Managing Fear and Anxiety

There are threats that everyone faces, both physical and otherwise. The fear of losing a partner, layoffs, personal attacks, dealing with a boss, accidents, natural disasters, terrorist acts — the news today is riddled with things to fear.

But, if you have hemophilia and inhibitors, there are other things you might fear sometimes. Bleeds, of course. What others might think of you. A blood test your doctor requested.

Sometimes it seems like there is no end to the number of things to worry or scare you. And while that's also made you a bit tougher than other people, long-term worry and anxiety does not help your health and can lead to panic attacks, headaches, stomach aches, and trouble sleeping.

Ways to Deal with Fear and Anxiety

There are three main tools you can use to deal with fear and anxiety.

  • Take control and accept. There are things you can control and things you cannot. The first thing you can control … is figuring out what you can control. If you're not sure, talk it over with someone you trust. The main thing is to decide what you can do, or what you can change — to take control of a situation. If there is nothing you can do, then you have to find a way simply to accept it.

    If fears and anxiety get to be too much and you can't do this, then it could be a good idea to talk to a therapist or get medication to help.
  • Stop thinking negative thoughts. If you're scared, worrying, or anxious, pay attention to what you're thinking about. Ask yourself if thinking that thought helps. Does it help you to do something useful? Does it help you to reach a goal?

    Sure, it's hard just to stop worrying about something or to stop thinking about something. But, if you can stop a negative thought and find a positive way to look at the situation, it can help you feel calmer about things.
  • Let yourself relax. When you get scared or worried, it changes your breathing. Practice taking deep breaths. Or, try yoga, meditation, or exercise to help you learn how to relax and breathe deeper. Exercise is a great way to get rid of anxiety and to breathe deeper — sometimes it just helps to get more oxygen and blood to your brain.

If you've gone through a very scary situation, it can take longer to get over it. When you've had a lot of worry for a long time, it can also take some time to let go of it.

Of course, things happen and there are reasons to feel bad. It's okay to feel bad sometimes. But, if it goes on for too long, it can start to affect other parts of your life and health.

If you've been feeling anxious for a long time, talk to someone and ask for help or ask your doctor about medication for anxiety.