Thursday, March 7, 2019
Coming Out of The Shadows:Using Horses To Fight Anxiety Disorder
Left unchecked, anxiety disorder can become a progressive health problem that leads to withdrawing from aspects of life that might cause stress. Of course, few aspects of healthy living do not cause stress. Anxiety disorder is running epidemic among young people today. There are a host of causes of this boom in suffering but chief among them is our culture's enabling of behaviors that enhance the control of the disorder over the lives of those who have it.
Parents who allow their children to stay in their rooms and play with their phones instead of going out to face the world are guilty of neglect--plain and simple. Parents who, from the time a toddler can move around, do nothing expand the child's confidence and courage are guilty of neglect--plain and simple.
Too often we hear excuses made for those who lock themselves away from society by mindlessly chiming in that it is ok because they are "introverts". Those who do so are working to keep that person locked up every bit as much as does a jailer.
I do not suggest the opposite of this approach. It would be equally bad to berate the sufferer. It will only drive them deeper into the darkness. Parents, friends and society at large needs to take the more difficult road. We have to encourage, support, and patiently work to help those we care about fight the darkness. We have to encourage without suggesting that "this is all your fault and if you would just ....blah, blah, blah"
That approach will achieve nothing positive
We have to encourage fighting back instead of hiding. It is that simple. Enabling hiding is poisonous. A child who falls off of a horse and fears mounting up who has a parent that allows that child to hide by staying away from horses does no service to that child. Friends who allow others to make decisions based on whether or not an action might cause stress are making it easier for more pain to enter the person's life.
These are not easy issues. I have no doubt that the worse thing that I can do for young people that I care about is to encourage them to hide from stress instead of fighting anxiety. And that is the correct term to use. If one is fighting anxiety or depression one is winning. As long as the fight goes on the fighter is a winner--no matter how difficult the challenge.
It is only when one gives up and gives in to depression or anxiety that the fight is lost. It is much easier to give in. It is much easier to allow people that you care about to give in instead of fighting to become an encouraging , supportive, voice of love. If you just leave them alone, just leave them "their space," they will be let you know what a good friend you are being.
"Get some rest" will nearly always be better received than, "it's time to get up." It is a horrible thing to allow one that one care's about to miss all that is good in life because they are busy hiding from all that is bad in life.
Posted by Steve Edwards