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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Anxiety (2)

I notice that I get anxiety doing footnotes and references. Just the physical act of inserting a footnote. Something about having to go to the right menu, pulling it down, and clicking on footnote. I'm sure I would be less anxious if I could just do command e as one earlier version of ms word. The idea of not being able to finish because I can't get all of the references done. A little irrational, for sure.


profacero said...

I am still working on this and I still say "anxiety" is the result of trying to repress rational and well justified fear. As in: if I am riding in a car that is jumping off a cliff and it is prohibited to notice that this is suicidal, I will feel anxious instead. Anxiety is then a signpost -- I will get it from repressing anger or disagreement, too, or from failure to recognize general bad behavior. Or from being in any kind of situation where one is required or pressured to submit to irrationality, or threatened with worse if one does not submit. Which means that looking for what underlies it
is the only path to take.

From your earlier "But anxiety in cultural studies is about things people don't like. So, instead of saying people don't like the loss of social and cultural distinctions, you say they are anxious about it. Maybe so, but the claim seems larger, more mysterious that way, but how do you prove an anxiety (as opposed to simply something that bothers you or you don't like)? It's a kind of psychoanalysis of culture, but where the problem might be evident and on the surface rather than concealed."

I don't like the word anxiety used that way. Feeling anxious while waiting for your cancer diagnosis, I can see that. Having disagreement dismissed as irrational I really dislike.

I told my psychotherapist once (this was before I caught anxiety, but it is essentially what I caught anxiety from): "If I continue with you along the destructive path you are suggesting, I will be destroyed yet more than I have already been by your treatment; I will not be able to function well enough at work or in life, and this will be very bad for me and have long-term negative effects on my life." It was logical and a real concern, but he said it was a panic attack, anxiety, irrational.

Jonathan said...

Here's the thing I have learned from my reading on the subject. Anxiety is perfectly normal as part of human life. Just like fear is, if we are actually being threatened directly. Nobody can live a life free from anxiety. What an anxiety disorder is, is being so avoidant of the anxiety itself, so eager to shut it out, that it cuts us off from a fuller life. It is better just to do what we need to do, and accept the fact that we can be anxious at times. Anxiety is quite rational, in the sense that it is telling us that there is something to be concerned about. It only becomes crippling when we go to extraordinary lengths to fight it. So, for example, if we are so afraid of having a panic attack that we don't leave the house. Then, the panic attack becomes the cause of the anxiety, not whatever danger lurks around the corner if we do go outside.

This approach I'm following involves mostly meditation. You learn to accept your anxious thoughts rather than fight against them.

profacero said...

Hmmm ... I don't think I have ever had an actual panic attack. I sure can dissociate, and I do freeze in anger and cannot think. I might be able to harness meditation for those things.

Hm. Actually the closest thing I have had to panic would be what I call nerves over school things.