La ansiedad de autoexigirse demasiado

Written by: Neus García Guerra
Edited by: Patricia Pujante Crespo

Self-exaggeration is not good, although most people do it. It is something that, moreover, is accentuated in the case of working mothers, who are in the position of having to "carry" everything and prove their worth constantly. The Mrs. Neus García, specialist in Psychology, explains when we should worry about suffering stress or anxiety, and how to avoid it.


It is considered that a person suffers from stress and anxiety when they notice that they worry too much about everyday things or start having recurrent thoughts. For the person suffering from anxiety, any event can generate fear, negative thoughts, panic attacks and persistent physical symptoms.

When you suffer symptoms similar to those of fear. But while in fear the cause is known, in anxiety the cause is hidden. Fear originates in response to an external threat, while anxiety is related to the experience of an internalized threat.

When somatic manifestations occur: tachycardia, choking, dizziness, nausea, tremors, sweating, etc.. we can talk about anxiety. It can also manifest through a state of tension through contractures, cramps, fatigue, headaches, etc., as well as, by thoracic constriction and cardiac oppression.

When something that we enjoyed ceases to be a source of well-being. For example, a patient explained to me that she has always liked dancing a lot, but lately instead of enjoying it, she had a hard time and she stopped dancing. I felt it was because I was wrong and I could not enjoy anything. The patient began to dance and entered a loop of self-demands and impositions without realizing it , which ended up overwhelming her, so she ended up leaving him, without understanding what was happening to her and kept the idea that she was wrong and I did not enjoy anything anymore.

The situations of danger that give rise to anxiety as alarm are:

  • The loss of the other's estimate
  • Fear of disability
  • Fear of censorship and criticism of oneself

The function of anxiety is to announce to the "I" the proximity of a danger , whether it really exists in the external world, or if it only has validity in the subject's psyche.


What consequences can the "want to reach everything" entail and not be able to

First of all, it is useful to differentiate the positive requirement from the negative requirement. In the first one we demand something that we can do, something realistic, we carry it out and it gives us satisfaction and, therefore, well-being. In the second, what we demand is not possible and, therefore, however much we do, we never arrive, which generates dissatisfaction and, therefore, discomfort.

When the negative demand becomes the frequent way of functioning, the discomfort is internalized and the symptoms of stress and anxiety begin to appear.

Whenever the person faces pressures and demands that they can not face due to lack of resources or time, they experience a state of anxiety, tension, fatigue. This destabilization of health with the symptoms that accompany it is identified as stress. An internal relationship is established in which the impositions of everything that has to be done predominate and the recriminations of what has not been possible or has not been done well enough.

If you can get to everything, it is not the solution either, since it involves sacrificing the person's life .

Working with a whistle implies not taking into account your needs, since there is no time for it. It goes too fast, which makes the person not see and end without knowing what is the real desire, acting and making his own what is really the desire of the other.

When we do not direct our life according to our deepest desires we receive messages that warn us that something is not going well and these messages are communicated through illness, physical and / or emotional .

Self-demanding too much can never be good.In women it is more frequent, and may have health consequences.


Why do we demand so much? Is it society that conditions us like this?

The socio-cultural pressure, transmitted and enhanced by the media and advertising "educates" the population. The publicity to which we are exposed every day shows as if we had to have an ideal, perfect life. This type of advertising has serious consequences.

This is very clear in the incorporation of women into the labor market without having, in parallel, a balanced distribution of family responsibilities.. It has brought about specific physical and mental health problems of women derived from these living and working conditions.

At the same time, it is common for women to feel that they have to demonstrate that they have more skills than their male counterparts to access a certain job.. Still it happens that the woman must demonstrate, and instead, man is supposed to be trained. This implies a higher degree of demand.

They face a problem motivated by the social expectation of their responsibilities. There is a "requirement" that they fulfill their obligations as mothers, as housewives, without lowering their work performance .

When this double load causes that they do not arrive, they feel that they do not fulfill with the awaited thing, it appears the dissatisfaction that takes to a state of stress and anxiety. Then the idea of ​​" superwoman " appears, that is, the woman who not only takes care of the home and the care of the children, but has a successful working life and, also, time to be able to take care of her image.

The woman enters a state of irritability, she finds herself and lives exhausted by so many days of activity and excessive responsibilities without asking for help not to disturb.

The perfect woman syndrome is more frequent than it seems. There are many women who want to be ideal mothers, perfect housewives and make a successful professional career.

Those who develop this syndrome are people who are very demanding, perfectionist and with obsessive features. They have a hard time delegating, setting limits and saying no. They feel guilty for not fulfilling expectations that they believe others have of them. They do not ask themselves if the life they lead satisfies them, pending fulfillment, with endless lists.

This organization of life leads to anxiety in its various manifestations (pain, contractures, choking, digestive disorders, etc.). With a constant feeling of guilt , with the feeling of not arriving , of failing , accompanied by sad mood , combined with a tense and hyperactive state .


How to ensure that we do not exceed the daily pressure

If we think about women who are mothers and work, we will take into account that work can be a source of satisfaction or overwhelm depending on the attitude of women. If it is stated that the care of the children and the tasks of the house have to be shared with the husband, in an equality of roles. If you can be aware that perfection does not exist, it is not a machine. That we are imperfect people and that is what makes us unique. So, in many moments, especially when the children are small, you will need help and you should be able to ask for it .

Women who occupy positions of responsibility, when they are mothers, are faced with the dilemma that both one thing and the other requires exclusive dedication. There is no choice but to make a decision about it: either the time of dedication to work is reduced or the time of dedication to the children is reduced.

To the fatigue accumulated during the working day should be added fatigue caused by family tasks and there is not enough time for physical recovery. The insufficient physical recovery and the scant attention to the first symptoms of stress can lead in many cases to the appearance of chronic pains .

It is essential to treat the first symptoms that arise so that they do not get worse. It can be summarized that it is essential that women look at each other with attention and interest, that they can realize how they are doing to give themselves what they need, as well as it is essential to recognize that they do not arrive and seek help.. If you lose the connection with yourself, you are heading towards danger.


Adequate therapy for anxiety and stress

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is the therapy that manages to solve the immediate problem and prevent it from recurring in the future. It is a technique that seeks to understand the relationship of anxiety with what is happening inside the person, how they are affecting internally the events of his life.

The person learns to look at himself, to be connected with himself, to know what his deepest desires are. This will allow you to direct your life according to your real needs, not those imposed by the canons of society .

Psychodynamic psychotherapy allows the person to treat their problems in a different way than they have done so far. The psychologist tries to understand in an objective way, without judgments, without praise, and this causes the hope to be awakened to be able to understand what happens to one and modify it.

Anxiety disorders have increased since the attack on August 17 on the Ramblas in Barcelona. In reality when we press ourselves, without taking into account our needs, our true desires is a way of attacking oneself.

When we observe in external reality what we are suffering in our interior, without being conscious, then we identify ourselves and that suffering is amplified. It seems that the attack is the only thing that causes anxiety and, in reality, is what is happening inside oneself, but we do not realize it.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is dedicated to explore, relate and understand so that the person can be free of what generates suffering.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Neus García Guerra

Renowned specialist in psychology, with more than 30 years of experience. Mrs. García Guerra is an expert in Psychotherapy by the European Federation ooo Psychologists Associations (EFPA) and Master in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy by CEEP. On the other hand, he is a member of the Full Law of the Catalan Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (ACPP). He currently combines his private activity at the Center Sarrià, of which he is a co-founder, with his professional activity as a psychotherapist and head of teaching at the Public Institution Sant Pere Claver.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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