“Anxiety group” poem by Catalina Ferro

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This blog answers: What is the poem “Anxiety group” by Catalina Ferro about? What is Anxiety?What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety ? What are some ways to manage anxiety?What are the therapy options for anxiety?

What is the poem “Anxiety group” by Catalina Ferro about? 

The poem “Anxiety group” by Catalina Ferro talks about the difficulties and extremities faced by individuals experiencing anxiety. 

In this poem, she mentions anxiety its symptoms, and its consequences as a flesh-eating animal. She mentions that anxiety does not differentiate between genders and throws equal amounts of distress towards men and women. 

She highlights the various elements of anxiety that overwhelm an individual like insomnia, sleep deprivation, and dependence on antidepressant medications. 

She also talks about the stigma about seeking therapy where therapy is looked at as a service for the rich whereas inaccessible for the poor. 

She refers to anxiety as demons that individuals fight alone without anyone knowing just to live a life more normal like other individuals. 

She says despite the difficulties faced by individuals battling anxiety many stay strong with the hope of getting better with time. Though this takes a lot of mental strength it helps them get through the worst days. 

People experiencing anxiety can completely relate to the various elements Catalina Ferro mentions in her poem. On the other side, this might seem like an exaggeration for those who haven’t been hit by the German satellite(anxiety) in Catalina’s words. 

“Anxiety group” by Catalina Ferro – 

There is a German satellite falling to Earth.

She says,

‘What if it hits me?’

Welcome to Anxiety Group.

The kingdom of the sweaty palm and the jiggling leg,

Where the women wrap themselves uptight.

Where the men bite nails till blood.

We are the magnifiers of molehills.

We are the princes of panic,

The ambassadors of anguish.

There is no pride here.

We lack the discipline of the eating disorder group

Lack the self-riotousness of bereavement group

And we’re not as fun as procrastinators anonymous.

Nobody wants to be here.

Me? I don’t sleep.

Can’t sleep.

I make insomnia look professional,

Make your tossing and turning look like afternoon hiccups.

The longest I’ve gone is nine days,

Went literally insane.

Sleep deprivation is a form of torture, you know,

And I do this to myself.

Melatonin makes me sad,

Benadryl is for amateurs,

Hypnotics turn off the lights too quickly,

And weed makes me crazy.

Diazepam, Lorazepam, Bromazepram, Alprazolam,

Klonopin is the only thing that works.

And they’re weaning me off it,

So, like a baby forced to remove breast from mouth, take bottle instead,

I got sent to anxiety group.

And apparently, we’re all going to die,

Because while the girl to my left worries that the satellite will hit her,

The woman to my right worries that it will hit a nuclear power plant,

And then,

We’re all fucked.

My father says only rich people go to therapy,

Poor people got shit to do.

And yet, here I am,

In this lifeboat

Surrounded by eight of the most beautiful, crazy-ass motherfuckers the word has ever seen.

‘What if it’s not just a mole?’

‘What if it’s a flesh-eating virus?’

‘What if I fail at life?’

‘But what if it really is the rapture this time?’

‘What if they hit us again?

‘What if I wake one morning to see planes scraping skies again?’

‘What if it’s me this time?’

And I think ‘Wow.

It must be exhausting to want to live this much.’

Fuck the depressives,

Fuck the body-image meditation group,

Fuck sex addicts anonymous.

Give me your tired,

Your poor,

Your anxious,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe deeply and count to ten.

Give me this collection of blurted confessions,

Of psychosomatic itch,

Of twitch and tick,

Of stutter and sweat,

Give me these weak-kneed,

Jumpy-ass, too much saliva, break out in hives, awkward stomach, hair falling out,

Chewing lips, restless leg, pounding heart bastards

Any day of the week

These people who fight through everyday

Like fucking gladiators,

Who fight demons worse than you and I could dream of,

Just because they want so badly to live

To hold on

To love

Because you can’t be this afraid of losing everything

If you don’t love everything first

Because you have to have

a soul-crushing hope

That thing will get better

To be this afraid of missing it.

What is Anxiety?

Problems and resulting stress are usually accompanied by some common emotions like confusion, feeling at the edge, a sense of helplessness, and recurrent negative thoughts which can collectively be seen as an individual experiencing what’s commonly called  Anxiety. 

Every human has their unique ways of dealing with these difficult situations and the following emotions, some try to adapt to the circumstances and find the best and most comfortable solution while others try to find an escape route for the same, in both cases the main aim is usually to get over the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety. 

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety ? 

Anxiety is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:

 

  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Complaints of chest pain
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased heart rate

These symptoms vary in severity from person to person. However, it is noted that many people experience anxiety attacks that are not significantly displayed.

What are some ways to manage anxiety?

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques

 

Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.

Socialization

 

A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.

The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.

Apart from friends and families, individuals can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.

Set realistic goals

When an individual is feeling overwhelmed, setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.

Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety in many cases.

Take up new challenges

Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.

Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.

Lifestyle changes

An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.

A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.

These coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.

lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.

Making journal entries

Last but not least having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.

Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.

In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy

 

It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.

Medication

Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time

Conclusion 

Anxiety is a serious mental health condition that has been affecting a huge population with passing time. Many individuals use the term “ Anxiety” to refer to a bad day. 

However, it is those individuals who have been suffering from extreme stress and chronic anxiety who understand the difficulties and challenges that condition poses. 

People experiencing anxiety must seek professional help and equip themselves with the required strategies.

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