he’s coming to Kent, so I couldn’t resist! Except, as soon as I booked the ticket, Melvin started listing all the reasons I wouldn’t be able to go – the fact that I’m going on my own, the drive there, walking into a room full of people I don’t know, the drive home on my own etc etc – and all I could think about was the money I’d wasted on a ticket that I probably wouldn’t be able to use.

It’s beyond frustrating to feel so powerless against my anxiety. To want to do something so badly, and to have to fight against my own brain to do it.

Naming my anxiety didn’t seem to make much of a difference. The meet and greet is less than a week away and I still don’t know if I’ll be able to go. But I’m going to try. I’m going to put on my big girl pants and try telling Melvin to jog on. Because I want to go. I’ve been a fan of Nick Brendon for a really long time. I’ve waited 18 years to be in the same room as him again. But more than that, he also suffers with depression and has worked hard to raise awareness and fight the stigma of mental health. That’s something I’m pretty passionate about myself, so what better way to take control of my own depression and anxiety, than by doing something that Melvin is telling me I can’t do?

Besides, if I can’t go to this event, how will I ever get enough control over my anxiety to go and see the Backstreet Boys in June? And I’m not missing that for anything.

Can Naming Your Anxiety Help You Control It?

Honestly? I don’t know if naming your anxiety will help you control it.

But I do know that it can’t hurt. My anxiety, while not exactly under control, does seem a little bit less intimidating now that he’s just a dick named Melvin. And maybe that’s the first step. Maybe, just maybe… if I keep taking those steps and keep telling Melvin to jog on… he might just do it.

Have you tried naming your anxiety? Does it work for you? Let me know in the comments below!

One Response

  1. Sarah May 1, 2019

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